Strikes Down Morgantown, W.Va. Drilling
As previously reported
in the July edition of Marcellus Fairway:
The Play Today, Spilman litigators, namely
James A. Walls, Michael S. Garrison and Tamara
B. Williamson, were diligently working to have
the City of Morgantown's fracking ban
overturned. On this topic, we are pleased to
report the following information.
Circuit Court of Monongalia County, W.Va.
entered summary judgment on Aug. 12, 2011,
overturning the City of Morgantown's ordinance
banning horizontal drilling and fracking in and
around the city. The Court determined that the
drilling ban is preempted by the State's
regulatory scheme and is therefore invalid,
ruling in favor of Northeast Natural Energy
Judge Susan B.
Tucker's order came in a lawsuit filed by
Northeast shortly after the ordinance was
enacted in late June. Northeast has two
Marcellus natural gas wells at a decades-old
industrial site across the Monongahela
River from Morgantown. The two wells were fully
permitted by the West Virginia Department of
Environmental Protection three months before the
ordinance was enacted.
is represented by Walls, Garrison and
Williamson, each of whom is a skilled litigator
with experience in the natural gas industry.
Marcellus Commission Makes Recommendations to
Kevin M. Eddy
July 22, 2011, Pennsylvania Governor Tom
Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission in
Harrisburg, Pa. forwarded to the Governor
several recommendations to allow Pennsylvania to
develop a comprehensive, strategic proposal for
the responsible and environmentally sound
development of the Marcellus Shale.
in March 2011, the Governor created the
Commission to address changes to the laws and
rules for gas drilling in Pennsylvania. The
Commission is chaired by Lt. Governor Jim Cawley
and consists of 29 other members from
government, business and environmental groups.
The Commission was broken down to four working
groups focusing on environmental protection,
economic development, infrastructure and local
impact. Each of the working groups presented
their report to the full commission for a vote
with an opportunity to make amendments. The
Commission took testimony at its monthly
meetings which were held in various locations
throughout Pennsylvania. Click here to read highlights of
Pa. PUC Exercises
Jurisdiction Over Marcellus
by Barry A. Naum
Order entered on June 14, 2011, the Pennsylvania
Public Utility Commission ("PUC") approved a
Certificate of Public Convenience for Laser
Northeast Gathering Company, LLC ("Laser") to act
as a "public utility" within the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. Although there are two additional
cases pending before the PUC on similar issues,
the Laser Order constitutes the PUC's first
exercise of jurisdiction over a Marcellus Shale
developer, and it signifies a potential new realm
of governmental oversight and regulation that all
similar developers should carefully
Read the full article on our website.
Stimulus for Development of Downstream
Dale W. Steager
has been much discussion about building one or
more ethane cracking plants within the Marcellus
gas footprint. However, there has not been as much
discussion of building downstream manufacturing
facilities that use products produced at the
ethane cracking facility. Recently, the West
Virginia Legislature enacted revisions to the tax
code to stimulate development of downstream
manufacturing facilities in West Virginia. The
focus of this article is on those
the full article on our website.
Announces Oil Find in Utica Shale
Energy Corp. has been very open about the
discovery of petroleum in the company's Ohio Utica
Shale acreage. CEO Aubrey McClendon estimates the
find could be worth $15 billion to $20 billion to
the company and its shareholders. Click here to read more
about this find.
to Sell Half Its Marcellus Wells &
Energy Inc. will sell half its interests in
Marcellus Shale acreage and wells to Noble Energy
Inc., in a deal worth $3.4 billion. The deal
is expected to close Sept. 30. Click
here to read more
Five Gas Industry
Vehicles Crash in a Week
natural gas industry vehicle accidents occurred in
one week in the Upper Ohio Valley Region of W.Va.
The trend of increasing crashes has local
authorities concerned. To read more, click here.
Shale Team Member
M. Herlihy (Charleston)
has worked for more than 25 years in the areas of natural
resource and energy law throughout the Appalachian Basin. His
practice includes: the acquisition and sale of assets;
the preparation and interpretation of leases, service
contracts, sales contracts and other agreements; real property
matters; conflicts between the gas and coal estates;
regulatory disputes; and financial services. Bill has
performed these services for exploration, production and
midstream companies in the oil and gas industry. To view
Bill's full professional biography, click here.
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no liability whatsoever in connection with its use.
Responsible Attorney: Michael J.