Oil & Gas

Volume 26, Number 2, Fall 2011


The Impact of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning on Deepwater Drilling

A review of President Obama’s new Ocean Policy and recommendations for a system of regional Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans (CMSPs) and assessment of the potential impact of these new policies on offshore oil and gas drilling, especially in deep waters of the Outer Continental Shelf.
Joan M. Bondareff

Fighting Chemicals with Chemicals: The Role and Regulation of Dispersants in Oil Spill Response
An unprecedented volume of 1.84 million gallons of dispersants were applied to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Their high-profile and often novel use generated criticism from both public and private sector parties, covering everything from product selection and safety to broader questions about the ecological validity of using dispersants at all.
Charles L. Franklin and Lori J. Warner

A Stepped Approach to Successful NRD Alternative Dispute Resolution
The key to successful application of ADR to environmental disputes of the magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the implementation of a systematic or stepped ADR approach that employs formal ADR tools, such as public participation and facilitation, prelitigation mediation, postclaim mediation, and various forms of issue-specific arbitration to reduce, mitigate and, possibly, eliminate the volume and impact of the inevitable flood of litigation arising out of NRD actions.
Robert F. Copple

Additional figure: Figure 1

Under Extraordinary Circumstance: NEPA Practice Post-Deepwater Horizon
Federal agency compliance with NEPA and use of NEPA categorical exclusions have been subject to intense public and political scrutiny since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. This article describes Minerals Management Service NEPA practices pre-Deepwater Horizon, examines NEPA-related post-Deepwater Horizon actions undertaken by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement, and discusses the future NEPA practice.
Constance L. Rogers

Aggregation of Oil and Gas Wells Under the Clean Air Act: New Horizons from EPA and the Courts
EPA’s policy of aggregating multiple emission points into a single “stationary source” for permitting purposes is coming under fire. The Agency’s use of an “interrelatedness” test for aggregation, formally rejected in its CAA regulations but resurrected through informal source determinations, is facing stiff opposition from the oil and gas industry.
Roger Martella, Byon Taylor, and Jim Wedeking

Tracking Fracking Case Law: Hydraulic Fracturing Litigation
As hydraulic fracturing quickly evolves, a variety of legal issues are emerging. Since September 2009, several lawsuits have been filed by landowners in various states against oil and gas and drilling companies complaining of groundwater contamination. This article provides a detailed review of the lawsuits filed across the United States involving hydraulic fracturing.
Barclay Nicholson and Kadian Blanson

Hydraulic Fracturing: Risks and Risk Management
The use of hydraulic fracturing techniques has the potential to alter our energy landscape. But, it is not without environmental risks to nearby landowners, the public, or the operators. Prudent risk evaluation, management, and transfer can help reduce the risks to all parties.
Thomas Swartz

After the Ice Melts: The Need for a New Arctic Agreement
This article examines the legal framework governing Arctic oil production, evaluates the ability of the existing framework to preserve the Arctic environment during increased oil exploration and production, and suggests that an Arctic Treaty is necessary to give substance to the regulations already laid out by the existing framework.
Catherine Emmett and James Stuhltrager

Oil and Gas: The View from Canada
This article sets out Canada’s environmental law framework for the oil and gas sector and explains the limited role played by the federal government. It then provides an update on legal issues and challenges involved in opening up the North to oil and gas exploration, developing unconventional deposits, and forging new trade routes.
Katia Opalka

Environmental Compliance in the Angolan Offshore Industry
Angola’s offshore oil industry, with exploration and production not only in shallow waters, but also in deep and ultra-deep waters, has not been immune to increased concerns over safety and environmental compliance since the Macondo Well blowout. New safety questions are facing operators, service providers, and government agencies.
Ricardo Silva


FERC Moves to Expand Mobile-Sierra Application
On remand from the Supreme Court, FERC holds that it has the discretionary authority to apply a Mobile-Sierra presumption to non-contract rates. FERC’s decision represents a marked step-change in the agency’s application of Mobile-Sierra.
Scott B. Grover

New Source Review Litigation: The Latest Chapter
United States v. Ala. Power Co. and National Parks Conservation Ass’n v. TVA, concerning the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act have strengthened considerably the utility sector’s defensive position.
Maria V. Gillen

EPA’s Proposed Coal Ash Rule
EPA’s proposed coal ash rule would regulate coal combustion residuals (CCRs) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for the first time.
Hollister A. Hill and Karlie S. Clemons

Solar Energy: Let’s Get Passive!
This article offers a basic overview of passive solar design and presents an idea about how to incorporate passive solar into building codes, with a view toward making net-zero energy the standard practice for new construction by 2030.
Dean B. Suagee

Funding Projects to Save the Bonobo
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s administration of the Great Ape Conservation Fund is establishing conservation programs for the bonobo and other primates in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Craig T. Donovan

EPA’s Proposed Stormwater General Permit for Construction
EPA’s recently proposed  stormwater permit for the construction industry, the Construction General Permit (CGP), provides evidence of the evolving nature of stormwater management and regulation reflecting a more rigorous program.
Lisa A. Kirschner



Vantage Point

Interview: David Hayes


Literary Resources

The Back Page

Issue Editor:
Gale Lea Rubrecht


Assistant Issue Editors:
Jean Feriancek, Madeline Kass, Jim Murphy, Paula Schauwecker, Cole Young


Cover design:
Sonya Taylor


Department art:
Mike Callaway

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