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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Critical Habitat for Two Central Appalachian Crayfish

 

BACKGROUND

 

In 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS” or “Service”) listed the Guyandotte River crayfish as endangered and the Big Sandy crayfish as threatened.  An explanation of those decisions and a map of their range in West Virginia, Kentucky and southwest Virginia may be viewed here.  In 2018, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the USFWS to force the designation of critical…

Two Sets of Climate Books? Is New York’s Claim Against Exxon Mobil Heating Up or Just a Lot of Hot Air?

       The New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) has sued Exxon Mobil (“Exxon”) for fraud and misrepresentation to its investors under a New York securities law known as the Martin Act. The NYAG contends that Exxon represented to the public that it was accounting for “projected carbon costs in evaluating its ongoing investments” using one value ($80.00 per ton of CO2 emissions) but that internally (and…

NRDC Claims WVDEP's Underground Injection Program for the Oil and Gas Industry is Deficient

The Natural Resource Defenses Council (“NRDC”), assisted by the West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization, has issued a report claiming that West Virginia’s groundwater is not adequately protected from underground injection. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/west-virginia-groundwater-underground-injection-report.pdf. The Underground Injection Control (“UIC”) program originated from…

Update on Clean Power Plan Litigation

On September 7, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) filed a Status Report in the ongoing Clean Power Plan litigation (State of West Virginia v. EPA), which has been pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for two years. Link.

The Obama Administration first released a draft version of the “Clean Power Plan” rules for existing coal-fired electric generating plants in June of…

Fourth Circuit Refuses to Order EPA to Conduct Coal Jobs Analysis: When “Shall” Means “Eh, Maybe”

Several years ago, Murray Energy sued EPA in the Northern District of West Virginia under § 304(a)(2) of the Clean Air Act, which authorizes actions against EPA when it fails to perform an act or duty “which is not discretionary.” Murray sought to enjoin further rulemaking by EPA and the implementation of the Clean Power Plan until EPA explored the impacts of its Clean Air Act programs…

Monkey Wrenches on the Way: Anti-Pipeline Group from the Midwest Wants in on the Appalachian Action

According to a recent publication by Inside Climate News, a group claiming to have played  a pivotal role in the efforts to block the Keystone XL Pipeline, is here to help wage war against the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. A group known as Bold Alliance bills itself as a network of “small and mighty” groups in rural states (Nebraska, Iowa, Louisiana and Oklahoma), which…

ExxonMobil Sued by Climate Activists for Failure to Account for Climate Risks to Oil Storage Facility in Massachusetts

The Conservation Law Foundation has sued Exxon in Massachusetts for failing to acknowledge and respond to climate-based risks posed to the environment by its petroleum terminal in Everett, Massachusetts. The Complaint claims the terminal lies below the level of a storm surge that occurred in 1978 and if FEMA were to update flood hazard maps through the area, then the terminal would likely fall…

Sierra Club Expands War on Gas in Challenge to Air Permit for Gas Plant: Claims Emissions from Gas Supply Pipeline and Associated Compression Should be Included in Analyses

The Sierra Club and its acolytes have openly derided those who advocate using gas as a “bridge fuel.” Now, the group seeks to slow the construction of both a new gas-fired power plant in Virginia and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline slated to provide fuel to the Plant.  The Appalachian Mountain Advocates (“Appalmad”), who serve frequently as counsel to the Sierra Club, have bragged…

EPA Proposes Two Options for Aggregating Air Emissions in Oil & Gas Industry

The Clean Air Act requires Title V operating permits for new and modified “major sources” and enhanced permit review (New Source Review or Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) Review) for “major stationary sources” of air pollutants. EPA’s regulations define a “stationary source” as “any building, structure, facility, or installation…

Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (Unless You Produce Energy)

A recent publication reported that researchers have found a “link” between hydraulic fracturing and increased hospitalization rates in the Marcellus shale drilling regions of Pennsylvania. 

Cause for alarm?  Not so fast. 

Scientists and statisticians tell us that “correlation does not imply causation.” Two variables may be correlated (or “linked” as the media like to…

EPA Seeks Order From 4th Circuit to Prohibit Discovery by Murray Energy

We have previously reported on Murray Energy’s action against EPA in the Northern District of West Virginia.  There, Murray has sued EPA to enforce § 321(a) of the Clean Air Act, which requires EPA to “conduct continuing evaluations” of potential loss or shifts of employment” which may result from the administration or enforcement of the Clean Air Act. 

Recently, the District…

 

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