Delaware has long been a preferred jurisdiction for business formation, partly because of its well-developed body of case law with respect to commercial disputes (which makes predicting the outcome of – and thus resolving – those disputes relatively efficient).

Developers of renewable natural gas (“RNG”) and other energy projects have long taken advantage of that case law and other commercial features of Delaware law (including its lack of public filing requirements for corporate records) by forming special project entities in Delaware.

Continue Reading Delaware Court of Chancery Reaffirms LLC Member Protections

On February 17, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an updated policy statement on the certification of new interstate natural gas facilities (Updated Policy Statement). This Updated Policy Statement replaces the Commission’s previous policy statement issued in 1999, which relied primarily on the existence of precedent agreements between the pipeline applicant and its shippers to establish evidence of need for a proposed interstate natural gas facility. Under the previous policy statement, if a proposed natural gas pipeline project was able to establish through precedent agreements with shippers that there was demand for the increased capacity, the Commission generally found that the proposed project was in the public interest and issued the certificate.
Continue Reading FERC Updates Gas Pipeline Certificate Policy Statement and Issues Interim Policy Statement on GHG Emissions

Late last month, the Federal Courts issued two major rulings involving certificates of public convenience and necessity for natural gas pipelines issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  While a decision by the Supreme Court was a victory for pipeline companies, a decision by the DC Circuit in another FERC case could have important impacts on the standards that pipeline companies must meet in order to demonstrate need for their proposed pipeline project.
Continue Reading Federal Courts Issue a Mixed Bag of Decisions on Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting

On October 24, 2017, the Department of the Interior (“Interior”) filed its final report summarizing its review of Interior actions that potentially burden the development or use of energy produced in the United States. The review and resulting report were required by President Trump’s Executive Order 13783, which instructs the agencies to pay “particular attention” to any actions that delay or impose additional costs on oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources.
Continue Reading Substantial Changes Underway at Interior to Reduce Burdens on Oil, Natural Gas, and Coal

In the latest high-profile legal challenge to President Obama’s efforts to combat climate change, a coalition of 14 states and state agencies has filed a legal challenge to the final Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methane rule seeking to curb methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells. The petition for review, filed in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals on August 2, was brought by West Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin, along with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. A coalition of 19 independent oil and gas trade groups also filed a challenge to the methane rule on August 2. The rule had already been challenged in federal court by North Dakota and Texas. In response, this week nine states and six environmental advocacy groups filed motions to intervene in the lawsuits in support of the new emissions standards.
Continue Reading More States Sue EPA Over Final Methane Rule

Drilling rig at dawnIn the wake of several state court decisions ruling that municipal bans or moratoria on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are preempted by state laws, anti-fracking activists are now turning to state ballot initiatives in an attempt to ban or restrict the practice. Fracking refers to the process by which water, sand and a small amount of chemicals are injected at high pressure deep underground to create fractures in dense rock, thereby increasing reservoir permeability to allow oil and gas to more easily flow to the wellbore. The process, in combination with horizontal drilling, has dramatically increased oil and gas production in the U.S. over the past decade.
Continue Reading State Ballot Initiatives: The Latest Front on the War Against Fracking