January 2015 Fracking Report

New this month:

  • California: State regulators issued a draft environmental impact report that finds well stimulation in the state can be done with “less-than-significant” impact if mitigation measures are implemented. The report comes as regulators finalize new rules that will go into effect in July.
  • Maryland: With the formal launch of a comment period on proposed regulations that would end the state’s de facto ban, environmental groups call on the state legislature to pass a long-term moratorium.
  • Pennsylvania: With the recent retirement of two state Supreme Court justices, the state PUC Chairman urges the court to revisit parts of its decision on Act 13 in an attempt to restore PUC oversight of municipal ordinances regarding drilling.
  • Michigan: In his state of the city address, the Grand Rapids mayor calls on the governor to institute a fracking moratorium, citing concerns with lack of data on environmental impacts.
  • New Mexico: A federal judge overthrows Mora County’s ban on drilling, ruling the ordinance conflicts with federal law.
  • New Mexico: Recent reports show that New Mexico regulators are woefully underfunded and understaffed, forcing a small crew of regulators to manage a burgeoning amount of oil and natural gas activity.
  • North Carolina: Following the passage of a resolution against fracking, Jackson County commissioners defy state law and instruct city planners to develop an ordinance prohibiting fracking.
  • Texas: College Station to vote on January 22 on a revised ordinance on drilling that could increase setback requirements and regulations affecting air and noise pollution.
  • Alaska: Governor Walker started his new administration by shaking up the state’s Alaska Gasline Development Corporation and instituting new measures to promote transparency in the state-owned corporation.
  • Oklahoma: New reports find that Oklahoma experienced more seismic activity in 2014 than any other lower-48 state, registering more than 500 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or greater.