New this month:
- With Pennsylvania governor-elect Democrat Tom Wolf heading for Harrisburg in January, industry anticipates he will act on a campaign pledge to pursue a 5 percent severance tax on Marcellus drilling.
- Ohio voters in Youngstown, Gates Mills and Kent rejected measures that could have resulted in fracking bans. Meanwhile, Athens passed a ban measure, the effectiveness of which may be determined by pending litigation over localities’ rights to govern drilling.
- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources published on its website its final regulations on high-volume horizontal fracking operations – a move that spurred litigation by opposition groups who claim that the process did not permit sufficient public engagement.
- San Miguel County, New Mexico has approved an ordinance on oil and gas drilling that is likely to significantly restrict development. Despite urging from the industry to revise the draft ordinance introduced earlier this year, the ordinance did not undergo significant edits.
- A legislative panel has signed off on regulations submitted by the Nevada Commission on Natural Resources to regulate fracking.
- The City of Denton, Texas approved a fracking ban by a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent. Immediately following the vote, an industry group and a Texas regulator filed separate lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the ban.
- With earthquakes rattling residents from Kansas to Arkansas, newly reelected Kansas Governor Brownback announced plans to monitor seismic activity.