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What The Frack? How Weak Industrial Disclosure Rules Prevent Public Understanding Of Chemical Practices And Toxic Politics, Benjamin W. Cramer Jun 2015

What The Frack? How Weak Industrial Disclosure Rules Prevent Public Understanding Of Chemical Practices And Toxic Politics, Benjamin W. Cramer

Benjamin W. Cramer

Hydraulic fracturing, known colloquially as “fracking,” makes use of chemically-formulated fluid that is forced down a gas well at great pressure to fracture underground rock formations and release embedded natural gas. Many journalists, environmentalists, and public health advocates are concerned about what may happen if the fracking fluid escapes the well and contaminates nearby drinking water supplies. This article attempts a comprehensive analysis and comparison of all relevant fracking fluid disclosure regulations currently extant in the United States, and considers whether the information gained is truly useful for citizens, journalists, and regulators. In recent years the federal government and several ...


Hydraulic Fracturing: Can Local Governments Authorities Regulate Fracking In Nigeria?, Oluwaseun Viyon Ojo, Olumide Obayemi Mar 2015

Hydraulic Fracturing: Can Local Governments Authorities Regulate Fracking In Nigeria?, Oluwaseun Viyon Ojo, Olumide Obayemi

Oluwaseun Viyon Ojo

If, and when Nigeria adopts unconventional oil extraction methods such as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) system as a means of oil extraction in Nigeria, all stakeholders must resolve the following questions: What measures of legal and institutional regulations should Nigerian stakeholders adopt? How the environmental and economic impacts of fracking be adequately measured and assessed in Nigeria? Will the adoption of fracking methods in oil extraction activities in Nigeria make oil exploration safer? And, whether the proposed Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill (“PIB”) which aims to comprehensively regulate the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector, contains sufficient provisions to cover fracking? Finally, how ...


How Local Is Local?: A Response To Professor David B. Spence's The Political Economy Of Local Vetoes, Joshua P. Fershee Feb 2015

How Local Is Local?: A Response To Professor David B. Spence's The Political Economy Of Local Vetoes, Joshua P. Fershee

Joshua P Fershee

Professor Fershee responds to Professor David B. Spence’s article about local hydraulic fracturing bans: The Political Economy of Local Vetoes, 93 Texas L. Rev. 351 (2015). Professor Spence notes that the shale oil and gas debate provides an example of “an age-old political problem that the law is called upon to solve: the conflict between an intensely held minority viewpoint and a less intense, contrary view held by the majority.” In resolving such conflicts, Spence suggests that courts should resolve such “conflicts in ways that encourage states and local governments to regulate in ways that weigh both the costs ...


Facts, Fiction, And Perception In Hydraulic Fracturing: Illuminating Act 13 And Robinson Township V. Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania, Joshua P. Fershee Apr 2014

Facts, Fiction, And Perception In Hydraulic Fracturing: Illuminating Act 13 And Robinson Township V. Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania, Joshua P. Fershee

Joshua P Fershee

Hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas is perhaps the most polarizing energy issue in the United States and around the world, and Pennsylvania has emerged as an example of passionate views both for and against hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. To limit local government restrictions on gas drilling, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 13 in September 2012, and the Act largely eliminated the ability of local governments to restrict oil and gas operations through zoning. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Act 13 in December 2013.

This Article reviews how Act 13 came to be, highlights the key provisions of ...


The Oil And Gas Evolution: Learning From The Hydraulic Fracturing Experiences In North Dakota And West Virginia, Joshua P. Fershee Jan 2012

The Oil And Gas Evolution: Learning From The Hydraulic Fracturing Experiences In North Dakota And West Virginia, Joshua P. Fershee

Joshua P Fershee

This Article discusses major differences and similarities in U.S. oil and gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing through a comparison of the experiences in North Dakota and West Virginia. Although there are other parts of the country experiencing growth in oil and gas extraction, Pennsylvania and Texas as but two examples, North Dakota and West Virginia are particularly apt for comparison. Both states have relatively small populations, meaning that the impact of large-scale energy extraction in each state is likely to have a large impact on the state, economically, environmentally, and socially.

This Article focuses on three main areas of ...


Zoning In The Marcellus Shale Formation, Benjamin L. Knauff May 2011

Zoning In The Marcellus Shale Formation, Benjamin L. Knauff

Benjamin L Knauff

The growing practices of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked previously unrealized potential in natural gas-rich shale formations deep underground across the U.S. This growth stands in contrast to lagging regulation of the energy sector. This article explores the potential environmental and health risks of natural gas extraction in shale formations, and the need for legislative changes in Pennsylvania, where activity is rapidly gaining momentum.


North Dakota Expertise: A Chance To Lead In Economically And Environmentally Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing, Joshua P. Fershee Jan 2011

North Dakota Expertise: A Chance To Lead In Economically And Environmentally Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing, Joshua P. Fershee

Joshua P Fershee

North Dakota is uniquely, and largely favorably, situated to benefit from hydraulic fracturing, and has already reaped many such benefits. During the recent economic crisis, North Dakota’s housing market has been stable, unemployment has been remarkably low, and the state has maintained a strong and increasing budget surplus at a time when many states were operating budget deficits. But these benefits have not come without some costs.

This Article seeks to put the current North Dakota oil boom in context and help provide a path for developing legislative and regulatory policies that prolong and reinforce sustainable and beneficial oil ...


From Coase To Collaborative Property Decision-Making: Green Economy Innovation, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson Jan 2011

From Coase To Collaborative Property Decision-Making: Green Economy Innovation, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

This Article considers the advantages and disadvantages of market-based program design, natural gas regulation, and enhanced international understanding. Transitioning to a green economy involves dedicating efforts towards environmentally sound energy innovation. RGGI, natural gas, and climate change represent sustainability challenges. Optimizing cooperative transboundary green innovation can facilitate inclusive decision-making just as public participation by civil society can help economies transition to environmentally sound energy use. Building upon progress made in the human rights and environment fields can advance both and enhance resilience.