Full Title: American Law and Jurisprudence on Fracing- 2011
Author(s): Thomas E. Kurth, Michael J. Mazzone, Mary S. Mendoza, Chris S. Kulander
Publisher(s): Hayes and Boone, LLP
Publication Date: 1/2011
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This report first covers what hydraulic fracturing is and why it is done. It identifies the current location of the largest shale fields where hydraulic fracturing is common and the effect of hydraulic fracturing on domestic production. It then covers the environmental issues, focusing on the anecdotal and evidentiary call and response among environmental groups, regulators, landowners, and producers. It then discusses how traditional oil and gas jurisprudence impacts hydraulic fracturing, emphasizing both surface versus mineral estate issues and disputes that arise between two adjoining mineral owners. Finally, it addresses developments in technology and processes that promise to reduce the environmental footprint of the hydraulic fracturing while promoting its efficiencies and economies. These developments are gaining in the immediacy of their need with the increasing scarcity of water resources, especially in states plagued by drought, as well as populist pressures and the specter of the EPA yearning for expansion of its regulatory authority. Finally, this report analyzes the current and contemplated laws and regulations governing hydraulic fracturing on the federal level. In particular, it discusses the history of the litigation and legislative efforts challenging the current federal exception enjoyed by hydraulic fracturing. It also highlights the friction between state and federal oversight.