Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 10

FE ATURE

01

COURTS SLOW FEDERAL REGULATORY

PUSH AGAINST PRODUCERS

AT HIS FIRST CABINET meeting in 2014,

President Barack Obama vowed to advance
his agenda one way or another.
"We are not just going to be waiting for
legislation in order to make sure that we're
providing Americans the kind of help that they
need," President Obama said.
That was hardly the first time the president
expressed a willingness to use means other
than legislation to achieve his desired ends.
Only a couple years before, President Obama
launched an initiative known as "We Can't
Wait" ... the implied words missing from that
phrase being "for Congress."
Rulemakings and other regulatory actions, such
as executive orders, constitute a particularly
inviting opportunity for an impatient executive
branch to advance policy through other
options. Yet President Obama's second term
has experienced setbacks in advancing some
of its policy goals through these methods as
federal courts have stymied one administration
regulatory action after another.

10

Rulemakings affecting the country's oil and
natural gas sector have proven particularly
plentiful in recent years, though some of the
regulatory policies by the Obama Administration
have since been frozen by the courts, including:
* The Clean Power Plan
* Efforts by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers to redefine what constitutes as
waters of the United States subject to federal
jurisdiction
* Efforts by the Department of Interior's Bureau
of Land Management (BLM) to regulate
hydraulic fracturing
* The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's (USFWS)
attempt to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken
as threatened under the Endangered
Species Act

legally challenged in court. Hufford suggests
that the lack of comprehensive energy policy
in recent years has created a vacuum.
"The door has certainly been left open for
federal agencies to attempt to push through
policy," Hufford said. "The vacuum has
resulted in a surge in federal regulatory
actions. So now, you're seeing the checksand-balances function kicked to the courts,
where several of these actions have been
successfully challenged."
Indeed, Congress took up massive climate
change legislation early in President Obama's
first term, but after the Waxman-Markey capand-trade legislation died, President Obama
vowed to fight greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
by using existing statutes to tighten standards
on the country's energy and power industries.

Filling a Vacuum
Walt Hufford, director of U.S. government and
regulatory affairs for Repsol, cites a number
of reasons as to why an increasing number of
regulations either originate with lawsuits-
such as sue-and-settle cases-or end up being

UPSTREAM TEXAS F A L L | W I N T E R 2 0 16 -17

Of course, if the statutory bases on which the
administration has attempted to build many of
its initiatives prove less than stable, that may be
partially attributable to the fact that the EPA and
other agencies keep trying to interpolate today's



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016

Chairman’s Message
President’s Message
Courts Slow Federal Regulatory Push Against Producers
Industry Outlook: Hard Data Suggest Low Oil Prices on Borrowed Time
Special Infograph: 2016 Texas Oil and Gas Production at a Glance
Legislative Profile: Texas State Representative Larry Gonzales
Regulatory Profile: Kimberly Corley, executive director of the Railroad Commission of Texas
Member Profile: Eugene Garcia, president of Hurd Enterprises, Ltd.
New Members
Calendar of Events
Advertiser Index
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - cover1
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - cover2
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 3
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 4
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 5
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 6
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 7
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Chairman’s Message
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - President’s Message
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Courts Slow Federal Regulatory Push Against Producers
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 11
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 12
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Industry Outlook: Hard Data Suggest Low Oil Prices on Borrowed Time
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 14
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - 15
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Special Infograph: 2016 Texas Oil and Gas Production at a Glance
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Legislative Profile: Texas State Representative Larry Gonzales
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Regulatory Profile: Kimberly Corley, executive director of the Railroad Commission of Texas
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Member Profile: Eugene Garcia, president of Hurd Enterprises, Ltd.
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - New Members
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Calendar of Events
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - Advertiser Index
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - cover3
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2016 - cover4
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