American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 16

IndustryDigest
Both groups are appealing the March 27
ruling by the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California that the
Bureau of Land Management's repeal in
December 2017 of regulations
governing hydraulic fracturing on
federal and tribal lands that was issued
in March 2015 did not violate the
Administrative Procedure Act, National
Environmental Policy Act nor the
Endangered Species Act.
Ruling in California v. Bureau of
Land Management and Sierra Club v.
Ryan Zinke, District Judge Haywood S.
Gilliam Jr., determined that "BLM
adequately articulated a reasoned
explanation for its change in position"
(AOGR, April 2020, pg. 14).
In a statement announcing his notice
of appeal, AG Becerra says he intends
to argue that Judge Gilliam:
· Failed to consider that BLM's
justification for repealing the Obamaera rule was arbitrary and capricious
under the Administrative Procedure Act;
· Did not fully address whether
BLM neglected to consider more
narrowly tailored alternatives to a full
repeal; and
· Incorrectly determined that NEPA
did not apply in this case because the
Obama rule never went into effect.
Becerra says he will ask the 9th
Circuit to reinstate the 2015 fracturing
regulations. ❒

PHMSA Rule Authorizes
Rail Transport Of LNG
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Federal
Railroad Administration, has issued a final rule authorizing the bulk transportation of liquefied natural gas by rail.
PHMSA says the new rule, which
was announced June 19 and will become
effective 30 days after its publication in
the Federal Register, will permit LNG to
be transported in DOT-113C120W9
specification tank cars with enhanced
outer tank requirements. The prepublication version of the final rule is available
at https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/usdot-final-rule-safe-transportation-lngrail-tank-car.
"The department's new rule carefully
lays out key operational safeguards to
provide for the safe transportation of
16 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

LNG by rail to more parts of the country where this energy source is needed,"
stated Transportation Secretary Elaine
Chao in announcing the rule.
She adds that the rule incorporates
newly designated safety requirements.
Among them:
· Enhanced thicker carbon outer
tanks;
· Remote monitoring of the pressure and location of LNG tank cars;
· Two-way, end-of-train or distributed-power-system braking when a train
is transporting 20 or more LNG tank
cars in a row or 35 or more such cars in
total; and
· A requirement that railroads conduct route-risk assessments to evaluate
safety and security.
Previously, PHMSA notes, LNG
could be moved by rail in a portable
tank secured to a rail car under a special-use permit. The agency adds its final rule responds to Executive Order
13868, "Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth." The EO,
which was issued by President Donald
Trump in April 2019, gave DOT 100
days to commence a rule making "that
would permit LNG to be transported in
approved rail tank cars" (AOGR, May
2019, pg. 28).
The Texas Independent Producers &
Royalty Owners Association points out
that the Association of American Railroads petitioned for the regulatory
change in January 2017. ❒

District Of Columbia
And Minnesota File
Two Climate Lawsuits
In separate and apparently noncoordinated actions, the attorneys
general for Minnesota and the District
of Columbia on June 24 filed lawsuits
seeking damages from energy
companies for climate change.
The two lawsuits are different from
previous such claims, published reports
indicate, in that they were filed under
state consumer protection laws rather
than claiming public nuisance, and
especially in Minnesota's case, include
environmental justice as a key
component.
Minnesota AG Keith Ellison's
lawsuit names ExxonMobil Corp., the
American Petroleum Institute and three
Koch Industries entities.

According to a statement from his
office, Ellison's lawsuit includes
"claims for fraud, failure to warn, and
multiple separate violations of
Minnesota statutes that prohibit
consumer fraud, deceptive trade
practices and false statements in
advertising." Ellison contends,
"Starting in 2015, internal experts in
the field of climate change at these
companies were issuing warnings to
company leaders about what was
coming. But rather than warn the
public . . . the complaint details a
multipronged campaign of deception
that the companies and API conducted
over the past 30 years."
It seeks "restitution for the harms
Minnesotans have suffered," and asks
the court "to require defendants to
fund a corrective public education
campaign on the issue of climate
change." Although the lawsuit doesn't
specify an amount, one published
report quotes Ellison saying damages
"could be akin to Minnesota's $7
billion 1998 settlement with the
tobacco industry."
The District of Columbia's lawsuit
names ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron Corp.
and Shell. AG Karl A. Racine claims
those companies "knew as early as the
1950s that emissions from burning oil
and gas posed an existential threat to
humanity. In response, the companies
embarked on a multidecade,
multimillion dollar public relations
campaign to foment doubt and hostility
toward climate research in order to
protect profits."
Later, Racine continues, "The
companies exaggerated their
commitments to reducing reliance on
fossil fuels and concealing their
products' harm."
His lawsuit asks the court "to order
the companies to end their
disinformation campaigns, provide
relief for district consumers and pay
civil penalties."
Filed under D.C.'s Consumer
Protection Procedures Act, Racine says
the lawsuit alleges the defendants:
· Executed long-term
communications campaigns to
undermine climate change science;
· Misrepresented the scale of their
investments to reduce carbon emissions;
and
· Obscured the damaging impacts
their products have had on the
environment.


https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/usdot-final-rule-safe-transportation-lngrail-tank-car https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/usdot-final-rule-safe-transportation-lngrail-tank-car https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/usdot-final-rule-safe-transportation-lngrail-tank-car

American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020

American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 3
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 5
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 6
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