By Jordyn Johnson
Ms. Johnson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 with a B.A. in Government. This summer, she is interning at the Texas Advocacy Project and with Judge Lawrence Meyers at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She expects to receive her J.D. from the Texas School of Law in May 2013.
Just over a decade after the Texas legislature jump-started the state’s wind energy industry in 1999, Texas has become the top-producing state for wind-generated electricity. The legislature is now considering a bill that would serve to stimulate other renewable energy sources, including solar energy, with similar subsidization. Although a recent study lists Texas as the 10th-largest solar energy market in the U.S., the study also observed that while interest in solar energy is rising, the incentives for promotion of solar energy are not growing at the same rate. While the drive for solar energy use is fairly high at the individual residential level, the lack of a statewide program has caused Texas to fall behind its renewable energy sister states. A goal of the proposed legislation is to provide incentives for energy companies similar to those offered by states such as California and New Mexico. View full article »
By Jared Staples
Mr. Staples graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 with a B.A. in journalism. This summer he will be clerking for Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C. He is expected to receive his J.D. from the Texas School of Law in May 2012.
Exxon Corp. v. Emerald Oil & Gas involves a twenty-year dispute arising after Emerald took a mineral lease that included wells previously operated by Exxon. Emerald and the royalty owners sued Exxon after they discovered the wells were improperly plugged. Their claims were severed into two cases, both of which the Supreme Court of Texas issued an opinion on in March 2009. The opinions established principles that those in the oil and gas legal practice came to accept; however, a rehearing on both cases was granted, which created speculation as to what changes would result. The Court issued new opinions for both cases in December 2010, withdrawing its prior opinions, and this article reviews the ensuing changes. View full article »
By Preston Ward
Mr. Ward graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2006 with a B.A. in Business Administration. He received his J.D. at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2010, and is expected to receive his LL.M. from the Texas School of Law this May. Mr. Ward also currently works as an associate at Burnett & Thomason, specializing in Oil and Gas title options.
“[F]racing is now essential to economic production of oil and gas and commonly used throughout, Texas, the United States, and the world,” and as worldwide demand for fossil fuel rises, it will become an increasingly necessary practice. In the United States 80% of all wells drilled used fracing. Recent technological advances in hydraulic fracturing (hydro-fracing, “fracking” or just “fracing”) now allow developers access to oil and natural gas buried deep within shale formations which had been inaccessible. The evolution in technology brought a rapid increase in urban gas drilling—a change that could have significant environmental consequences. View full article »
By Katherine Rollins
Ms. Rollins graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with a B.A. in English and Art History. This summer she will be clerking at Vinson & Elkins in Houston. She expects to receive her J.D. from the Texas School of Law in May 2012.
In early 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published final regulations pursuant to the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). These regulations modified and expanded upon the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which required that certain volumes of renewable fuel be included in the gasoline sold in the United States each year. The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association and the American Petroleum Institute (“Petitioners”) challenged these regulations on the grounds that they violated EISA statutory requirements, were impermissibly retroactive, and disregarded statutory lead time and compliance provisions. However, in National Petrochemical and Refiners Ass’n v. Environmental Protection Agency, the D.C. Court of Appeals declined the petitions for review on all counts. View full article »