Several pieces of energy-industry legislation are teed up for debate as state legislatures reconvene for their first sessions of 2021. With topics ranging from offshore oil and gas moratoriums to restrictions on natural gas flaring and venting, the following is an overview of notable energy legislation to be heard in state legislatures this year.

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In August 2018, dry natural gas production from the Haynesville shale averaged 6.774 billion cubic feet per day, which is the highest daily Haynesville production average since September 2012 when production averaged 6.962 billion cubic feet per day.  August 2018 was not an anomaly.  Instead, this year, the Haynesville has seen steady increases in production since January when production averaged 5.293 billion cubic feet per day.  Although the recent Haynesville production increases are a positive sign for the Louisiana energy industry, the August 2018 daily production average is still below the previous Haynesville peak production average, which was 7.403 billion cubic feet per day in January 2012.  However, if the current trend continues, the Haynesville could approach its prior peak production average in early 2019.
Continue Reading Haynesville shale gas production is increasing again; Will Haynesville-related litigation increase again, too?

In 2010, under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“the FWS”) designated 6,477 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana as “critical habitat” for the Rana sevosa or the dusky gopher frog.  This frog has historically lived in nine counties or parishes across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  Since its 2001 designation as an endangered species, an estimate of 100 adult frogs are known to only exist in Harrison County, Mississippi.  The gopher frog spends most of its time living underground, but will migrate to short-lived, ephemeral ponds to breed.  After breeding, the frog will return to its underground habitat, along with its offspring.  According to the FWS, the greatest threat to the gopher frog population is the low number of adult frogs and human-induced environmental stressors, such commercial development.  Markle Interests, L.L.C. v. United States Fish & Wildlife Serv., 2016 WL 3568093, at *1-2 (5th Cir. June 30, 2016).
Continue Reading The Dusky Gopher Frog Causes Big Problems for Industrial and Commercial Development in Parts of St. Tammany Parish