January 15, 2015

2015 Oil and Gas Regulatory Outlook

From: The National Law Review

Article By: Kenneth S. Komoroski, Timothy P. Lynch, John D. McGrane, Ted B. Bosquez, IV, Daniel Carmeli

The U.S. government recently announced plans for a number of regulatory initiatives in 2015 that will affect the oil and gas industry.

Planned Federal Regulations Target the Oil and Gas Industry

Twice per year, the U.S. government lists its regulatory plans. At the end of 2014, it announced its plans for the following regulatory initiatives affecting the oil and gas industry.

Regulatory Area Federal Agency Status
 1 VOC and Methane Emission Regulations Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Prerulemaking
Department of the Interior (DOI)/Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Prerulemaking
 2 Hydraulic Fracturing DOI/BLM Proposed Rule
 3 Royalty Rates for Onshore Leases DOI/BLM Prerulemaking
4 Blowout Preventers DOI/Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Prerulemaking
 5 Arctic Drilling DOI/BSEE/Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Prerulemaking
6 Transportation of Crude Oil by Rail Department of Transportation (DOT) Proposed Rule
7 Renewable Fuel Standards EPA Proposed Rule

This collection of initiatives serves as a preview of the Obama administration’s agenda for the oil and gas industry. As a result of the November 2014 election, in which several Senate Democrats from energy-producing states either retired or were defeated, these initiatives may become more prominent, allowing the Obama administration to pursue a regulatory agenda without necessarily having to consider the political fallout in those states.

1. EPA and BLM Regulation of VOC and Methane Emissions

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