The rapid expansion of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling may spark the nation’s first comprehensive energy law in five years, attorneys at Washington law firms say. New provisions could give a boost to energy production in places like North Dakota, where legal work derived from the growing oil industry has already exceeded the supply of lawyers. In this special report, we examine the potential impact of new legislation, as well as legal issues related to safeguarding the pipeline infrastructure, and applying new corporate compliance regulations to the energy industry.


Energy lawyers predict sweeping legislation
Congress could make big moves on energy policy next session, thanks to the boom in natural gas and oil production from shale deposits across the country.

In North Dakota, too few lawyers for the work
Oil exploration in North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation has flooded the state with legal work, and there simply aren’t enough attorneys to go around.


Anti-fracking suits face formidable hurdles
Each plaintiff has to present credible scientific evidence of injury and a causal connection to a specific fracking operation.

Cybersecurity standards for owners of critical infrastructure
Failing to get legislation passed, Obama administration officials have drafted executive order to encourage voluntary compliance.

Impact of 2012 Dodd-Frank regulations on the energy industry
Most companies stand a good chance of avoiding brunt of regs, but they should ensure trading practices fit into an exclusion.