April 11, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.*

I hope everyone had a fantastic week and has fun plans for the weekend!  This week I traveled out to Brownwood, Texas on Tuesday to give a presentation on agricultural leases, eminent domain, and pipeline easements.  A big thank you to Brown County Extension Agent Scott Anderson for putting this program together.  I enjoyed the chance to visit with several local landowners during and after the program, so welcome to those of you joining us from Brown County!

Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week.

*  What Every Buyer of Rural Land Should Know About Old Property Easements.   Patrick Reznik, a Texas attorney who frequently represents landowners in a variety of cases, recently wrote an article discussing what rural property owners should know about old property easements.  The article discusses the importance of investigating the existence of these old easements–whether the land has been recently purchased or has been owned for years.  The property’s title policy should be carefully reviewed in order to determine if any exceptions for easements exist.  [Read article here.]

*  U.S. Oil and Gas Imports at Lowest Level in 26 Years.  The Energy Information Administration recently reported that the oil and gas boom across the country resulted in the lowest energy import level in 26 years.  [Read article here.]


*  Article Discusses Potential Impact if Fracking Ban Passes in Denton.  In November, Denton residents will vote on an ordinance seeking to ban fracking within the city limits.  This week, State Impact Texas published an article on the proposed facking ban and discussed the potential ramifications if the ban is passed, including whether a Texas city has the power to ban fracking and the almost certain legal challenge that will occur if the moratorium is passed.  [Read article here.]

* Motion to Dismiss Filed in Idaho “Ag Gag” Lawsuit.  Governor Butch Otter has filed a motion to dismiss the federal court lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s new “ag gag” law.  As previously discussed on this blog, the lawsuit claims that the recently-enacted statute violates the first amendment right to free speech and the equal protection clause.  [Read article here.]

* 15 Senators Object to Proposed EPA Rule.  As I mentioned last week, the proposed EPA rule that will clarify/modify the agency’s interpretation of “waters of the United States” has generates a large amount of countroversy across the country.  This week, 15 United States Senators wrote to the EPA opposing the proposed rule.  [Read article here.]


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