S&E: Hydraulic Fracturing

Speaker David Bates
Partner in the Energy Practice Group Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP David Bates is a partner in the Energy Practice Group at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston.  David has over 30 years of experience in the energy business, starting in 1981 with Exxon Corporation (now ExxonMobil).  He spent over sixteen ...

Partner in the Energy Practice Group Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP



David Bates is a partner in the Energy Practice Group at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston.  David has over 30 years of experience in the energy business, starting in 1981 with Exxon Corporation (now ExxonMobil).  He spent over sixteen years with ExxonMobil, including six years at their world headquarters in Irving.  Mr. Bates has been a partner at Gardere since 1999.  He specializes in litigation and trials with a focus on commercial upstream disputes and environmental matters.  He has tried many complex cases in state and federal court, as well as significant arbitrations on issues.  His upstream experience includes disputes related to large asset acquisitions such as title disputes, disputes over royalty calculations, and cases involving allegedly defective pipe, downhole pipe failures, contract interpretation disputes, and a variety of other matters.  In the environmental arena, he has handled dozens of oilfield contamination cases, superfund litigation, and regulatory disputes concerning groundwater and air contamination.  Recently, his practice has focused on issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing techniques and potential impacts to groundwater, including political developments in Congress and in state legislatures, review of regulatory developments in the key oil producing states, and emerging trends in litigation. 

Mr. Bates graduated from Northwestern University Law School and has an undergraduate degree from Knox College.  He is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Texas and before the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Tenth Circuits.  He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, the Houston Bar Association, and he is on the Advisory Board for the Institute for Energy Law. 

Full Description
Hydraulic fracturing has become a hot topic in the media and in political circles.  This  breakthrough technique is revolutionizing and revitalizing domestic onshore oil and gas production, potentially creating jobs, economic development, and stable, reliable sources of energy.  However, it is imperiled by fear and misperceptions in the public arena, particularly with respect to impacts to sources of drinking water.  States and local communities, particularly in the Northeast, are banning the practice, and environmental groups are calling for federal regulation of oil and gas development.  Our industry is in a battle for the hearts and minds of the people, and it important to understand the battlefield, where perception can be more important than reality.  David Bates will provide an overview of the issues and what is happening in Congress and state legislatures, at the Environmental Protection Agency and at key state regulatory agencies, and he will provide a survey of emerging litigation. 
Organizer Christa Henager