Powder River Basin Res. Council v. Wyo. Oil & Gas Conservation Comm’n

Recently-adopted regulations required companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing to disclose the chemical compounds used in the process to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Appellants sought from the Commission disclosure of certain chemicals used in several companies’ hydraulic fracturing products. The Commission Supervisor refused to disclose the information, concluding that it was exempt from public disclosure as trade secrets under the Wyoming Public Records Act (WPRA). Appellants sought review of the Supervisor’s decision. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding (1) the district court did not have the authority to evaluate the Supervisor’s decision using an administrative standard of review, and rather, should have used the procedures specified in the WPRA; and (2) the definition of a trade secret under the WPRA is the one articulated by federal courts under the Freedom of Information Act. View "Powder River Basin Res. Council v. Wyo. Oil & Gas Conservation Comm’n" on Justia Law