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Ross Pifer

Ross Pifer
(814) 865-3723

LL.M., University of Arkansas
J.D., The Dickinson School of Law
B.S., Penn State

Professor Ross Pifer’s research focuses on shale gas development and the interface between agricultural and residential development. He has been an attorney with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel, and he has advised military personnel and commands in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany while on active duty with the U.S. Army JAG Corps at the Netherlands Law Center. He has presented widely throughout Pennsylvania, as well as nationally and internationally, on shale gas and agricultural law topics to audiences comprised of judges, attorneys, legislators, government officials, landowners, and the general public. 

Law Review Articles

What a Short, Strange Trip It’s Been: Moving Forward after Five Years of Marcellus Shale Development, 72 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 615 (2011)
Drake Meets Marcellus: A Review of Pennsylvania Case Law Upon the Sesquicentennial of the Oil and Gas Industry,”6 U. Tex. J. Oil, Gas, & Energy L. 47 (2010-2011)
Federal Legal and Regulatory Developments Relating to U.S. Pipeline Industry, 7 Tex. A&M J. Prop. L. 495 (2021)
Recent Developments in Pennsylvania Jurisprudence Relating to Oil and Gas Leasing and Conveyancing, Tex. A&M J. Prop. L. 162 (2020)

“The Agriculture, Communities and Rural Environment Act: Protecting Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Operations from Unlawful Municipal Regulation,” 15 Drake J. Agric. L. 109 (2010)

Book Chapters/Essays

"State and Federal Laws that Apply to Farm Labor, in Penn State Cooperative Extension," Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide 2020-2021 (2020)

Historical Background of Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Law, in The Law of Oil and Gas in Pennsylvania (2d ed. 2016)

Preparing Pennsylvania for a Post-Shale Future, in Delivering Energy Law and Policy in the EU and the US: A Reader 338 (Raphael J. Heffron & Gavin F. M. Little eds., 2016

“Should the European Union Proceed with the Implementation of New GMO Rules?,” FDLI’s Food and Drug Policy Forum, Volume 1, Issue 2 (Jan. 26, 2011)

“The Impact of Drilling on Surface Owner Rights,” Best of the Oil & Gas Law Colloquium (Pa. Bar Institute, Jan. 2011)

“Understanding Negligence Liability Against Rural Landowners,” Pioneer GrowingPoint Magazine (July 2010)

“The Rule of Capture in Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Law,” Oil & Gas Law Colloquium (Pa. Bar Institute 2009)

Invited Legislative Testimony

State Regulation of Dairy Pricing and the Dormant Commerce Clause,Informational Hearing on the Transparency of Dairy Pricing, Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (Dec. 9, 2009)

Legal Issues Impacting Landowners, Informational Hearing on the Marcellus Shale Play, Pennsylvania House of Representatives Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (Apr. 15, 2009)


Delaware River Basin Commission Finalizes Regulations Prohibiting High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Operations Within River Basin, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Natural Resources Law Network (2021)

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules that Claim of Trespass by Hydraulic Fracturing is Not Precluded by Rule of Capture, Pa. Bar Association Shale Energy Law Comm. Newsl., Spring 2018

EPA Releases Its Final Report on Impacts from the Hydraulic Fracturing Water Cycle on Drinking Water Resources in the United States, Pa. Bar Association Shale Energy Law Comm. Newsl., Spring 2017 (with Chloe J. Marie)

Pennsylvania Senate Passes Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Protection Package, Pa. Bar Association Shale Energy Law Comm. Newsl., Spring 2017 (with Chloe J. Marie)