• May 26, 2015

    Coal Power Reductions To Double Under Clean Power Plan

    The amount of coal-fired power reduced over the next 15 years will more than double under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to an analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

  • May 26, 2015

    Unsecured EFH Creditors Blast Exclusivity Extension Bid

    The unsecured creditors committee for one of Energy Future Holdings Corp.’s two major divisions argued Tuesday that the debtor should only remain in exclusive control of its Chapter 11 case until August, suggesting the units could reorganize under separate plans instead of one overarching strategy. 

  • May 26, 2015

    Houston Urges 5th Circ. To Revive $641M Exxon Pollution Suit

    The city of Houston on Friday threw its weight behind environmental groups’ bid to revive a $641 million suit against Exxon Mobil Corp. over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, urging the Fifth Circuit to reverse a lower court’s “errors of law.”

  • May 26, 2015

    Former Sen. Landrieu Joins Van Ness' Public Policy Team

    Former Senator Mary Landrieu joined Van Ness Feldman LLP on Tuesday as a senior policy adviser focusing on energy, natural resources and infrastructure.

  • May 26, 2015

    Tribe Says It Can't 'Out-Bribe' Donziger In Ecuador Court

    Indigenous Ecuadoreans seeking a share of a $9.5 billion pollution-related judgment that attorney Steven Donziger helped secure against Chevron Corp. told a New York appeals court Tuesday to keep the case in-state and not send it to the Ecuador court he allegedly bribed.

  • May 26, 2015

    Ex-Freedom Prez Moves To DQ Entire US Attorneys' Office

    The former president of Freedom Industries Inc. is once again questioning his ability to receive a fair trial in southern West Virginia, telling a federal judge that responses he received from the prosecutors overseeing his criminal case indicate that the entire U.S. attorneys’ office should be disqualified for bias.

  • May 26, 2015

    Chesapeake Says $5B Rico Suit Blocked By Pa. Precedent

    Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Friday asked a Pennsylvania federal judge to dismiss a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act suit brought by more than 90 owners of royalty interests in natural gas alleging $5 billion in damages, saying a Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent blocks the claims.

  • May 26, 2015

    Wachtell Blasts CVR's 'Illogical' Bid To Save Malpractice Suit

    Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz has again urged a New York federal judge to toss a malpractice suit brought against it by CVR Energy Inc. and activist investor Carl Icahn, calling their reason why a state court’s dismissal of a parallel action should not halt the federal case “illogical."

  • May 26, 2015

    SEC Gets Injunction Against Oil Co. Exec In Fraud Case

    A Texas federal judge approved a mutually agreed upon request for a preliminary injunction Tuesday against a petroleum company and its owner, who the Securities and Exchange Commission claims fraudulently sold securities to investors for a drilling project in the Dakotas and Montana.

  • May 26, 2015

    GSA Must Review Wind Farm’s Enviro Exemption, Judge Says

    An Illinois federal judge has said the U.S. General Services Administration did not consider possible environmental consequences in finding a proposed tribe-backed wind farm qualifies for an exemption from a federal environmental review.

  • May 26, 2015

    DOI Won't Revisit Pipeline Right-Of-Way Grant On Tribal Land

    A U.S. Department of the Interior panel has refused to reconsider its affirmation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' right-of-way renewal for Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC across land on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, ruling a minority interest holder had not given enough reason to revisit the decision.

  • May 26, 2015

    Utility Asks 7th Circ. To Revive $70M Enviro Cleanup Suit

    A Chicago gas utility urged the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday to overturn a decision that gutted its suit to recoup some of the $70 million it spent cleaning up a coke plant turned Superfund site, arguing that a nearly century-old contract didn’t release the plant’s former operator from environmental liability.

  • May 26, 2015

    Ariz. Uranium Mine To Stay Open As Tribe, Enviros Appeal

    An Arizona federal judge Tuesday refused to grant the Havasupai Tribe’s motion to block progress on a uranium mining project while the Ninth Circuit considers its appeal of a ruling greenlighting the mine, saying the tribe’s alleged hardships didn’t outweigh the company’s.

  • May 26, 2015

    FERC Proposes Regs To Assess Grid's Solar Flare Risk

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday published proposed regulations for transmission companies to assess their portion of the electric grid’s vulnerability in the event of changes in the Earth’s magnetic fields due to the sun ejecting charged particles.

  • May 26, 2015

    DOJ Drops Oil Co. FCPA Investigation, Citing Cooperation

    Oil and gas startup Hyperdynamics Corp. said in a regulatory filing last week that the U.S. Department of Justice had ended a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation into the company without bringing charges, which could stop short a pending class action against the company.

  • May 26, 2015

    Outlawing City Fracking Bans In Okla. Now Up To Governor

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is to decide on a controversial new bill banning cities and counties in the state from regulating hydraulic fracturing within their borders, just one week after similar legislation was signed into law in Texas.

  • May 26, 2015

    PE-Backed Gener8 Maritime Floats $100M IPO

    Private equity-backed, New York-based oil tanker operator Gener8 Maritime Inc. has filed plans for a $100 million initial public offering, the second such company to plan an IPO this month after navigating through Chapter 11.

  • May 26, 2015

    High Court Won't Hear FirstEnergy $250M Rate Hike Appeal

    The U.S. Supreme Court, in an order published Tuesday, denied two FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiaries review of their suit against a Pennsylvania regulator they accused of usurping federal authority after blocking them from billing customers to recoup $250 million in lost electricity.

  • May 26, 2015

    5 Insights From CBRE General Counsel Laurence Midler

    We keep a close eye on issues regarding conflicts of interest, professional negligence, privacy and trade secrets, as well as specific areas of employment. These topics are all germane to how CBRE operates its business, says Laurence Midler, executive vice president and general counsel at CBRE Group Inc.

  • May 22, 2015

    Ex-Mass. Utilities Atty Joins Regulators Group As Asst. GC

    The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has hired a former Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities attorney to serve as assistant general counsel to represent the association on energy matters, the group announced recently.

Expert Analysis

  • Iran Nuclear Deal Review Act Won't End Sanctions Debate

    Michael E. Zolandz

    On May 22, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Although the act is now law, the tussle between legislative and executive prerogatives with respect to the Iranian sanctions regime will likely continue, say attorneys at Dentons LLP.

  • The Future Is Now: Next-Gen Enforcement At The EPA

    Granta Nakayama

    Given that resource constraints are likely to remain at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Next-Generation enforcement is here to stay, certainly in the near-term. Recent agency memorandum and the Tonawanda Coke Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. settlements make clear that the EPA is committed to incorporating Next-Gen compliance tools in civil settlements, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • What Was Wrong With BHP Billiton's Compliance Program

    Lisa Prager

    Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell recently reiterated a common theme from enforcement agencies — having a written compliance program on paper is not sufficient. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's settlement with BHP Billiton Ltd. for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations is the quintessential case in point, say attorneys with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • No Consensus On CEQ Draft Guidance For NEPA Reviews

    Elizabeth A. Lake

    Despite its intended goal of reducing "litigation driven by uncertainty," the White House Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance regarding National Environmental Policy Act reviews avoids providing direction on determining when greenhouse gases and climate change impacts are significant, and its consideration of upstream and downstream impacts is particularly vague, says Elizabeth Lake of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Smart Grids Require Smarter Utilities: Preventing Breaches

    Jeremy Susac

    Although programmable, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats may significantly reduce energy costs, they may inadvertently increase utilities’ exposure to liability and lawsuits by creating a vulnerability that leads to a data breach. Utilities should take steps to mitigate their risk through a Prevent Energy Breach And Liability Agreement or a cyber captive insurance program, say Jeremy Susac and Steven Weber of Berger Singerman LLP.

  • Tips For Protecting Intellectual Property In The Oil Patch

    Stephen Stein

    Whether oil prices are rising or falling, the vulnerability to intellectual property litigation is a critical issue for energy providers in the U.S. and across the globe. And it is important to recognize that patents are not the only IP consideration for an industry that spends billions of dollars annually on research and development needs, says Stephen Stein of Thompson & Knight LLP.

  • DOJ Is Trying To Show Benefits Of Corporate Cooperation

    Ryan Rohlfsen

    Recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases and commentary from U.S. Department of Justice officials illustrate possible costs, benefits and pitfalls in the disclosure and cooperation calculation, say Ryan Rohlfsen and David Nordsieck of Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Considering Competitive Transmission Solicitation Options

    Matthew R. McGuire

    Unlike other regional transmission organizations and independent system operators that identify the transmission project to be built and then solicit bids for who will construct it, PJM Interconnection LLC identifies issues with the transmission system and solicits proposals to resolve them. This solutions-based model likely yields more creative ideas, but at the cost of a more complex competitive solicitation model, says Matthew M... (continued)

  • Colo. Lone Pine Case Is Setback For Fracking

    Carl J. Pernicone

    After the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling in Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley, hydraulic fracturing defendants are likely to see an increase in defense costs, fewer dismissals and fewer early settlements. Had it won, industry could have used the decision to secure early dismissals of fracking suits or, at minimum, force plaintiffs to choose — and stick with — a case theory, say attorneys at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

  • How Are Texas Oil And Gas Cos. Faring In China?

    Greg Krafka

    The sheer size and growth in China’s energy sector over the past few decades demands attention, as do the energy policies of the country's government to influence development. Greg Krafka of Winstead PC explores how Texas-based oil and gas companies are faring in China and discusses the major challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.