• August 29, 2014

    Keystone XL's Fate May Hinge On Neb. Supreme Court Ruling

    The Nebraska Supreme Court has set a Sept. 5 hearing to consider the state’s challenge to a decision striking down a law that authorizes the governor to approve the route for the Keystone XL pipeline — a case the Obama administration has said will have a huge impact on whether the controversial project can move forward.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas High Court To Let Jury Resolve Enbridge Pipe Damages

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a jury should determine whether the damage to a couple’s property by Enbridge Pipelines East Texas LP is temporary or permanent and then calculate damages for the couple based on that finding, according to a decision that reversed the appellate court’s finding.

  • August 29, 2014

    Exxon Ruling Gives Employers More Leeway In Bonus Plans

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld an Exxon Mobil Corp. plan that stripped a top executive of $5 million in nonvested stock rights when he joined a rival energy firm, paving the way for more employers to use incentive plans to keep top talent in place without running afoul of the state's noncompete laws.

  • August 29, 2014

    IPO Filings Soar In Late-August Heat

    Initial public offering activity was back in action this week with 13 companies packing into the pipeline, including a slew of biotech firms, a Blackstone Group LP-backed solar energy firm and a real estate investment trust that may make the largest debut of its kind.

  • August 29, 2014

    Wind Co. Seeks Sanctions Over 'Frivolous' Antitrust Appeal

    Gamesa Wind US urged the Seventh Circuit on Thursday to hit a wind turbine maintenance company with sanctions for attempting to appeal a dismissal of antitrust counterclaims that it had argued were too weak for federal jurisdiction, claiming it was well-deserving of attorneys’ fees for the “frivolous” appeal.

  • August 29, 2014

    FERC Nominee Could Help Mend Fences With States

    With a pragmatic reputation as Arkansas' top utility regulator and head of the national umbrella group for state utility chiefs, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee Colette Honorable could help mend frayed relations between the commission and states over electric grid policy, including FERC's controversial transmission planning rule, experts say.

  • August 29, 2014

    US, Myanmar Broker $480M PE-Backed Solar Project

    New York-based private equity firm ACO Investment Group will partner with Myanmar to develop an approximately $480 million solar energy project in the Southeast Asian nation, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Thursday as part of the U.S.’ ongoing efforts to attract investment and trade with Myanmar.

  • August 29, 2014

    Energy Groups Challenge EPA Carbon Solid Waste Regulation

    Three energy groups on Thursday urged the D.C. Circuit to reject an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation calling carbon dioxide emissions “solid waste” when transported in pipelines and stored in geological formation, arguing the rule contradicts Congress' intent. 

  • August 29, 2014

    Oil Cleanup Is Covered Despite Settlement, Texas Court Says

    A Texas appeals court ruled Friday that Plantation Pipe Line Co. didn’t forfeit excess coverage purchased from Highlands Insurance Co. by settling coverage claims stemming from a 1975 oil leak against its lower-level insurers for less than the full limits of those policies, reversing a lower court decision.

  • August 29, 2014

    WTO Dispute Roundup: Rare Earth, Energy Rows Cool Down

    In Law360's latest rundown of the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body proceedings, members adopt reports faulting China's rare earth elements export barriers, Canada takes steps to settle a dispute over its green energy subsidies, and Antigua seeks peace in a years-long online gambling fight.

  • August 29, 2014

    HelioSage Energy Sells Portfolio Of 12 NC Solar Projects

    Utility-scale solar project developer HelioSage Energy announced Friday that it has sold for an undisclosed amount a portfolio of 12 finished and nearly finished solar facilities in eastern North Carolina that are expected to generate 100 million kilowatt-hours annually.

  • August 29, 2014

    Pa. DEP Details Water Contamination From Gas Drilling

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released data on Thursday showing that nearly 250 private water supplies across the state have been contaminated as a result of natural gas drilling since 2007.

  • August 29, 2014

    Brand Battles: Exxon Mobil, Frito-Lay, McDonald's

    In Law360's latest roundup of new actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Exxon Mobil keeps on enforcing its interlocking XX design, Frito-Lay is displeased with a marketing firm called "Crackerjack," and McDonald's files appeals after losing a bid to register its restaurant facades.

  • August 29, 2014

    US Agrees To GHG Review In Colo., But Enviros Want More

    The federal government on Wednesday told a Colorado federal judge it will analyze the cost of greenhouse gas emissions related to an Arch Coal Inc. lease exploration plan, ignoring environmentalists’ demand that such analyses be incorporated more broadly.

  • August 29, 2014

    $2.8B Duke Sale Promises More Merchant Power Exits

    Duke Energy Corp.’s recently-announced $2.8 billion sale of its Midwest merchant generation and retail businesses to Dynegy Inc. is the latest deal to signal a retreat by traditional utilities from the unregulated space, which experts say will spur consolidation in the merchant power sector and create more opportunities for private equity firms and other nontraditional power players.

  • August 29, 2014

    BLM Reopens Door To California Oil Leasing For Fracking

    The Bureau of Land Management is reopening the door for oil leasing in California with a new comprehensive strategy for the federal oil and gas program in the state based on a independent science review of fracking and related technologies, the agency announced Thursday.

  • August 29, 2014

    Duke Energy Indiana Proposes $1.9B Grid Upgrade Plan

    Duke Energy Indiana Inc. is proposing a seven-year, $1.9 billion plan to state utility regulators to modernize Indiana’s electric grid, with customers helping to foot the bill through rate increases, the company said Friday.

  • August 29, 2014

    Minn. Regulators Greenlight Enbridge Pipeline Expansion

    The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved the second phase of Enbridge Inc.'s planned expansion of the U.S. portion of its Alberta Clipper oil sands pipeline, part of a cross-border effort by the company to boost the pipeline's capacity.

  • August 28, 2014

    More Deals Expected This Fall As Economy Pushes M&A Surge

    The surge in mergers and acquisitions activity over the first half of the year is expected to continue into the fall, with more deals expected in the health care and telecommunications sectors, M&A attorneys say.

  • August 28, 2014

    Ampal-American Trustee Demands $39M From Ex-Brass

    The Chapter 7 trustee winding down energy investment holding company Ampal-American Israel Corp. lobbed a lawsuit on Wednesday demanding a combined $39 million from former executives who allegedly swung imprudent consulting and loan payments to the Ampal CEO’s Israeli firm.

Expert Analysis

  • Calif. Anti-Fracking Ordinances On Shaky Legal Ground

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    Compton’s hydraulic fracturing ban may implicate the Takings Clause of the U.S. and California Constitutions since fracking is meant to access energy resources that cannot otherwise be extracted from the underlying property — the ban could constitute a taking of private property without just compensation, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Nathaniel Johnson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • How To Protect In-House Legal Privilege Internationally

    Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch

    Many companies regularly communicate with in-house legal advisers all over the globe. Are these communications privileged? By answering five questions, companies and attorneys can perform a high-level, initial assessment of legal privilege protection in a multijurisdictional context, says Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch of De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Tracking Fracking: Where Is Ill. 1 Year Later?

    Lawrence W. Falbe

    While final hydraulic fracturing regulations in Illinois can reasonably expect approval by mid-October, the rules may be challenged on the basis that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources did not properly consider all public comments and revise them accordingly, say Lawrence Falbe and Sanford Stein of Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • Tales From The Dark Side Of Emerging Markets

    Kevin Atkins

    The challenges facing investors in emerging markets can increase exponentially when host governments are interventionist and prioritize nationalistic policies over the development of resource wealth, as seen in some transactions in the oil and gas sector, say Kevin Atkins and Rahwa Gebretnsaie of Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

  • As Climate Changes So Does Focus On Methane Emissions

    Andrew R. Wheeler

    Given that the Obama administration has focused almost entirely on carbon dioxide up until now, stakeholders should be prepared for the president to move quickly and aggressively to reduce methane emissions from the natural gas sector in the coming months, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Tax-Free REIT Spinoffs Could Be The Next Big Thing

    Thomas A. Humphreys

    Windstream Holdings Inc.’s recent tax-free real estate investment trust spinoff highlights an intriguing option for U.S. corporations — particularly those in the technology, telecommunications or utility sector — as the IRS continues to expand the range of “real estate” assets that can be held by an REIT, say Thomas Humphreys and Matthew Lau of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Russia's Commitment To Int'l Law Will Be Tested By Yukos

    Emmanuel Gaillard

    Whether the Russian Federation complies with the Permanent Court of Arbitration's final award — $50 billion — for its destruction of Yukos Oil Company will demonstrate the extent of the country's commitment to honoring international obligations and the rule of law, say Emmanuel Gaillard and Yas Banifatemi of Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • Tax Credit Timetable Should Lead The Way For Renewables

    John C. Crossley

    Developers in the renewable energy industry that are able to move quickly now have a clearer path forward for a number of projects that appeared quite risky prior to the recent release of additional guidance on production tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service, says John Crossley of Husch Blackwell LLP.