• October 8, 2015

    Jury Clears National Oilwell Of Employee Racism Claims

    A Texas federal jury on Tuesday returned a verdict in favor of National Oilwell Varco LP in an employment discrimination suit launched by eight African-Americans seeking $120 million for alleged acts of retaliation and a hostile work environment where, they said, racial slurs were commonplace.

  • October 8, 2015

    Jackson Walker Hit With DQ Bid In Energy Contract Spat

    Japanese banking giant Sumitomo urged a Texas federal court Wednesday to disqualify Jackson Walker LLP from representing a Texas utility in its contract dispute with a wind farm operator, arguing the law firm's previous representation of the bank created a conflict of interest.

  • October 8, 2015

    Carlyle Power Pays Entergy $490M For R.I. Gas Plant

    Carlyle Power Partners, a unit of private equity giant The Carlyle Group LP, has agreed to pay roughly $490 million to acquire a 583-megawatt Rhode Island natural gas-fired power plant from Entergy Corp., the companies said on Thursday.

  • October 8, 2015

    White House Threatens To Veto Oil Export Legislation

    The White House on Wednesday voiced its fervent opposition to a bill lifting the decades-old ban on oil exports that is due for congressional consideration this week, warning lawmakers that President Barack Obama is prepared to veto the legislation if it arrives on his desk.

  • October 8, 2015

    Rice Energy, Gulfport Energy Plan $640M Utica Shale Gas JV

    Oil and gas independents Rice Energy Inc. and Gulfport Energy Corp. on Thursday said that they are forming a joint venture that will spend $640 million on developing natural gas gathering and water services assets to support Gulfport's gas drilling in Ohio's Utica Shale.

  • October 8, 2015

    Talen Energy Reaps $1.5B From PA Power Plant Sales

    Talen Energy Corp., the merchant power company created by energy-focused private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC and the spunoff merchant unit of utility giant PPL Corp., said Thursday that it's selling three Pennsylvania power plants for a combined $1.51 billion in order to satisfy divestment requirements from federal regulators.

  • October 7, 2015

    Calif. Gov. Signs Landmark Renewable Energy Bill

    Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Wednesday a bill referred to as the nation’s most far-reaching climate change legislation, requiring the state’s utilities to obtain at least half of their electricity from renewable energy sources within 15 years.

  • October 7, 2015

    14 States Demand Info From EPA On Power Plant Rule Delay

    Fourteen states on Tuesday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to explain why its new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants has not yet been published in the Federal Register, which is needed before legal challenges can be brought against it.

  • October 7, 2015

    Arctic Drilling Will Hardly Impact Walrus, 9th Circ. Told

    The federal government asked the Ninth Circuit to toss a challenge to the authorization to harm Pacific walruses during Arctic oil and gas explorations, saying Tuesday such activity will result in “negligible” impacts to the species.

  • October 7, 2015

    Citgo Can't Drop Oil Spill Payouts, La. Appeals Court Says

    A Louisiana appeals court rejected Citgo's bid to reduce judgments in favor of 15 workers who were sickened by a 2006 oil spill at the company's Calcasieu Parish refinery, finding the evidence supported the amount of each worker's award on Wednesday.

  • October 7, 2015

    Marathon Not Liable In Oilfield Nuisance Suit, Court Affirms

    A Texas appeals court affirmed Wednesday that homeowners who accused Marathon Oil and a production company of damaging their health and property by negligently operating nearby oilfields, allowing noxious odors to migrate onto their land and damaging their home's foundation, hadn't backed their claims with sufficient evidence.

  • October 7, 2015

    $1B NJ Pipeline Proposal Shores Up Support From Unions

    The proposal for an estimated $1 billion pipeline that would carry Bakken Shale oil though New Jersey and New York has shored up support from a coalition of unions and business groups, tempering the largely critical reception the plan has drawn so far.

  • October 7, 2015

    Business Owners To Appeal Oil Refinery Suit To 6th Circ.

    A group of Detroit business owners on Wednesday told a Michigan federal court that they would be appealing the court’s decision to dismiss their case accusing Marathon Petroleum Co. of maliciously interfering with their business operations and increasing air pollution to the Sixth Circuit.

  • October 7, 2015

    Enviros Pushes DC Circ. To Hear Diablo Canyon Permit Suit

    Environmentalists have asked the D.C. Circuit to reactivate their suit challenging purported operating license changes for Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California, saying that, despite a pending administrative process, the court can still hear the case.

  • October 7, 2015

    Pa. House Defeats Gov.'s Natural Gas, Income Tax Proposals

    A plan put forward by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to enact a severance tax on natural gas drillers and boost the levy on personal income in the state was defeated in the state’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday.

  • October 7, 2015

    Canadian Oil Sands Adopts Poison Pill To Combat Suncor Bid

    Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. has adopted a so-called poison pill plan to counter a recent CA$4.3 billion ($3.3 billion) hostile takeover bid by rival Suncor Energy Inc., or any other such bids, the company announced Wednesday.

  • October 7, 2015

    5th Circ. Won't Wade Into $185M Petrobras Chain Defect Row

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday shot down an attempt by Petrobras America and its insurers to overturn a ruling that blocked them from adding to claims that faulty underwater chains broke and caused $185 million in damage to an oil facility, calling the appeal "premature."

  • October 7, 2015

    Ex-Massey Energy CEO Loses Bid To Transfer Criminal Case

    A West Virginia federal judge on Wednesday refused an attempt by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to transfer the federal government’s criminal case accusing him of driving safety violations before an explosion killed 29 people at a mine.

  • October 7, 2015

    Land Heirs Fight 'Title-Washing' At Pa. Supreme Court

    Heirs to 406 Pennsylvania acres acquired in 1894 ripped a ruling dispossessing them of the parcel's oil and gas rights, telling the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday that the trial court ignored the plain language of a law governing tax sales.

  • October 7, 2015

    Old Deed Can't Alter Gas Lease, Anadarko Tells Pa. Justices

    An Anadarko unit on Wednesday pushed the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to preserve a lower court finding that gas lease agreements remain valid in their original form even after the discovery of deed restrictions that must be resolved through legal action.

Expert Analysis

  • Calculating Damages In Securities Contract Breach Cases

    Marcia Kramer Mayer

    A Florida state court decision in Kozel v. Kozel, involving Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. founder Todd Kozel, joins a long line of authority developed in multiple states over the last 38 years that provides a predictable and objective method to compute damages for delayed delivery of stock, say members of NERA Economic Consulting and Fisher & Bendeck PL.

  • Migratory Birds Of A Feather Don't Always Flock Together

    Laura G. Zagar

    The scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act's take prohibition has become a key issue in the energy industry, both in the criminal and civil context, and the Fifth Circuit's ruling in United States v. Citgo Petroleum Co. that the MBTA's take prohibition is limited to only intentional take of migratory birds further widens a circuit split and perpetuates regulatory uncertainty, say attorneys at Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Fall Of Fracking Rule: When Agencies Don’t Consult Tribes

    Troy A. Eid

    A Wyoming federal judge's recent decision enjoining, on a nationwide basis, the Bureau of Land Management from enforcing its final rule related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands marks a milestone in using lack of tribal consultation as a sword in litigation, says Troy Eid, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP and former U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado.

  • Can Calif. Gov. Still Hit His Climate Change Goals?

    While the California Legislature's failure to pass S.B. 32 and amendments to S.B. 350 and A.B. 1288 have been noted by some commentators as setbacks for Gov. Jerry Brown's environmental and energy agenda, the governor may be able to achieve his original goals through the Air Resources Board, say attorneys at Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • 5 Things Clients Never Tell Their Lawyers


    Given the times we live in, it is almost inevitable that everyone will, sooner or later, need to consult with legal counsel. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to discuss a few things that clients just won't tell their lawyers, says Francis Drelling, general counsel of Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • Looking At The EPA's Balance Of Interests In Ozone Rule

    Thomas A. Lorenzen

    Litigation over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's lowering of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone will likely focus on whether the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously. The key question will be whether the standard is "requisite" — that is, sufficient without going too far — to protect public health with an "adequate" margin of safety, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Is There A New Paradigm For ESA Species Listings?

    M. Benjamin Cowan

    In its decision to list the greater sage-grouse as "not warranted" for protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may have found a strategy that will encourage the use of voluntary conservation plans while avoiding the conundrum presented by the lesser prairie chicken case, say M. Benjamin Cowan and Andrew Davitt of Locke Lord LLP.

  • In Congress: Energy, Budget, Boehner's Replacement

    Richard A. Hertling

    Budget negotiations and a House leadership election will consume much of the attention on Capitol Hill this week, following successful enactment of a continuing resolution to fund the government into December. Meanwhile, Speaker Boehner's recent announcement has set off a scramble in the Republican caucus of members eager to assume leadership posts for the remainder of the 114th Congress and beyond, say members of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • EFH Bankruptcy Yet To Face Its Biggest Hurdles

    Benjamin D. Feder

    Energy Future Holdings has cleared all of the preliminary hurdles in its path as it moves toward the confirmation of its plan of reorganization. But EFH has reached this point mainly by successfully deferring the battle on certain crucial issues, says Benjamin Feder of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • An Era Of Arctic Oil Exploration, Upended

    Joseph S. Kakesh

    After seven years of preparation, litigation and billions of dollars invested, Royal Dutch Shell PLC's recent decision to abandon its exploration program in the U.S. Arctic “for the foreseeable future” marks a pause — not the end — of a new era of Arctic oil and gas exploration. While oil prices weaken and dates change, litigation over the future of the Chukchi Sea rages on, say Joseph Kakesh and Steven Richardson of Wiley Rein LLP.