Energy RSS

  • April 22, 2014

    NJ Ethics Agency Backs Pinelands Pipeline Voter's Recusal

    New Jersey’s ethics watchdog got behind a Pinelands Commission attorney on Tuesday, saying she rightly recommended that a commissioner abstain from voting on an agreement to greenlight a $90 million natural gas pipeline, which resulted in a deadlocked vote and the agreement's rejection.

  • April 22, 2014

    Rail Industry Lagging On Oil Safety, Watchdog Warns

    National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah A. P. Hersman warned on Tuesday that the rail industry is falling behind on its oil shipping safety measures and said the usual negotiated rulemaking may be too slow to fix the problems.

  • April 22, 2014

    ETP Seeks $1B Judgment In Pipeline Partnership Fight

    Energy Transfer Partners LP on Monday asked a Texas state judge for a more than $1 billion judgment against Enterprise Products Partners LP after a jury found Enterprise breached a partnership agreement for a crude oil pipeline.

  • April 22, 2014

    Gas Rule Stalling Leaves Industry Playing Endless Catch-Up

    The Obama administration is once again several months late in issuing its yearly renewable fuels standard for gasoline, and attorneys say that tardiness will continue in the future, leaving refiners and the auto industry ignorant and scrambling as federal officials try to balance ambitious biofuel estimates with decreasing fuel demand.

  • April 22, 2014

    The Accidental Advocate: Judge John E. Jones III

    Pennsylvania Middle District Judge John E. Jones III talks to Law360 about the surreal aftermath of his divisive ruling against intelligent design as he prepares for yet another potentially explosive trial over Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban.

  • April 22, 2014

    OMB Greenlights Tougher Miners' Coal Dust Exposure Rule

    The U.S. Office of Management and Budget on Monday greenlighted a final rule to reducing the amount of coal dust to which miners can be exposed.

  • April 22, 2014

    State Climate Actions Stumble On Dormant Commerce Clause

    A recent ruling that a Minnesota emissions law effectively barring electricity use from new coal-fired power plants is unconstitutional is the latest example of the dormant Commerce Clause impeding states' ability to regulate climate change, and experts say such legal skirmishes will continue until the U.S. Supreme Court sets clear, constitutional boundaries for states' climate policies.

  • April 22, 2014

    Uphold New Keystone Route, Neb. Officials Tell High Court

    Nebraska officials on Monday urged the state's top court to toss a lower court ruling that nixed Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a new route for TransCanada Corp.'s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, saying it wrongly determined that the law giving him the power to do so was unconstitutional.

  • April 22, 2014

    Conn. Approves Wind Power Rules, Ending Moratorium

    Connecticut's Regulation Review Committee on Tuesday approved a set of guidelines for installing wind turbines in Connecticut, ending the one-and-a-half year moratorium on wind projects in the state.

  • April 22, 2014

    Jury Awards Texas Family $2.9M For Fracking Nuisance Claim

    A Texas jury on Tuesday awarded $2.925 million to a family who alleged they suffered health problems because of natural gas wells drilled in the Barnett Shale by Aruba Petroleum Inc. on neighboring property, finding Aruba intentionally created a private nuisance.

  • April 22, 2014

    DOE Allots $34M To Keep USEC Uranium Project Afloat

    A uranium enrichment project in Piketon, Ohio, may continue through the end of September, running on $34.1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy as the parent company USEC Inc. undergoes Chapter 11 proceedings, according to a Friday motion in Delaware bankruptcy court.

  • April 22, 2014

    Enviros Press EPA On Aviation Gasoline Limits

    A trio of environmental groups on Tuesday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose limits on leaded aviation gasoline, which they say can harm humans and the earth.

  • April 22, 2014

    XTO Loses Bid For More Info On Fracking Spill Prosecution

    A Pennsylvania state judge on Thursday denied a request by XTO Energy Inc. to uncover details about the state’s case against it in a prosecution stemming from the Exxon-Mobil Corp. unit’s alleged spill of more than 50,000 gallons of toxic wastewater from a Marcellus Shale gas well site.

  • April 22, 2014

    Pa. Court Urged To End PUC's Local Fracking Law Review

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's landmark December decision gutting a law establishing uniform rules for the oil and gas industry should also bar the state Public Utility Commission from reviewing local zoning ordinances aimed at regulating drilling activity, the law's opponents argued in court filings Monday.

  • April 22, 2014

    Claims Against BP, Home Depot Pared In Solar Panel Row

    A California federal judge on Monday trimmed state residents' proposed class action alleging Home Depot USA Inc. and defunct BP Solar International Inc. sold defective solar panels, dismissing claims for breach of warranty because the defects manifested after the warranty period.

  • April 21, 2014

    ERG Wants Rival Buyer Back In $100M Suit Over Lost Deal

    Independent oil and gas operator ERG Resources LLC told the Texas Supreme Court on Friday that a Canadian rival has a sufficient connection to the state to subject it to a $100 million suit over the companies’ battle to acquire a Nabors Industries Ltd. subsidiary.

  • April 21, 2014

    IMF Vows To Study Energy Taxes, Tax Harmonization In Asia

    A top International Monetary Fund official pledged Monday that the organization will take a deeper look at the harmonization and administration of taxes among Asian counties, as well as the taxation of energy sources such as coal and natural gas.

  • April 21, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: AstraZeneca, Barrick Gold, Charter

    Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, held informal, now-closed discussions to possibly take over AstraZeneca for as much as $101 billion, while a potential merger between the world's largest gold mining companies, Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining, have halted amid minor disagreements but are not over just yet.

  • April 21, 2014

    PG&E Arraigned On Charges Tied To Fatal Pipeline Blast

    Utility company Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was arraigned Monday in California federal court on criminal charges related to alleged safety violations on a natural gas pipeline that exploded outside San Francisco in 2010, killing eight people.

  • April 21, 2014

    Hess To Pay $33M To Settle NJ MBTE Litigation

    Hess Corp. and related entities have agreed to pay $33.5 million to settle a New Jersey environmental regulator's lawsuit in New York federal court that accused dozens of companies of contaminating state waters with a gasoline additive, according to a notice Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • Mandatory Pro Bono Is Not The Answer For Practitioners

     Amanda D. Smith

    The State Bar of California has decided to follow New York's lead and require prospective attorneys to record 50 hours of pro bono service in order to be eligible for admission. While we applaud the intentions behind these initiatives, there are a number of reasons why state bars should limit any mandatory pro bono requirement to this context, rather than extend it to licensed attorneys as some have suggested, say attorneys with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Earth Day And The Evolution Of Environmental Law

    Timothy J. Bergere

    Since 1970, environmental lawyers have been immersed in a myriad of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, beginning with the National Environmental Policy Act. As the movement has grown, Earth Day has become a placeholder for the idea that we can better manage our environment, and in the legal community, it reminds us that we must continue advancing the law with the goal of a cleaner environment in mind, says Timothy Bergere of Montgomery McCracken Walker Rhoads LLP.

  • Proper Economic Analysis In Anti-Kickback Statute Cases

    Sophie Yang

    Economic analyses in cases involving the Anti-Kickback Statute require careful evaluation of the market outcome. Analysts need to isolate and measure the effect of any intent to induce from the impact of other market factors. Then, the analysis can be used by the court for the interpretation and application of the Anti-Kickback Statute, say Sophie Yang and Bernard Ford of Navigant Consulting Inc.

  • Potential Pitfalls To Avoid In Drilling Provisions

    David B. Hatch

    Oftentimes with oil and gas leases, a continuous drilling provision, which allows for a temporary cessation of production without automatically resulting in the termination of a lease beyond its primary term, goes overlooked. Based on case law, only one thing appears to be consistent — whether a cessation of production is temporary is a question of fact that depends on the individual circumstances, says David Hatch of Holland & Hart LLP.

  • The Future Of Law Firm PR: The Good, Bad And Ugly

    Paul Webb

    There has been a dramatic change in how public relations professionals interact with the news media to promote or protect a law firm’s brand and reputation. But content is queen and has a bright future in law firm PR — it all begins with a plan that should include goals, performance indicators and a system of assessment, say Paul Webb, director of marketing at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP, and Kathy O'Brien, senior vice president at Jaffe PR.

  • 'Venting And Flaring' Rule May Spur EPA Regs On Methane

    Luke D. Johnson

    While the Bureau of Land Management's venting and flaring rule may be focused on the government's possible loss of resources from the energy industry's use of public land, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can be expected to focus more directly on methane itself. Potential regulations should be on the industry's radar, whether suppliers are operating on federal land or not, says Luke Johnson, a policy director with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP and former BLM deputy director for policy and programs.

  • CFTC Data Will Be A Powerful Tool For FERC Enforcement

    Terry S. Arbit

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently signed two long-awaited memoranda of understanding, the lower-profile information-sharing one, which provides FERC with “large trader data” in the CFTC’s possession, being the more significant. Regulators achieved a significant victory by including surveillance purposes in the memo — it was a long time coming and provides FERC with a potent tool for surveilling the natural gas and power markets, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Sweet Or Sour Development? EPA Tightens Tier 3 Gas Program

    Brenna K. Finn

    Gasoline sulfur levels have dropped up to 90 percent from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 2 Gasoline Sulfur Program, and the EPA's recently issued notice for the Tier 3 Program will further reduce gasoline sulfur content. However, it does not take much for a refinery to exceed the 10 ppm sulfur standard, and a stronger incentive may exist for refiners to generate and bank credits for their own future use, say Laura Riese and Brenna Finn of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP.

  • Reading Between The Whistleblower Headlines

    Shanti Atkins

    The meteoric media rise of the “celebrity” whistleblower has shone a spotlight on the practice, with personalities such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden dividing public opinion on the ethics of spilling secrets. But organizations should pay close attention to the surge in this trend beyond the headlines. Remember, whistleblowers don’t need to be popular to be effective, and opinions on their motives and morality are entirely secondary to the critical issues they potentially uncover, says Shanti Atkins of Navex Global.

  • Heartbleed Rains On The Legal Cloud Parade

    David Houlihan

    While the actual breaches are unknown, Heartbleed has the potential to expose all of a lawyer's files stored or transmitted online. The bug raises professional responsibility questions and offers confirmation of the greatest anxieties that the legal industry has about online practice. In fact, the timing is poor for many legal tech providers, following a general industry warming to cloud offerings, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.