• May 29, 2015

    Army Corps Scores 10th Circ. Win In Keystone XL Permit Row

    The Tenth Circuit on Friday said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not flout federal environmental laws by issuing the permit and verification letters TransCanada Corp. relied on to build the southern portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, tossing a challenge from three environmental groups.

  • May 29, 2015

    Cape Wind Deadline Halted While Mass. Mulls Extension

    Massachusetts has temporarily extended the construction deadline for a $2.6 billion offshore project known as Cape Wind, giving the state's energy siting board more time to consider the embattled project's request for a two-year extension, officials said Friday.

  • May 29, 2015

    Bankruptcy Attorneys Should Fear Baker Botts Fee Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court could deliver bankruptcy practitioners a major blow if the justices determine attorneys shouldn't be reimbursed for defending fee applications in a case involving megafirm Baker Botts LLP, an outcome that would make it more difficult for bankruptcy attorneys to get paid fair rates and would give adversaries powerful negotiating leverage.

  • May 29, 2015

    Alaska LNG Export Project Gets Conditional DOE Approval

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that it has conditionally authorized the Alaska LNG Project LLC to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas to countries that don't have a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.

  • May 29, 2015

    New Pa. Task Force Heralds Emerging Pipeline Fight

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement Wednesday of a task force on pipelines acknowledges the emerging fight between the natural gas industry and environmentalists on the subject, but experts told Law360 that a public focus on concerns like safety and access could help neutralize much opposition.

  • May 29, 2015

    US Blasts BP's Appeal To High Court Over Oil Spill Liability

    The U.S. told the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s appeal of the Fifth Circuit's finding that BP and another oil company are liable for civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  • May 29, 2015

    4 IPOs Eye $552M To Start June After Brief Slowdown

    June is set to start off with something of a bang as four companies — a master limited partnership, a private equity-backed health care analytics firm, a medical device maker and a specialty tea retailer — look to raise a total of $552 million during the first week of the month, ending a brief drop-off in initial public offering activity.

  • May 29, 2015

    8th Circ. Keeps Utility's $32M Reservoir Failure Suit In NY

    The Eighth Circuit on Friday said a $32 million fight between an Ameren Corp. utility and insurer Energy Insurance Mutual Ltd. over coverage for a catastrophic reservoir wall collapse should be tried in New York federal court, upholding a district court's decision.

  • May 29, 2015

    Ex-BP Exec Wants Congressional Staffers Cut From Trial

    A former BP PLC executive facing criminal charges for allegedly obstructing a congressional investigation into the Deepwater Horizon disaster asked a Louisiana federal judge Friday to exclude all testimony from four congressional staffers, saying if they testify, he won't be able to effectively cross-examine them.

  • May 29, 2015

    DOT Extends Crude Oil Train Safety Order Indefinitely

    The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration indefinitely extended an emergency order Thursday requiring railway operators to inform state emergency responder’s when they’ll be carrying large shipments of Bakken crude oil.

  • May 29, 2015

    Wis. Tribe Wins Waste-To-Energy Plant Permit Dispute

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday rejected allegations that an Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin subsidiary misled Green Bay officials over a proposed waste-to-energy plant, finding the city erred in revoking the controversial project’s conditional use permit.

  • May 29, 2015

    Feds Argue No Prejudice In Suit Against Freedom Execs

    The United States attorneys overseeing the prosecution of two former Freedom Industries Inc. executives are fighting to keep the trial in southern West Virginia, telling a federal judge that it is possible to find 12 people in the district who were not prejudiced by a January 2014 chemical spill.

  • May 29, 2015

    BP Drops $750M Transocean Policy Fight After Deepwater Deal

    BP PLC has dropped its bid asking the Texas Supreme Court to reconsider a $750 million policy dispute with Transocean Ltd., a week after the companies announced they had settled claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • May 29, 2015

    Judge Limits Overview Witness Testimony In BP Exec's Trial

    A Louisiana federal judge Thursday granted in part former BP executive David Rainey’s request to prevent prosecutors from relying on testimony from an overview witness in his criminal trial, saying that witnesses may only testify on firsthand experiences.

  • May 29, 2015

    NTSB Blames Oil Drill Rig Wreck On Shell's Poor Planning

    The National Transportation Safety Board has found that the late 2012 grounding of a Royal Dutch Shell PLC offshore drilling rig on an Alaskan island was the result of the company's poor safety planning, the agency said in a recent report.

  • May 29, 2015

    NJ Panel Deep-Sixes Offshore Wind Farm Proposal

    A New Jersey appeals court delivered another blow Friday to the lone applicant of the state's offshore wind energy program, saying the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities' refusal to greenlight a proposed project was lawful and should be given deference.

  • May 29, 2015

    Texas Well Servicer Settles EPA Waste Disposal Row

    A Texas-based oil industry service company agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty and change some of its hazardous waste handling operations in a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the agency said Thursday.

  • May 29, 2015

    Nuclear Power Cos. Hit DOE With Waste Disposal Suit

    A group of utility companies operating a nuclear power station in Kansas sued the U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday, asking for the agency to fulfill its promise to remove spent radioactive fuel from their facility.

  • May 29, 2015

    EPA Finally Proposes New Renewable Fuel Levels

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed increasing the amount of renewable fuel in U.S. gasoline supplies, after two blown deadlines and a court order riled up both the petroleum and renewable fuel sectors as well as members of Congress.

  • May 28, 2015

    Enviros Move To Enter Fight Against Shell In Seattle's Port

    A group of conservation organizations moved Wednesday to intervene in the proceedings that will decide whether the Port of Seattle can serve as the home port for Royal Dutch Shell PLC's Arctic drilling fleet under its current permit.

Expert Analysis

  • PJM Continues To Come Under Attack

    Arthur W. Adelberg

    Linden VFT LLC's recent complaint against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's revisions to its transmission planning and cost allocation regulations is merely the latest and comes on top of ongoing litigation over similar issues in the Section 205 proceedings triggered by PJM Interconnection LLC's filing for regional transmission expansion plan-related tariff revisions, says Arthur Adelberg of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.

  • 4 In-House Preferences For Better Outside Counsel

    Patrick H. Reilly

    The best outside counsel change their optics to think like the client. For these lawyers, client service is not just about top-notch legal work — it is about making life easier for the entire in-house team. In the words of litigation counsel at medical device company Zimmer Inc. and outside counsel at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, here are four ways outside counsel can better serve clients.

  • Don’t Let Mental Illness Fly Under Your Workplace Radar

    Dianna D. Bowen

    In high-risk industries such as transportation, education, construction or utilities, employers may decide stricter standards for mentally ill employees they suspect are in crisis will be worth the risk of a discrimination lawsuit if it may prevent a catastrophe, such as a plane crash or school shooting, says Dianna Bowen of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Fracking 2.0: The Rise Of American Shale Refracking

    Gabriel B. Collins

    New data strongly suggests energy companies will likely accelerate the refracturing of previously hydraulically fractured wellbores in unconventional shale gas plays across the U.S. The trend from industry analysis points to a much more positive outlook for refracking's growth potential than the present market consensus would suggest, says Gabriel Collins of Baker & Hostetler LLP.

  • PRPs May Want To Dig In With Divisibility Defense

    John DiChello Jr.

    U.S. v. NCR Corp. is significant given the reluctance of most, if not all, courts to find "potentially responsible parties" have met their burden of proving divisibility of harm to the environment since the U.S. Supreme Court embraced the divisibility defense in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. U.S., says John DiChello Jr. of Blank Rome LLP.

  • 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.