The ability of U.S. states to encourage developers to build new power plants in order to lower energy costs and ensure grid reliability may be severely limited after a pair of federal courts recently held that subsidies offered by New Jersey and Maryland intruded on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's exclusive authority over wholesale electricity markets, experts say.
A New York appeals court refused to toss breach of contract claims in an investor suit alleging oil and gas company GeoResources Inc. unilaterally diluted warrants to buy its stock in 2009 and 2011, saying Tuesday that the plaintiffs have enough evidence to proceed with discovery.
Exelon Corp. has agreed to pay more than $645,000 in penalties and undertake compliance reporting after an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission revealed that its subsidiary submitted inaccurate information to California’s power grid operator, FERC said Friday.
A former Entergy Corp. nuclear power plant supervisor has pled guilty to faking chemical safety tests at the company's Indian Point facility, reaching an agreement with federal prosecutors Wednesday that ensures his jail time is limited to a maximum of six months.
The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a jury's malpractice verdict against Baker & McKenzie LLP and one of its attorneys over their representation of partners in an oil venture, but reversed a $103 million damages award against the firm, saying the jury was not properly instructed regarding proximate cause and damages.
The Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday that environmental groups looking to force Washington state regulators to impose tighter greenhouse gas emission regulations on oil refineries did not sufficiently argue that their injuries directly resulted from the regulators’ lack of enforcement.
A Texas appeals court said Thursday that a Valero Energy Corp. unit does not have to disclose proprietary documents relating to its refinery at the center of a property tax dispute, saying the information is unnecessary for tax authorities to determine the asset's value.
A California appeals court on Tuesday ordered Southern California Edison Co. and developer Helo Energy LLC and its investment backer to arbitrate their dispute over the utility's termination of a power-purchase agreement with Helo's 20-megawatt wind farm, saying a lower court wrongly denied SCE's request to compel arbitration.
The Delaware Chancery Court rebuffed Allegro Development Corp.'s founder's bid Friday to reclaim his previous position as the energy trading risk management software company's CEO, ruling that he waited too long to challenge his ouster and that his return would "throw Allegro into chaos.”
Shell Oil Co. and Chevron Corp. have agreed to pay $4.5 million and $1.1 million, respectively, to settle claims by the Crescenta Valley Water District that their gasoline contaminated the utility's wells and nearby groundwater, according to court records.
A federal judge Friday nixed a program designed to spur the construction of natural gas-based power plants in New Jersey through subsidies, ruling the program is unconstitutional because it would usurp the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s ability to regulate the energy market.
While the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider several petitions challenging carbon emissions rules crafted by the Environmental Protection Agency, experts say the agency is still the big winner because the high court refused to reconsider the EPA's underlying authority to regulate greenhouse gases established in the landmark 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA.
A former Halliburton Co. manager pled guilty Tuesday to one misdemeanor count of destroying evidence in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 people and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
An Oklahoma federal judge Friday threw out a consolidated securities class action accusing Chesapeake Energy Corp. of mismanaging employees’ retirement plans by continuing to invest in Chesapeake after stock prices dipped, saying the investments were presumed to be prudent.
A federal judge on Thursday refused to toss charges against a former BP PLC engineer accused of deleting text messages to obstruct a government investigation into the Deepwater Horizon spill.
France's Constitutional Council on Friday upheld the country's ban on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, rejecting claims by Texas-based Schuepbach Energy LLC that the prohibition enacted by French lawmakers in 2011 was unconstitutional.
A flurry of activity Thursday in Chevron Corp.’s suit over a $19 billion pollution judgment saw the Republic of Ecuador move to intervene and the presiding judge reject efforts to trim Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claims in advance of a long-awaited trial set to open Tuesday in New York federal court.
A divided Tenth Circuit panel on Wednesday backed the rejection of a bid by environmental groups to halt construction of part of TransCanada Corp.'s contested Keystone XL pipeline, saying the groups hadn't shown the lower court abused its discretion in denying their preliminary injunction request.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed on Thursday that federal preemption bars liability for state property damage claims that arise out of flooding from a hydroelectric dam where water release activities were approved by a federal energy authority.
A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday tossed the remainder of a Chinese-owned company's suit alleging that a presidential order improperly nixed its acquisition of four Oregon wind farms, finding that the company should have known the risks of the deal and wasn't denied due process.
Carbon dioxide liability plaintiffs may attempt to rely on the Third Circuit's decision in Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station to try to revive their litigation fortunes. But such attempts still won't ring the bell as state law nuisance claims are futile, says J. Wylie Donald of McCarter & English LLP.
When is it safe to rely on the research of a junior associate? You may have seen this coming, but it is almost never entirely safe. The law is simply too riddled with dangerous twists and turns that are hard to spot. And these are not traps that can be avoided with common sense. Indeed, attorneys who follow what is normally considered the sensible path of trusting in their judgment of what is reasonable are apt to be betrayed by the law, says Andrew Jarzyna of Ulmer & Berne LLP.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's willingness to criminally prosecute under strict criminal liability provisions of the Solid Waste Management Act may make things interesting for the commonwealth's oil and gas operators, who must now establish more rigorous protocols for handling spills, leaks and accidents, say David Raphael and Tad Macfarlan of K&L Gates LLP.
Just when many thought the relevancy and importance of the Public Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 were in jeopardy, changing conditions have again given the electric industry some pause. There is a growing sense that over-reliance upon a single approach to energy procurement by utilities or other entities may not be reasonable, says Alan Seltzer of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.
Mexico's decline in production represents an impending economic tragedy for the Mexican government, which depends on oil revenues as a major exporter of crude. To prevent this, the nation's parliamentary groups and president have proposed bills to amend the Mexican Constitution, a step in the right direction for meaningful energy reform, say Adrian Talamantes and Ken Culotta of King & Spalding LLP.
Given that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently dropped its appeal of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia's decision vacating the commission's final rule on position limits for agriculture, metal and energy commodities, it is likely that the CFTC will soon approve a more-restrictive proposed rule, say Meghan Gruebner and Alexander Holtan of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.
Further incentivizing whistleblowers, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently gave a record $14 million award to a whistleblower whose information led to an enforcement action. But with a thoughtful, values-based approach, this award can be a catalyst for companies to motivate better communication and governance as a whistleblower mitigation strategy, says Michael Bramnick, senior knowledge leader at LRN Corp. and former general counsel of NRG Energy.
While reliance on outside counsel will continue, only 13 percent of companies recently surveyed indicated that increasing the use of outside counsel was of high importance in addressing increases in legal demand. The trend, more notably since the economic crisis of the late 2000s, has been on rigorous management of outside counsel costs — 95 percent of survey participants said they are taking measures to reduce outside counsel spending, says Lauren Chung of HBR Consulting LLC.
Just weeks after a California appeals court held that an employer could be liable for an employee’s auto accident occurring while she was running personal errands on her way home after work, another state appeals court has revisited respondeat superior in the context of a post-work auto accident. While the two cases are distinguishable, frustration for clients and insurers is all but assured, say Gregory Smith and Cristina Guido of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases related to the regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources, putting the scope of such regulation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority under the prevention of significant deterioration program in question. More sources may soon have to obtain a PSD permit, an additional burden for completing a project, says Allison Smith of Stoel Rives LLP.