With the U.S. Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit recently pulling the plug on suits blaming energy companies for spewing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and extreme weather, attorneys say the pursuit of climate change tort litigation is approaching a dead end, leaving legislation and regulation as the only viable outlets to tackle the issue.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday denied a preliminary permit for a tidal energy project proposed for New Jersey’s Manasquan River, after ruling the applicant, Natural Currents Energy Services LLC, had failed to follow regulatory guidelines in its exploration of a prior, nearly identical project.
Chem-Serve Corp. and Dearborn Refining Co. have agreed to pay $3.8 million to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suit over hazardous substances spilled or abandoned at waste oil sites in Michigan, according to a judgment filed Wednesday.
A western Pennsylvania operator of plants that treat fracking wastewater will pay as much as $30 million to upgrade the facilities to meet more stringent environmental standards under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.
A New York federal judge Tuesday ordered a Patton Boggs LLP partner to give a deposition in a dispute over a $19.2 billion Ecuadorean pollution judgment against Chevron Corp. and refused to limit it to subjects related to documents he ordered the firm to turn over.
A group of commercial oyster harvesters suing BP PLC, Louisiana and several contractors over alleged damages from berms built in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster was dealt serious setbacks on Monday by the Fifth Circuit and a Louisiana federal court.
Southern California Edison Co. said Monday that it has reached a $37 million settlement with the California Public Utilities Commission over its role in the 2007 Malibu Canyon Fire that charred nearly 4,000 acres.
A Louisiana federal judge on Monday dropped an obstruction charge from the indictment of the former BP PLC executive who was second-in-command during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, finding the government didn’t allege he knew of the congressional investigation he was charged with obstructing.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that courts should apply a deferential standard of review toward a federal agency's definition of its own jurisdiction, siding with the Federal Communications Commission in a fight with local government agencies over zoning rules for wireless facilities.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that PPL Corp. is entitled to $39 million in U.S. Internal Revenue Service foreign tax credits because a U.K. windfall tax paid by a PPL British subsidiary reached the utility's net income, qualifying as an income tax.
An Oklahoma federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Continental Resources Inc. of withholding information from shareholders about a $313 million oil assets acquisition, ruling that Continental executives didn't breach their fiduciary duties because a proxy statement contained enough information about the deal.
A review conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy over a $2.7 billion contract awarded to a CH2M Hill company for environmental cleanup of the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear research facility site has found that the contractor isn't entitled to additional fees based on the contract's nontarget work.
A Missouri federal judge ruled Thursday that bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp. can pay up to $6.9 million in bonuses to key employees over the objection of a miners union that said the payouts unfairly reward the highest-paid employees while the company cuts benefits for everyone else.
A Missouri federal court ruled Wednesday that Secure Energy Inc. could not win coverage under directors and officers policies for a $3.8 million breach of contract suit because it waited too long to report the claim, holding that it was irrelevant whether the late notice actually prejudiced the insurer.
The Fifth Circuit ruled Wednesday that Illinois Union Insurance Co. has a duty to defend NRG Energy Inc.'s Louisiana unit in an underlying suit launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over alleged toxic emissions in violation of the Clean Air Act.
The U.S. government will be allowed to reference deleted text messages that it never recovered during the trial of a BP PLC engineer accused of destroying evidence in the frantic first days of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Thursday.
The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday rejected the Sierra Club and other environmental groups' challenge to a mountaintop removal permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ granted to Highland Mining Co., ruling the Corps had adequately evaluated the water quality impact of the process it approved.
Parties challenging permit decisions before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board must prove that any trade secrets sought in discovery are absolutely necessary to successfully litigate their case, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.
A Florida appeals court on Wednesday upheld a $28.8 million jury verdict against an oil company and several individuals who allegedly withheld U.S. Department of Defense oil contract profits from a former business partner, saying a trial court correctly excluded the defendants' expert testimony.
A Texas appeals court on Tuesday held an oil and gas developer waited too long to sue individuals in a partnership that failed to contribute operating expenses after the partnership itself was hit with a judgment for the contract breach.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed technology-based effluent limitation guidelines and standards for steam electric power-generating units. These guidelines will certainly impose significant costs, and when coupled with the cost of the EPA’s rules under the Clean Air Act, there can be little question that some coal-fired facilities will close as a result, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.
Many lawyers are asking whether placing electronically stored information in the cloud could inadvertently waive the attorney-client privilege and whether the government or a civil litigant could obtain ESI directly from a cloud service provider. In answering these questions, there are a number of aspects of the cloud worth considering, say Timothy Broas and Matthew Saxon of Winston & Strawn LLP.
Not every company can be the next Facebook. But thankfully, for many startups, generating one billion users is not the end goal, nor should it be. Enter “narrowcasting” — one of a few reasons to be optimistic about venture capital, despite the first quarter of 2013 being the slowest for fundraising since 2002, says David Kaufman of Thompson Coburn LLP.
While the recently introduced bill permitting renewable energy projects to use a master limited partnership structure seems like good policy, there is concern that opening the MLP franchise to projects without a strong track record of producing steady cash flows could result in failed projects and cast a pall over the entire investment category, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.
Recently, a New York appellate court upheld lower court decisions in Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, which found municipal bans on natural gas development to be a valid exercise of home rule. There are a number of reasons, however, that the court should have instead overturned these decisions, says Yvonne Hennessey of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.
Recently, the D.C. Circuit surprisingly overturned a decision that invalidated the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to veto a Clean Water Act “dredge and fill” permit, putting several construction projects under threat of losing permit authorization. Although the case specifically refers to a coal mining operation in West Virginia, it has serious implications beyond the coal industry and state, say attorneys with Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.
Manufactured gas plants represent the best of the industrial revolution from an environmental perspective, but they have left us today with a very difficult environmental problem that no one in the past could have anticipated, says Neil Shifrin of Berkeley Research Group LLC.
Recently, the National Ocean Council released its final national ocean policy implementation plan, identifying specific actions for federal agencies to undertake to bolster the nation's ocean economy and improve ocean health. These actions could broadly impact a wide range of ocean uses, including offshore energy development, shipping, recreation, fishing and aquaculture, say attorneys with Van Ness Feldman LLP.
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's long-waited proposed vapor intrusion guidance documents provide more certainty as to how to investigate and assess vapor intrusion, the guidelines could also significantly increase remediation costs, add more uncertainty to business transactions and cause regulators to reopen sites, say attorneys with McGuireWoods LLP.
In Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska dismissed the principal claims in a citizen suit addressing fundamental Clean Water Act issues. This decision may now serve as precedent in future litigation implicating the CWA's permit shield or in cases concerning airborne emissions, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.