The U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday hit Exxon Mobil Corp. with a $1.7 million fine over a July 2011 pipeline failure that dumped more than 60,000 gallons of oil into Montana's Yellowstone River after concluding the oil giant failed to effectively address pipeline safety risks.
A Kansas federal judge on Monday approved a $2.3 million settlement partially resolving a U.S. Department of Justice suit over thousands of barrels of oil that discharged from a CVR Energy affiliate's facility into a Kansas river during a 2007 rainstorm.
Halliburton Energy Services Inc. will face arbitration hearings in Florida —rather than in Texas, as Halliburton demanded — on Ecosphere Technologies Inc.'s $300 million claims that the oil field giant stole fracking-liquid trade secrets despite a nondisclosure agreement, the American Arbitration Association ruled Friday.
Plaintiffs' attorneys see no reason to weep over the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that individuals who bring class actions can't cap damages to dodge federal jurisdiction, telling Law360 that the decision trumpeted by the defense bar over the past week isn't actually a game changer.
Rumford Paper Co. will pay $3 million to settle the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's suit accusing the bankrupt paper manufacturer of manipulating a grid-balancing system to get payments for reducing its power demand, according to agency documents released Friday.
A Wyoming state court judge on Thursday nixed a bid by environmental groups to force the state's oil and gas regulator to disclose all the chemicals used by Halliburton Energy Services Inc. and several other companies in hydraulic fracturing operations.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Friday that it lacked jurisdiction to force American International Group Inc. and Illinois National Insurance Co. to indemnify a gas company for a $1.5 million portion of a settlement with an individual who suffered severe burns stemming from a leak.
Help for the Superstorm Sandy-ravaged coastlines of New Jersey and Delaware is coming in part in the form of a payout from two German shipping companies that on Thursday agreed to pay a total of $10.4 million in fines for dumping oil sludge in the waters of those states and California.
A Texas judge on Thursday threw out BP Oil Pipeline Co.'s suit alleging Plains Pipeline LP agreed to indemnify it against landowners who say BP trespassed on their property to use a pumping station for 26 years without paying rent.
The U.S. Department of the Interior did not breach its lease agreement with two oil and gas exploration companies when it imposed new environmental and safety requirements for offshore drilling operations following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge has ruled.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday refused to approve an Enbridge Inc. unit’s proposed rate structure for its planned $2.5 billion Sandpiper crude oil pipeline project, saying the company hadn’t justified the rates.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday dismissed a complaint by a unit of steel giant Essar Global Ltd. alleging that Great Lakes Gas Transmission LP acted in bad faith and violated the Natural Gas Act when it sued for $30 million over an allegedly breached transportation services agreement.
A Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday denied American Commercial Lines LLC’s bid to pull two remediation companies into a U.S. suit over $24.8 million in cleanup costs from a 2008 Mississippi River oil spill that led to criminal charges.
A Texas federal judge on Thursday threw out a putative collective action against an oil refinery service provider that allegedly dodged overtime pay by forcing employees to work off the clock, ruling the workers agreed to arbitrate the dispute.
Edison International retained its partial victory in a $373 million Employee Retirement Income Security Act dispute in which a class of employees sued the utility giant over its retirement plan fund selection, when the Ninth Circuit on Thursday affirmed a lower court’s $370,000 award to the plaintiffs.
An Arizona federal judge on Wednesday denied a bid by energy and mining groups to overturn a federal 20-year moratorium on new uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, saying an unconstitutional provision of the law used to enact the ban doesn't nullify the government's authority to impose one.
A Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday dismissed negligence and willful misconduct claims against BP PLC drilling-fluids contractor M-I Swaco in the fourth week of a multidistrict civil trial against BP, M-I and other companies for their alleged involvement in the Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010.
A federal judge on Wednesday tossed Coal River Energy LLC's challenge to the U.S. Department of the Interior's imposition of a fee on coal exports, which it uses to fund reclamation efforts for abandoned mines, saying it lacked jurisdiction because Coal River brought its claims too late.
By ruling that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can't police commodity futures contracts, the D.C. Circuit last week ended the agency’s power struggle with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, but attorneys warn that ratepayers may be the ultimate losers if the two regulators can’t work together to curb energy market manipulation.
A Livingston County, N.Y., trial court judge has thrown out gas driller Lenape Resources Inc.'s bid to overturn the town of Avon's one-year moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in a decision environmentalists said Wednesday gives further strength to home rule power in the Empire State.
The New York Times recently reported that a Chinese military unit had hacked more than 140 organizations over the last several years, stealing valuable intellectual property such as technology blueprints, proprietary manufacturing processes, business plans and pricing documents. The revelation raises the possibility of a new wave of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions, class actions and derivative lawsuits related to cybersecurity, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.
Courts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies, environmental groups and individual citizens will face new and difficult questions in 2013 involving stormwater, nutrients, wetlands and water rights. Out of several cases and complaints that arose in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Sackett v. EPA, Smith v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be an interesting one to watch, say attorneys with McGuireWoods LLP.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration recently published a revised pattern of violations rule, making it easier for the MSHA to shut down mines that have demonstrated a disregard for the health and safety of miners. The new rule eliminates the requirement that the MSHA could only consider final orders when it reviewed a mine for POV status, which, not surprisingly, brought many opposed commentators, say attorneys with Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service has cleared Rosneft’s $55 billion acquisition of TNK-BP, which will arguably make Rosneft the world’s largest public oil and gas company engaged in the production of liquid hydrocarbons. The transaction allows the Russian state to gain more influence over the world’s largest oil and gas industry, but it remains to be seen how active the FAS will be in the sector, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.
The modern world is increasingly vulnerable to widespread, prolonged power disruptions and outages caused by geomagnetic storms. Provided that policies usually include exclusions for risks that are arguably more remote, it makes sense for insurers to also incorporate exclusions for such storms, say Jason Reeves of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP and William Murtagh of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
In 2013, we expect to see significant changes in the areas of waste and contamination, including vapor intrusion, waste management and cleanup, brownfields and issues related to real estate purchases. Out of several relevant cases, it will be interesting to watch Soco West v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which challenges a unilateral Resource Conservation and Recovery Act compliance order, say attorneys with McGuireWoods LLP.
Recently, the San Francisco Superior Court denied a challenge to the California Air Resources Board's cap-and-trade regulation, which sought to invalidate the use of a standards-based approach for determining whether projects should be awarded offset credits. This decision should provide a welcome shot in the arm to CARB's efforts, but it also does little to assure that a robust supply of offsets will be available to meet demand, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.
The U.S. energy infrastructure is under stress, revealing critical flaws in gas-electric coordination, but a new dynamic is emerging to address these vulnerabilities, with key steps being taken in the coming weeks. How the regulatory authorities continue to address this issue is of paramount importance to all market participants, say attorneys with DLA Piper.
Much of President Obama's recent cybersecurity executive order is directed to government agencies, so no obvious next steps are included for organizations, such as companies that own and operate critical infrastructure. There are five actions organizations should pursue in order to be prepared for coming developments, say Lynn Percival and Elizabeth Johnson of Poyner Spruill LLP.
The recent release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's results of enforcement and compliance statistics for fiscal year 2012 confirms that criminal prosecution remains an important component of the EPA’s enforcement program. Though continued budget constraints and limited resources may put pressure on the agency, companies should still anticipate 2013 to be another steady year for EPA criminal enforcement actions, say attorneys with Alston & Bird LLP.