The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday refused to allow a Kansas federal judge to travel to California to oversee trials in three cases stemming from multidistrict litigation alleging Chevron USA Inc. and others sold gas without revealing or accounting for temperature expansion.
Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. will pay $11.6 million to more than 700 California refinery employees who accused the petroleum refiner of denying them proper meal breaks on long shifts, according to a settlement filed Friday in California federal court.
The Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Federal Housing Finance Agency had legally ended a program that financed renewable energy retrofits for houses, saying courts can't hear challenges to the agency's decision to deny mortgage financing for homeowners who received money under the program.
The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday breathed new life into an Arch Coal Inc. unit’s challenge of federal mine safety violations issued in 2010, saying regulators ignored their own precedent when they refused to reopen the civil penalty phase of the disciplinary process.
A Texas federal judge on Monday ruled a Norwegian unit of National Oilwell Varco Inc. did not have a valid arbitration agreement with a Saudi Arabian oil investment company that says it was duped into signing supply agreements whose pricing was inflated through a bribery scheme.
An Ohio federal judge on Monday refused to dismiss Progress Energy's suit against FirstEnergy Corp. over cleanup costs at two polluted Florida sites, finding that FirstEnergy's predecessor might have left the company liable for the contamination.
A Pennsylvania appeals court on Monday ruled in a published opinion that a lower court acted properly when it found Sunoco Inc. was not responsible for the cleanup of a long-running gasoline leak at a station formerly owned by the energy company.
The D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission intruded on the “exclusive jurisdiction” of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission when it fined a former trader $30 million for allegedly manipulating the natural gas futures market.
The judge overseeing a New York racketeering suit related to a $19.2 billion Ecuadorean pollution judgment against Chevron Corp. on Friday granted the company’s bid to force Patton Boggs LLP to hand over all documents related to the purported fraud underlying that judgment.
A California federal judge Thursday preliminarily approved a $19.7 million settlement between SunPower Corp. and a class of shareholders who claim the solar-power company falsely inflated earnings reports, leading stock values to fall 20 percent the day the alleged misconduct was revealed.
A high-profile Texas attorney has stepped down from the plaintiffs' steering committee in the multidistrict litigation against BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with his lawyer citing a criminal probe into his role in the litigation as the reason for the resignation.
The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday upended a lower court victory for U.S. units of French oil giant Total SA and Norwegian firm Statoil ASA in a contract dispute with Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp. and others over overriding royalty interests in an offshore oil block worth more than $3.5 million.
The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s order prohibiting Greenpeace Inc. from interfering with Shell Offshore Inc. drilling ships bound for the Arctic, calling the group’s arguments “hazy” and saying its actions would cause irreparable harm to Shell.
A U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge on Tuesday denied the federal government's bid to dodge about $300,000 in Nuclear Energy Institute fees owed to Sacramento's public electric utility as part of a $35 million court-ordered judgment over the cleanup of an old nuclear plant.
A New York federal judge on Monday threw out a Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuit accusing Independence Energy Group LLC of placing illegal prerecorded telemarketing calls, ruling that class actions seeking statutory damages are not allowed under state law.
Allegedly fraudulently transferred property is not part of a bankruptcy estate until recovered and is therefore beyond the reach of an automatic stay, the Tenth Circuit said Tuesday in a circuit-splitting decision arising from the Chapter 7 of wind power company Generation Resources Holding Company LLC.
The Tenth Circuit on Tuesday shot down an attempt by an oil and gas group and several energy companies to force the U.S. Department of the Interior to issue drilling leases within 60 days of receiving high bids on the properties.
A Texas federal judge on Monday blocked new permits allowing water to be diverted from Central Texas river systems for municipalities, power plants and industry, saying poor water management practices have caused the deaths of endangered whooping cranes in a state wildlife refuge.
The Fifth Circuit on Monday declined to revive a shareholder’s suit alleging directors of oil field services provider Parker Drilling Co. ignored a foreign bribery scheme that provoked a federal investigation and $16 million fine, saying a skipped procedural step was fatal to his case.
Broadwind Energy Inc. will pay nearly $4 million to settle a class action alleging the wind energy technology company broke federal securities laws by artificially inflating its stock and allowing its CEO to cash out early, according to an agreement filed Monday in Illinois federal court.
Many financial institutions are trying to figure out ways to invest significant amounts of capital in energy efficiency as government incentives expire for renewable energy. Energy efficiency investments promise attractive financial returns, but potential investors should note the several obstacles to such investments, says James Berger of Chadbourne & Parke LLP.
The use of vehicles fueled by natural gas is, albeit slowly, continuing to gain ground and acceptance as a viable alternative to diesel fuel for commercial vehicles. Companies should now invest in the development of infrastructure and consider regulatory-related issues of natural gas vehicles to get ahead of the curve and receive handsome dividends in the long term, say Paul Avron and Doug Bates of Berger Singerman LLP.
Recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska set aside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s final rule designating critical habitat for the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act, saying that the service's action was "arbitrary, capricious and procedurally errant." Unless overturned on appeal, this decision means that the service will have to redesignate the critical habitat and repropose the designation, say attorneys with Bingham McCutchen LLP.
With interest rates near historic lows, many issuers are seeking ways to refinance high-cost debt. Unfortunately, in the current low interest rate environment, standard make-whole redemption provisions result in high premiums, eroding or eliminating the economic benefit. An alternative approach is for an issuer to tender for outstanding debt, and a way to minimize the cost of a tender is to introduce the element of competition through a modified Dutch auction, say attorneys with Hunton & Williams LLP.
A recent report prepared by Continental Economics for the Compete Coalition finds that state-sponsored electric generating plants raise costs for customers and jeopardize reliability. This report comes at a time when parties are debating the merits of a potential new state-sponsored power plant in Massachusetts, and the continued debate will have major impacts on the nation’s electricity markets, say attorneys with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.
A non-appropriation clause in a government contract allows the government entity to terminate its obligations in the event money for payments is not appropriated by the state legislature, county council or other legislative body. To mitigate this risk, a company intending to sell electricity, lease equipment or provide energy savings to a government entity should consider several safeguards that can be included in such contracts, say Amanda Forsythe and John Marciano of Chadbourne & Parke LLP.
As the development of shale gas and the public interest in shale gas development continue to grow in New York and elsewhere, federal involvement will also likely continue to grow. There are a number of outstanding federal issues that are likely to culminate in the months and years ahead, say attorneys with Hiscock & Barclay LLP.
In recent years, there has been a steady evolution of real estate investment trusts and an increase in entities that have announced their intent to convert to REIT status, as well as an expansion of asset categories that they hold and the corresponding income sources. This progression likely will continue in the future, and new areas to watch include renewable energy assets — such as wind and solar projects — and, in the mortgage REIT sector, excess mortgage servicing rights, say David Levy and Carl Riley of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
The wind energy industry breathed a welcomed sigh of relief as Congress enacted a one-year extension of the production tax credit, which is a boon but also a serious challenge. Specifically, the extension has significantly added to the risks that the industry must successfully manage in order to secure its benefits, says Edward Einowski of Stoel Rives LLP.
As we gear up for the next meeting by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation — scheduled for Jan. 31 in the backyard of the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” Orlando, Fla. — let us explore a recurring question that the Panel addressed in two of its rulings on motions heard at its last session in Dallas, Texas: When will the Panel NOT create an MDL? says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.