• February 3, 2016

    Ex-DOE Worker Cops To Nuclear Info Hacking Scheme

    A former employee of the U.S. Department of Energy accused of attempting to hack the email accounts of government workers to sell nuclear weapons information pled guilty to a lesser charge on Tuesday, according to federal prosecutors.

  • February 3, 2016

    Bankrupt Co.’s New Lawyers Mum In Patent Suit, Elbit Says

    An Israeli defense contractor said Tuesday that a bankrupt oil company for which Hughes Network Systems installed an allegedly infringing network has stopped responding to its messages, but it told a Texas federal court it would keep seeking the company’s documents as it continues its patent suit against Hughes.

  • February 3, 2016

    Pa. Surface Rules For Oil And Gas Wells Clear Enviro Board

    Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board on Wednesday approved a long-awaited set of rules governing surface operations at oil and gas wells, leaving the regulations with one final hurdle before they can go into operation.

  • February 3, 2016

    Calif. Leak Prompts Regulators To Prep Gas Storage Rules

    Federal pipeline safety regulators said Tuesday that they would develop regulations for underground areas of natural gas storage facilities as part of its response to the massive, ongoing Aliso Canyon gas leak in Southern California.

  • February 3, 2016

    Philippine Energy Co. Wins $4.4M Award In Row With UK Firm

    A Philippine geothermal energy company’s subsidiary has been awarded $4.4 million during the first phase of arbitrations over a contract dispute with a U.K-based engineering firm, according to a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange Tuesday.

  • February 2, 2016

    NJ Co. Owner Gets 32 Months For Con Ed Bid Rigging Scheme

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday sentenced the owner of a New Jersey pipeline supply company to 32 months in prison and ordered his company to pay over $1.7 million for bribing a Consolidated Edison of New York employee for multimillion-dollar industrial pipeline contracts, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

  • February 2, 2016

    Petrobras Investors Win Cert. For 2 Classes In Bribery Suit

    A New York federal judge agreed Monday to certify two classes of investors claiming Brazilian oil giant Petrobras concealed billions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, finding a class action is still appropriate even though hundreds of investors have filed their own suits.

  • February 2, 2016

    Wash. Tribe Says EPA Emails Back Bid For Cleanup Costs

    A confederated tribal nation said an email exchange between Teck Metals Ltd. and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official supports its bid to recover $8.25 million in response costs related to the company's dumping of toxic metals into the Columbia River, asking a Washington federal judge Tuesday to reopen the case to introduce new evidence.

  • February 2, 2016

    Jury Dings PG&E $3.5M For Tesoro Refinery Outage

    A California federal jury on Tuesday found Pacific Gas & Electric Co. negligent and partially to blame for a power outage that caused a weeklong Tesoro refinery shutdown, ordering PG&E to pay approximately $3.5 million of Tesoro’s damages.

  • February 2, 2016

    Home Demolition Sinks Insurer's Claim Against Electric Co.

    A Maryland appellate court affirmed Monday that Cumberland Insurance Group can't seek to recover an insurance payout for a devastating house fire from a power company it claimed was liable for the blaze, because the insurer ordered the property demolished before the power provider had a chance to conduct an investigation.

  • February 2, 2016

    ICSID Won't Nix Total's Award In Argentina Investment Case

    An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes committee has refused to annul a confidential award issued to the French oil and gas giant Total SA stemming from Argentina's alleged violations of a bilateral investment treaty, according to a Monday decision.

  • February 2, 2016

    5 Pitfalls For Purchasers Of Distressed Oil, Gas Assets

    With oil prices stubbornly low, it's a buyer's market for assets hawked by cash-strapped companies. But bargain hunters can run into problems, like bankruptcy creditor clawbacks and disputes with new drilling partners. Here, energy attorneys identify risks distressed asset buyers must address to ensure their purchase goes smoothly.

  • February 2, 2016

    Greens Sue EPA Over Refinery Rule's Malfunction Exemptions

    Community and environmental groups on Monday asked the D.C. Circuit to review a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule imposing air emissions regulations for petroleum refineries that for the first time require monitoring at facility fence lines.

  • February 2, 2016

    Keep Big Oil Out Of Atlantic Ocean, NJ Lawmakers Say

    Democratic U.S. legislators from New Jersey fought Monday to curb any expansion in offshore drilling now that a crude oil export ban has been repealed, urging the White House to keep the Atlantic Ocean out of the next federal leasing program.

  • February 2, 2016

    Senate Rejects Broader Efficiency Standard For Energy Bill

    The Senate rejected measures Tuesday to establish nationwide energy efficiency standards for utilities, end preferential tax treatment for fossil fuel production and speed up federal permitting for certain natural gas lines, as debate continued on a broad energy policy overhaul.

  • February 2, 2016

    Orrick Brings On 15 Attorneys For New Houston Office

    Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced that 13 new partners and two senior attorneys joined the firm’s new Houston office on Tuesday, a move that Orrick says will strengthen its energy and public finance practices, among others.

  • February 2, 2016

    Calif. AG, Air Resources Board Sue SoCalGas Over Gas Leak

    California’s attorney general and the state Air Resources Board on Monday joined the city of Los Angeles’ lawsuit accusing Southern California Gas Co. of violating several nuisance and health and safety laws in connection with a massive, ongoing natural gas leak that’s displaced thousands of people.

  • February 2, 2016

    Pa. Senate Resolution Urges EPA Clean Power Plan Delay

    A Pennsylvania Senate resolution announced Tuesday asks the state Department of Environmental Protection to hold off on implementing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new federal carbon emissions standards for two years, saying the mandate could cripple the state economy.

  • February 2, 2016

    Enbridge Challenges Delay Of $2.6B Crude Oil Pipeline Project

    Enbridge Energy Partners LP and supporters challenged a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ruling requiring a final environmental review of its proposed $2.6 billion crude oil pipeline before permitting processes for the project move forward, with the energy company saying Monday that the decision is unlawful and causes significant delays.

  • February 1, 2016

    Oil Price Plunge Pushes Extreme Plastics Plus To Ch. 11

    Oil services company Extreme Plastics Plus Inc., which provides environmental containment and storage tanks for the industry, filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware on Sunday looking to address some $60 million in debt in the face of historic energy commodity price drops.

Expert Analysis

  • More Tough Times Ahead For The Energy Industry

    Evan D. Flaschen

    Energy sector Chapter 11 filings reportedly accounted for 26 percent of all filings in 2015 — the largest share for any sector — while larger exploration and production companies with enough leverage to withstand the drop in oil prices are buying up smaller players. So when will this trend run out of gas? No time soon, say Evan Flaschen and Chelsea Dal Corso of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

  • What Your Outside Counsel Doesn't Know About E-Discovery

    Kris L. Farnen

    Despite the prevalence of e-discovery issues in today’s litigation, most lawyers are often unaware of the related concerns — or their obligations. Corporate counsel need to know what questions to ask their outside counsel to ensure they are maximizing the value of e-discovery, and so they don't find their companies on the receiving end of sanctions, say attorneys with Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

  • 3 Things To Expect From Legal Tech In The New Year

    Scott Stuart

    While legal technology has advanced considerably in recent years, hold onto your hats. In 2016, tech innovations are only going to accelerate and further disrupt the legal space — for better or worse, say Drew Stern and Scott Stuart, co-founders of virtual document review platform Esquify Inc.

  • Capitalizing On Mexico's New Wholesale Electricity Market

    Marcia Hook

    Mexico's new wholesale electricity market has opened a wide range of opportunities for those hoping to export power from the U.S. to Mexico. Of course, there are still several regulatory hurdles that will need to be addressed, but with intelligent planning investors can look forward to capitalizing on Mexico's burgeoning power market, says Marcia Hook of Baker Botts LLP.

  • The Future Of California's Renewable Energy Market

    Brian J. Nese

    In proposing a decision to preserve retail rates for residential distributed generation, the California Public Utilities Commission chose to side with solar advocates. And if the judgement is adopted officially, California will once again be a market leader in renewable energy, according to attorneys with Stoel Rives LLP.

  • In Congress: A Year-End Review

    Richard A. Hertling

    The year-end sprint to keep the government running capped off a tumultuous year on Capitol Hill, plagued with partisan battles, conflict within the House Republican conference, and a resulting leadership crisis that saw the abrupt retirement of the Speaker of the House. Despite these challenges, it was a productive year, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • The Paris Agreement And Business Interruption Coverage

    Dan Millea

    The recent Paris agreement is being touted as a major step in avoiding a global climate disaster. But even if one accurately assesses the degree to which nations will comply with the accord, the impact that will have on climate change and the frequency, severity and locations of future natural disasters, when it comes to contingent business interruption coverage one’s ultimate fate is still subject to the vicissitudes of American j... (continued)

  • Streamlining The Environmental Review Processes

    Jeffrey W. Leppo.jpg

    Signed on Dec. 4, 2015, the Highway Authorization Act aims to expedite federal authorization and environmental review processes arising from major infrastructure projects. The promised benefits of the law are notable and it holds the potential to broadly impact existing federal environmental review and permitting practices, say attorneys with Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Why All US Attorneys Should Read Justice Breyer’s New Book

    Laurel Lichty

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer recently fielded questions about his latest book, The Court and the World: American Law and The New Global Realities. Here's why every U.S. attorney should give it a read, according to legal industry insider Laurel Lichty.

  • New Iranian Petroleum Contract Could Fix Buyback Issues

    Joanna Addison

    The key terms of the eagerly awaited Iranian Petroleum Contract were recently released, addressing some of the main concerns foreign investors and Iranian entities had with the old buyback contract structure, say attorneys at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.