• July 15, 2014

    Texas City Rejects First-In-State Proposed Fracking Ban

    A North Texas city that sits atop the Barnett Shale on Tuesday rejected a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing within city limits after a lengthy and divisive meeting, but the ban isn’t dead yet, as voters will have a chance to pass the measure when it hits their ballots in November.

  • July 15, 2014

    5th Circ. Revives Houston American Investors' Fraud Action

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday revived two investors’ private securities fraud action brought against Houston American Energy Corp. and its top executives over allegations that their false statements and omissions caused stock in the oil and gas company to trade at artificially inflated prices.

  • July 15, 2014

    ADB Pours $600M Into Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan Power Projects

    The Asian Development Bank said Tuesday it approved loans totaling $600 million for two renewable energy projects, including upgrading Soviet-era power equipment in Uzbekistan and building a hydropower plant in Sri Lanka, intended to accommodate growing energy demand while lessening fossil fuel dependence.

  • July 15, 2014

    Del. Justices Won't Revive Gas Station Buyer's Fraud Claims

    The Delaware Supreme Court won't revive a fraud lawsuit brought by a company that purchased gas stations later found to contain environmental problems, affirming a chancery judge’s ruling that the seller should only be held liable for breach of contract damages totaling $1.5 million.

  • July 15, 2014

    5th Circ. Revives BP Stock Drop Suit, Citing Dudenhoeffer

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday revived an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action launched by a former employee of a BP PLC unit over stock losses suffered after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that such employers aren't entitled to a “presumption of prudence.”

  • July 15, 2014

    IRS Rejected Synergy Offer Too Quickly, Tax Court Says

    The U.S. Tax Court said Tuesday that an Internal Revenue Service officer wrongfully rejected Synergy Environmental Inc.'s $600 offer-in-compromise in a dispute over tax liabilities, remanding the case for a new hearing on the home repair and energy efficiency company's proposal.

  • July 15, 2014

    Wind Developers Say EPA's GHG Rule Could Boost Demand

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants could be a driving force in boosting wind development even if the U.S. Congress doesn’t renew the production tax credit for wind energy, industry experts said Tuesday.

  • July 15, 2014

    DC Circ. Rebuke Could Shake Up CFIUS Review Process

    A surprising decision by the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to resurrect the first-ever challenge to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review process opens the possibility for significant changes to the often frustratingly opaque procedure, experts say.

  • July 15, 2014

    House Panel Advances Funding Bill Blocking EPA GHG Rules

    The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations approved a spending bill on Tuesday that would slash U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding and block the agency’s proposed rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, sending it to the full House for a floor vote.

  • July 15, 2014

    Midstream Services Co. Puts Up $115M For Oil, Gas Assets

    American Midstream Partners will acquire about $115 million of onshore natural gas processing and offshore oil, natural gas gathering and transportation assets from an affiliate of DCP Midstream LLP, the company said Tuesday.

  • July 15, 2014

    Senate Confirms FERC Nominees Bay, LaFleur

    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seats for Norman Bay and Cheryl LaFleur, though Bay, President Barack Obama’s pick to chair the commission, narrowly overcame opposition from lawmakers who questioned his energy policy resume and wanted LaFleur’s acting chair title made permanent.

  • July 15, 2014

    Energy Future Ends Bid For Optim Power Plant

    Bankrupt Energy Future Holdings Corp. is bowing out of an August auction for a Texas coal plant belonging to also-bankrupt Optim Energy LLC, it told a Delaware judge Monday, leaving a field that features Arclight Capital Partners LLC’s $82 million stalking-horse bid.

  • July 15, 2014

    KKR Takes BlackGold Stake To Boost Hedge Fund, Energy Biz

    KKR & Co. LP is set to buy a minority stake in investment firm BlackGold Capital Management, the companies said Monday, in a move meant to boost the private equity powerhouse's hedge fund platform and expand its energy business.

  • July 15, 2014

    Texas Firm’s Fee Suit Over $27M Oil, Gas Lease Sale Revived

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday said Brewer & Pritchard PC can pursue punitive damages against AMKO Resources International LLC for allegedly interfering with a contingency fee contract the firm had with an oil and gas leaseholder involved in a $27 million dispute.

  • July 15, 2014

    NJ Court Backs Dismissal Of PSE&G Solar Credit Suit

    A New Jersey appeals court on Tuesday backed the dismissal of a putative class action accusing Public Service Electric and Gas Co. of hurting solar credit prices by flooding the market with an inflated yield of those incentives.

  • July 15, 2014

    Landowners Barred From Suing Cuomo Over Fracking Delay

    A New York court on Monday dismissed two suits seeking to force the state to promptly decide whether to allow hydraulic fracturing and contending that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration have been illegally dragging out the review process.

  • July 15, 2014

    Midyear Report: Power Cos. Provide Juice For Energy Deals

    From multibillion-dollar utility tie-ups to the growing clout of the yieldco, the power sector has grabbed the biggest energy deal-making headlines so far in 2014. Here, energy attorneys share with Law360 the top trends in energy mergers and acquisitions from the first half of the year.

  • July 15, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Rioforte, Portugal Telecom, ONGC

    The main unit of Portuguese bank Espirito Santo International is said to be preparing to file for creditor protection, with the unit's potential default calling into question the fate of Portugal Telecom's planned merger with Grupo Oi.

  • July 15, 2014

    Oil Tanker Co. Hits Ch. 11 Amid Changing Crude Landscape

    Oil tanker company Windsor Petroleum Transport Corp. and several affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection late Monday, citing global changes in demand for foreign crude and planning to hand over the company in a debt-for-equity swap with bondholders owed nearly $190 million.

  • July 15, 2014

    1st Circ. Revives CWA Claims Against Maine Dam Operators

    The First Circuit on Monday revived Clean Water Act claims in two suits against several dam owners and operators in Maine alleging they harmed endangered salmon, finding the court should consider evidence to determine whether the owners desired to harm the fish.

Expert Analysis

  • Smartphone Forensics: Tips From The E-Discovery Trenches

    Jeffrey Hartman

    Seeking discovery of electronically stored information on mobile devices does not come naturally to most attorneys, since they are simply not accustomed to asking for it, but this data can make or break your case, says Jeffrey Hartman, co-founder of 4Discovery.

  • UK-Based LLP Partners Now Enjoy More Protections

    Sharon Tan

    The crux of the debate in Bates van Winklehof v. Clyde & Co LLP was whether a partner could be considered a “worker” under U.K. law. The U.K. Supreme Court's holding will have potentially wide-reaching implications for LLPs with U.K.-based partners, say Katie Clark and Sharon Tan of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • Ralls' Lessons To Investors On CFIUS Deal Reviews

    Richard J. Burke

    Although a degree of transparency in the merger review process of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States may emerge from the D.C. Circuit's Ralls Corp. case, a district court decision and the statutory regime reflect the deference accorded to the president and the CFIUS. Ralls’ experience also shows that the onus is on foreign investors to carefully consider the risks of not seeking CFIUS review prior to deal clos... (continued)

  • 'Commencement Of Operations' And Keeping O&G Leases Alive

    Amy M. Mowry

    In a majority of states, actual drilling is unnecessary for a "commencement of operations" under oil and gas leases. Courts have held that the requirement to commence drilling operations within a designated period of time could be satisfied by something less than drilling the wellbore itself, says Amy Mowry of Holland & Hart LLP.

  • Heller Ruling May Be Knockout Punch Against Jewel Claims

    Robert L. Eisenbach III

    It’s not an overstatement to say that a California district judge’s decision last week in the Heller Ehrman LLP bankruptcy case essentially dismantles the applicability of Jewel v. Boxer to insolvent or bankrupt law firms. If upheld after any appeal and followed by other courts, the decision could mark the end of California “unfinished business” claims against law firms in the noncontingency, hourly fee context, says Robert Eisenba... (continued)

  • With More Time, EPA Looks For Ways To Combat Acid Rain

    James E. Smith

    In Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit refused to find the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in violation of the Clean Air Act, despite the agency's admitted failure to revise the secondary standards for nitrogen and sulfur oxides. The ruling has delayed it, but it seems that the EPA will, eventually, issue a new, multipollutant, aquatic acidification index-based secondary standard for nitrogen and sulfur ox... (continued)

  • Fuzzy Math Behind EPA's Carbon Emissions Rule

    Shari Shapiro

    It is hard to understand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's justification for a five-year administrative lead time on proposed carbon emissions rules. With this schedule, some states will have as little as one year from the approval of their plan until they are expected to make "meaningful progress" on carbon emissions. By the time the plans are approved, sea levels in New York City may have risen at least two and possibly ... (continued)

  • FERC Open-Access Rule May Provide Developer Certainty

    David I. Bloom

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently issued a proposal seeking to waive the open access transmission tariff requirements for public utilities that own, operate or control tie-lines that connect electric generating units to the transmission grid. The effects of the proposed rule would be felt immediately and the notice indicates FERC’s willingness to consider individual requests to withdraw OATTs on file if no third par... (continued)

  • A Close Look At Overriding Royalty Interest Transactions

    Jessica Crutcher

    The characterization of an overriding royalty interest as an absolute conveyance of a real property interest, rather than as collateral securing a financing transaction, becomes particularly important in bankruptcy, because it may determine whether a transferee will have to stand in line with the rest of the creditors. However, several recent court opinions question this interest application, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Fracking Case That Wasn't: Parr V. Aruba Petroleum Inc.

    Joshua L. Fuchs

    It is unlikely that Parr v. Aruba Petroleum Inc. will dramatically change the legal landscape for energy companies involved in hydraulic fracturing as the claims involved did not challenge activities unique to fracking. But, perceptions are important and the media coverage of Parr as a "fracking case" may encourage other plaintiffs to file suit against companies, say attorneys at Jones Day.