• May 27, 2015

    Weatherford Hit With FLSA Suit By Fracking Supervisors

    Oilfield services giant Weatherford International PLC was hit with a proposed collective action in Pennsylvania federal court on Tuesday alleging that it misclassified its service supervisors who worked on fracking sites across three states, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

  • May 27, 2015

    DOE To Pay Fine For Delayed Radioactive Sludge Cleanup

    The U.S. Department of Energy will pay a civil penalty and have three more years to clean radioactive sludge out of a storage basin near the Columbia River in Washington state, according to a settlement reached Tuesday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • May 27, 2015

    Brazilian Valve Maker Lupatech Files For Bankruptcy

    Brazilian industrial valve manufacturer Lupatech SA has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in as many years, blaming the company's financial problems on a drop in world oil prices that it says has hurt businesses that support the energy industry's supply chain.

  • May 27, 2015

    Duke Execs Hid Role In Coal Ash Spill, Shareholder Says

    A Duke Energy Corp. shareholder alleged Tuesday that the company's executives withheld information about their complicity in a 2014 coal ash spill in North Carolina until after their re-election at an annual meeting, misleading shareholders in violation of the Securities Exchange Act.

  • May 27, 2015

    Hogan Lovells Expands IP Practice With Ex-Bracewell Atty

    Hogan Lovells announced that it has expanded its intellectual property, media and technology practice with the addition of a former Bracewell & Giuliani LLP partner with a global IP practice focused on the energy industry as partner in its Houston office.

  • May 27, 2015

    Gas Natural Must Face Cobra Pipeline's Data-Theft Claims

    An Ohio federal judge on Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss Cobra Pipeline Co. Ltd.’s suit accusing partner-turned-rival Gas Natural Inc. of illegally tracking Cobra’s trucks and workers based on the possible existence of confidential information stored on a secure website.

  • May 27, 2015

    EXCLUSIVE: Sens. Probing CFTC Charges To Inspector General Budget

    The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is under a congressional inquiry over its plans to charge its inspector general hundreds of thousands of dollars for purported overhead expenses, Law360 has learned. The probe is part of a broader look into whether certain federal agencies are restraining their internal watchdogs. 

  • May 26, 2015

    Coal Power Reductions To Double Under Clean Power Plan

    The amount of coal-fired power reduced over the next 15 years will more than double under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to an analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

  • May 26, 2015

    Unsecured EFH Creditors Blast Exclusivity Extension Bid

    The unsecured creditors committee for one of Energy Future Holdings Corp.’s two major divisions argued Tuesday that the debtor should only remain in exclusive control of its Chapter 11 case until August, suggesting the units could reorganize under separate plans instead of one overarching strategy. 

  • May 26, 2015

    Houston Urges 5th Circ. To Revive $641M Exxon Pollution Suit

    The city of Houston on Friday threw its weight behind environmental groups’ bid to revive a $641 million suit against Exxon Mobil Corp. over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, urging the Fifth Circuit to reverse a lower court’s “errors of law.”

  • May 26, 2015

    Former Sen. Landrieu Joins Van Ness' Public Policy Team

    Former Senator Mary Landrieu joined Van Ness Feldman LLP on Tuesday as a senior policy adviser focusing on energy, natural resources and infrastructure.

  • May 26, 2015

    Tribe Says It Can't 'Out-Bribe' Donziger In Ecuador Court

    Indigenous Ecuadoreans seeking a share of a $9.5 billion pollution-related judgment that attorney Steven Donziger helped secure against Chevron Corp. told a New York appeals court Tuesday to keep the case in-state and not send it to the Ecuador court he allegedly bribed.

  • May 26, 2015

    Ex-Freedom Prez Moves To DQ Entire US Attorneys' Office

    The former president of Freedom Industries Inc. is once again questioning his ability to receive a fair trial in southern West Virginia, telling a federal judge that responses he received from the prosecutors overseeing his criminal case indicate that the entire U.S. attorneys’ office should be disqualified for bias.

  • May 26, 2015

    Chesapeake Says $5B Rico Suit Blocked By Pa. Precedent

    Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Friday asked a Pennsylvania federal judge to dismiss a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act suit brought by more than 90 owners of royalty interests in natural gas alleging $5 billion in damages, saying a Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent blocks the claims.

  • May 26, 2015

    Wachtell Blasts CVR's 'Illogical' Bid To Save Malpractice Suit

    Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz has again urged a New York federal judge to toss a malpractice suit brought against it by CVR Energy Inc. and activist investor Carl Icahn, calling their reason why a state court’s dismissal of a parallel action should not halt the federal case “illogical."

  • May 26, 2015

    SEC Gets Injunction Against Oil Co. Exec In Fraud Case

    A Texas federal judge approved a mutually agreed upon request for a preliminary injunction Tuesday against a petroleum company and its owner, who the Securities and Exchange Commission claims fraudulently sold securities to investors for a drilling project in the Dakotas and Montana.

  • May 26, 2015

    GSA Must Review Wind Farm’s Enviro Exemption, Judge Says

    An Illinois federal judge has said the U.S. General Services Administration did not consider possible environmental consequences in finding a proposed tribe-backed wind farm qualifies for an exemption from a federal environmental review.

  • May 26, 2015

    DOI Won't Revisit Pipeline Right-Of-Way Grant On Tribal Land

    A U.S. Department of the Interior panel has refused to reconsider its affirmation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' right-of-way renewal for Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC across land on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, ruling a minority interest holder had not given enough reason to revisit the decision.

  • May 26, 2015

    Utility Asks 7th Circ. To Revive $70M Enviro Cleanup Suit

    A Chicago gas utility urged the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday to overturn a decision that gutted its suit to recoup some of the $70 million it spent cleaning up a coke plant turned Superfund site, arguing that a nearly century-old contract didn’t release the plant’s former operator from environmental liability.

  • May 26, 2015

    Ariz. Uranium Mine To Stay Open As Tribe, Enviros Appeal

    An Arizona federal judge Tuesday refused to grant the Havasupai Tribe’s motion to block progress on a uranium mining project while the Ninth Circuit considers its appeal of a ruling greenlighting the mine, saying the tribe’s alleged hardships didn’t outweigh the company’s.

Expert Analysis

  • PRPs May Want To Dig In With Divisibility Defense

    John DiChello Jr.

    U.S. v. NCR Corp. is significant given the reluctance of most, if not all, courts to find potentially responsible parties have met their burden of proving divisibility of harm to the environment since the U.S. Supreme Court embraced the divisibility defense in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. U.S., says John DiChello Jr. of Blank Rome LLP.

  • Iran Nuclear Deal Review Act Won't End Sanctions Debate

    Michael E. Zolandz

    On May 22, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Although the act is now law, the tussle between legislative and executive prerogatives with respect to the Iranian sanctions regime will likely continue, say attorneys at Dentons LLP.

  • The Future Is Now: Next-Gen Enforcement At The EPA

    Granta Nakayama

    Given that resource constraints are likely to remain at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Next-Generation enforcement is here to stay, certainly in the near-term. Recent agency memorandum and the Tonawanda Coke Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. settlements make clear that the EPA is committed to incorporating Next-Gen compliance tools in civil settlements, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • What Was Wrong With BHP Billiton's Compliance Program

    Lisa Prager

    Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell recently reiterated a common theme from enforcement agencies — having a written compliance program on paper is not sufficient. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's settlement with BHP Billiton Ltd. for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations is the quintessential case in point, say attorneys with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • No Consensus On CEQ Draft Guidance For NEPA Reviews

    Elizabeth A. Lake

    Despite its intended goal of reducing "litigation driven by uncertainty," the White House Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance regarding National Environmental Policy Act reviews avoids providing direction on determining when greenhouse gases and climate change impacts are significant, and its consideration of upstream and downstream impacts is particularly vague, says Elizabeth Lake of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Smart Grids Require Smarter Utilities: Preventing Breaches

    Jeremy Susac

    Although programmable, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats may significantly reduce energy costs, they may inadvertently increase utilities’ exposure to liability and lawsuits by creating a vulnerability that leads to a data breach. Utilities should take steps to mitigate their risk through a Prevent Energy Breach And Liability Agreement or a cyber captive insurance program, say Jeremy Susac and Steven Weber of Berger Singerman LLP.

  • Tips For Protecting Intellectual Property In The Oil Patch

    Stephen Stein

    Whether oil prices are rising or falling, the vulnerability to intellectual property litigation is a critical issue for energy providers in the U.S. and across the globe. And it is important to recognize that patents are not the only IP consideration for an industry that spends billions of dollars annually on research and development needs, says Stephen Stein of Thompson & Knight LLP.

  • DOJ Is Trying To Show Benefits Of Corporate Cooperation

    Ryan Rohlfsen

    Recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases and commentary from U.S. Department of Justice officials illustrate possible costs, benefits and pitfalls in the disclosure and cooperation calculation, say Ryan Rohlfsen and David Nordsieck of Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Considering Competitive Transmission Solicitation Options

    Matthew R. McGuire

    Unlike other regional transmission organizations and independent system operators that identify the transmission project to be built and then solicit bids for who will construct it, PJM Interconnection LLC identifies issues with the transmission system and solicits proposals to resolve them. This solutions-based model likely yields more creative ideas, but at the cost of a more complex competitive solicitation model, says Matthew M... (continued)

  • Colo. Lone Pine Case Is Setback For Fracking

    Carl J. Pernicone

    After the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling in Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley, hydraulic fracturing defendants are likely to see an increase in defense costs, fewer dismissals and fewer early settlements. Had it won, industry could have used the decision to secure early dismissals of fracking suits or, at minimum, force plaintiffs to choose — and stick with — a case theory, say attorneys at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.