Energy

  • November 13, 2014

    BP Can't Dodge Negligence Ruling, Faces Up To $18B Fines

    A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday denied BP PLC’s bid to escape a finding that the company was grossly negligent in the events leading up to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, potentially putting BP on the hook for up to $18 billion in Clean Water Act penalties.

  • November 13, 2014

    Danish Marine Fuel Co.'s US Units Follow Parent Into Ch. 11

    OW Bunker A/S put three U.S. units into Chapter 11 on Thursday after bank lenders refused to keep the Danish marine fuel supplier afloat following the discovery of a massive employee fraud in Singapore that has rippled across global shipping markets.

  • November 13, 2014

    Calif. Joins FCA Suit Alleging $150M BP Natural Gas Scam

    California has joined a False Claims Act suit in state court accusing BP PLC of scamming Golden State taxpayers out of at least $150 million by illegally hiking the price of natural gas sold to the state, the whistleblower's attorneys said Thursday.

  • November 13, 2014

    PGW Could Help Make Philly An Energy Hub, Council Told

    Consultants commissioned by the Philadelphia City Council, which in October snubbed Mayor Michael Nutter’s plan to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works to UIL Holdings Corp. for $1.86 billion, testified Thursday that there were significant opportunities to both increase the company’s annual revenue and bolster the regional energy industry.

  • November 13, 2014

    EPA Urges DC Circ. To Nix Challenge To Large Boiler Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has urged the D.C. Circuit to reject a challenge from industry groups and environmentalists to a rule that establishes toxic emission standards for large boilers.

  • November 13, 2014

    Bankrupt Biofuel Co. KiOR Gets Interim Nod For $15M DIP

    Texas-based KiOR Inc. got the blessing of a Delaware bankruptcy judge on Thursday for a slate of first-day motions, including preliminary approval of a $15 million debtor-in-possession loan, designed to keep the biofuel developer running in Chapter 11.

  • November 13, 2014

    Ex-Massey Energy CEO Indicted In Fatal 2010 Mine Explosion

    Coal giant Massey Energy's former CEO, Don Blankenship, was indicted Thursday on federal charges of creating the safety failures that led to the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion, which killed 29 workers in 2010 — and of lying to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about them.

  • November 13, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Halliburton, Albertsons, Hasbro

    Halliburton Co. is considering making a play to purchase rival Baker Hughes Inc. and create an oil field services giant worth $67 billion, while Chicago billionaire and real estate tycoon Samuel Zell is one of three parties attempting to buy a portfolio of more than 100 grocery stores from Albertsons LLC.

  • November 13, 2014

    States Back EPA In Murray's DC Circ. Challenge To Plant Rule

    Thirteen states and the District of Columbia on Monday told the D.C. Circuit it should toss Murray Energy Corp.'s bid to sink the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to cut greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants, calling the challenge premature and meritless.

  • November 13, 2014

    Enviros Sue Calif. Regulators Over Aera Fracking Permits

    A coalition of environmental groups sued California regulators in state court on Wednesday, claiming the state violated the California Environmental Quality Act by issuing permits allowing Aera Energy LLC to drill in South Belridge Oil Field in Kern County without first carrying out a required environmental review.

  • November 13, 2014

    NY Power Producers Rip Schumer Plan To Stop Capacity Zone

    New York power generators called Sen. Charles Schumer’s plans to to block the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s controversial “capacity zone” in New York’s Hudson Valley “misguided meddling,” saying the scheme is working to increase capacity in the high-need area.

  • November 13, 2014

    PrairieSky Pays $615M For Range Royalty After Encana Spinoff

    Canada’s PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. said Thursday that it is acquiring fellow oil royalty company Range Royalty LP for about C$699 million ($615 million), thus gaining a foothold in Saskatchewan’s Viking oil play,  just months after it was spun off from Encana Corp.

  • November 13, 2014

    New York Funds $206M For Green Energy Projects Upstate

    New York state awarded $206 million to support four renewable energy projects upstate on Wednesday, including wind and hydroelectric power, part of a publicly funded program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and upgrade energy infrastructure.

  • November 13, 2014

    Texas City Fights Bid To Remand Drilling Ban Suit

    The city of Denton, Texas, on Wednesday argued that a lawsuit filed by a group of mineral interest owners alleging the city's drilling moratoria are illegal takings belongs in federal court because it raises Fifth Amendment claims.

  • November 13, 2014

    Koch Unit, BP Escape Suit Over Chicago Coal Dust

    An Illinois federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Koch unit KM Railways LLC and BP Products North America Inc. from a class action suit brought by Chicago residents alleging clouds of coal dust blow onto their properties from facilities owned by BP and others.

  • November 13, 2014

    Vietnam Borrows $500M From World Bank For Grid Upgrade

    The World Bank agreed to lend $500 million to the State Bank of Vietnam on Wednesday, to fund the construction of 1,000 kilometers of power lines and install energy-efficient technology into the Vietnamese grid.

  • November 13, 2014

    American Energy Pays $251M For Okla. Shale Stakes

    A unit of private equity-backed American Energy Partners LP has paid $251 million to acquire stakes in two key Oklahoma shale plays from Double Eagle Energy Holdings LLC and others, the company said Wednesday.

  • November 13, 2014

    Azure Midstream Eyes $175M IPO Amid Public Push For MLPs

    Azure Midstream Partners LP filed Thursday to raise $175 million before listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the day after fellow Texas-based energy master limited partnership Coronado Midstream Partners LP confirmed it filed a confidential draft registration statement with regulators.

  • November 12, 2014

    US-China Deal Ups Ante For EPA In Battle Over GHG Rules

    A groundbreaking agreement between the U.S. and China to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions raises the stakes on President Barack Obama’s go-it-alone approach to climate initiatives, as the deal and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency programs behind it will soon be tested by newly empowered Senate Republicans.

  • November 12, 2014

    Sandia Misused US Funds To Lobby Over Contract, DOE Says

    Sandia National Laboratories improperly used federal contract funds to lobby federal officials and Congress members for an extension of a multibillion-dollar management contract for a nuclear weapons facility and engaged a former congresswoman in the effort, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Energy's inspector general.

Expert Analysis

  • 5th Circ. Maritime Case May Set National Standard

    Joel B. Crane

    The Fifth Circuit majority opinion’s adherence to history, federal statutory law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent in McBride v. Estis Well Service LLC over limiting injured seamen and their heirs to pecuniary damages will undoubtedly serve as persuasive authority in defending against punitive damage claims in maritime cases nationwide, say attorneys at Sedgwick LLP.

  • A Primer On 'Bad Faith' In Federal Removal Jurisdiction

    Ugo Colella

    The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act grants a federal district court discretion to permit removal after the one-year period if it finds a plaintiff has “acted in bad faith” to prevent removal, but it didn’t come with a clear definition of "bad faith." Recent case law offers some minimal guidance on how the exception should be interpreted, say Ugo Colella and Todd Seaman of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • Crowdfunding Models Proliferate For Clean Energy Projects

    Kristen Young

    Solar and distributed generation offer asset attributes and capital investment profiles that are well-suited to crowdfunding. Important regulatory pronouncements over the coming months, however, could enhance or hinder the crowdfunding marketplace, say Jim Wrathall and Kristen Young of Sullivan & Worcester LLP.

  • Schlumberger Is Not A New Normal In Trade Secret Cases

    Scott R. McLaughlin

    Schlumberger Ltd. v. Rutherford appears to be unique and should not have a broad impact on typical trade secret lawsuits — most cases do not involve an alleged effort to prevent a former employee’s participation in litigation against the former employer, much less a former in-house attorney, say Scott McLaughlin and Crystal Parker of Jackson Walker LLP.

  • A New Standard To Resolve The Electricity Debate

    Doron Kenter

    In a recent case involving the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, a bankruptcy appellate panel declined to decide whether electricity is a “good” for purposes of Section 503(b)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code, but it sent a clear message regarding the nature of analysis to be applied in connection with any such assessments, says Doron Kenter of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • How To Argue An All Sums Approach To Long-Tail Claims

    David L. Elkind

    Policyholders litigating in a jurisdiction where the law regarding allocation is undecided should be aware of a perception by some courts that an all sums approach is unfair and remind them that the insurer drafted the policy and that no single insurer will actually be left with an obligation to cover all sums, say David Elkind and Daniel Streim of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • A Step Toward Expediting California Clean Energy Permits

    Jennifer K. Roy

    If approved, the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan should help streamline permitting for renewable energy generation projects and transmission projects in the Colorado and Mojave desert areas of California, but it would not be a panacea, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • New Texas Pipeline Permitting Process Is Modest Change

    C. Brannon Robertson

    While the Texas Railroad Commission's proposed changes to the way pipelines gain "common carrier" status have garnered attention, the rule will likely have a minimal effect on the ultimate determination of whether a given line is entitled to such status — that decision will remain with the courts, says Brannon Robertson of King & Spalding LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: ABCs Of JPML Practice

    Alan E. Rothman

    This week, as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation embarks on a rare October hearing, we cannot resist mentioning an intriguing MDL petition that involves local rules governing attorney admission and several lawsuits naming members of the federal judiciary — including a JPML member who is also a D.C. district court judge, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • New Calif. Rooftop Regime Seeks To Streamline Solar

    Brian J. Nese

    With a pending reduction in federal tax credits and a warning from the Legaue of California Cities that its members cannot implement reforms, the solar panel industry should pay close attention to California's new rooftop permitting regime — it remains to be seen whether anticipated "soft cost" savings will be realized, say Brian Nese and Michael Wang of Stoel Rives LLP.