Energy

  • June 23, 2016

    Enviros Say DC Circ. Can Hear NY Nuke Plant Case

    Environmentalists on Thursday told the D.C. Circuit that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc. are wrong to argue the court can’t hear the environmental group’s petition for a review of the decision to restart a nuclear plant near New York City.

  • June 23, 2016

    High Court OT Ruling Dooms EPA Coal Permit Nix, Miner Says

    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor did an unexplained about-face in saying that auto service advisers qualify for overtime is further evidence that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrongly revoked coal permits from an Arch Coal unit, the company told the D.C. Circuit Wednesday.

  • June 23, 2016

    Aussie Solar Cos. Again Say $1.3M Award Must Be Nixed

    An Australian home solar company and its U.S. affiliate fought back against a Chinese solar panel maker’s effort to confirm a $1.3 million arbitral award for nonpayment in New York federal court Wednesday, saying the award is too vague and the arbitration process was unfair.

  • June 22, 2016

    Justices’ Financial Disclosures Reveal Conflicts Of Interest

    Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito held stock in companies that appeared before the high court in 2015 — Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Johnson Controls, respectively — while Alito finally offloaded the Exxon Mobil stock that forced him to recuse himself from the Exxon Valdez case, according to a watchdog group.

  • June 22, 2016

    PG&E Questions Safety Regs As San Bruno Trial Enters Day 3

    Some federal safety regulations describing when natural gas pipes must be inspected are vague, the government’s engineering expert conceded in a California federal court trial Wednesday as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. defended against criminal charges that it violated safety laws leading up to a fatal 2010 San Bruno gas line explosion.

  • June 22, 2016

    TSCA Reform's Success Rests On EPA's Shoulders

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be hard-pressed to meet the responsibilities established for it by the newly minted Toxic Substances Control Act reform law, and experts say the legislation’s success in transforming the chemical regulation process depends in large part on whether the EPA can rise to the occasion.

  • June 22, 2016

    Citigroup Faces Investor's $200M Suit In Nuclear Plant Row

    A Cayman Islands-based investment fund on Wednesday hit Citigroup Inc. with a $200 million suit in New York state court accusing it of undervaluing a Louisiana nuclear plant in which Citigroup allegedly encouraged the fund to invest.

  • June 22, 2016

    GE Affiliate Keeps $476M Award Over Failed Wind Turbine Pact

    A New York federal judge on Wednesday confirmed an earlier arbitration award of $476 million to GE Transportation Shenyang Co. Ltd. in a dispute arising from a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer's alleged failure to make payments in a contract to buy gearboxes from the General Electric subsidiary.

  • June 22, 2016

    Water Waste Co. Says Low Oil Price No Excuse For Breach

    Veolia Water North America filed suit in Texas state court Wednesday alleging energy company Newfield Production Co. cannot claim that the low price of oil is an “uncontrollable event” allowing it to terminate a water recycling agreement between the companies.

  • June 22, 2016

    US Trustee Objects To Seventy Seven Energy DIP Term Seal

    A Seventy Seven Energy Inc. bid to keep some of its Delaware Chapter 11 financing terms private drew an objection Wednesday from the U.S. Trustee’s office, and a reminder that debtors can expect “full and extensive” public disclosure requirements as they reorganize and shed debt.

  • June 22, 2016

    Feds Blast Judge’s Decision To Sink BLM Fracking Rule

    The federal government on Wednesday blasted a Wyoming federal judge’s recent decision to strike down the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's fracking rule for federal and Native American lands, saying the standards are well within the agency’s authority and responsibility to protect public lands.

  • June 22, 2016

    SunEdison CEO Resigns 2 Months After Filing For Ch. 11

    SunEdison President and Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Chatila has resigned and been replaced by the company's recently appointed restructuring chief, the company said Wednesday, signaling the biggest shake-up of the heavily indebted energy giant's top ranks since filing for bankruptcy in April.

  • June 22, 2016

    Exxon Denied New Trial Against Edison For Juror’s Joke

    A California judge Wednesday tentatively denied ExxonMobil’s request for a new trial over allegations a Southern California Edison unit’s negligence resulted in refinery power outages and $32 million in damages, calling a juror’s statement that the refinery "blows up all the time" a nonprejudicial joke.

  • June 22, 2016

    Noted Houston Atty Maloney Launches New Trial Firm

    Longtime Houston securities trial lawyer James Edward “Jim” Maloney announced Wednesday he has left Andrews Kurth LLP, after serving as partner there since 2012, to launch his own firm in what he said could be described as a “search for entertainment.”

  • June 22, 2016

    Minn. Vows Fight Of 8th Circ.'s Declawing Of Emissions Law

    Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday said his state will seek an en banc rehearing of an Eighth Circuit decision earlier this month that nixed portions of a Minnesota law barring new coal-fired plants from supplying electricity to the state.

  • June 22, 2016

    Gas Cos Back BP, Shell In 2nd Circ. Bid To End MTBE Claims

    The Second Circuit has allowed several gasoline companies to back Shell Oil Co. and BP Products North America Inc.'s bid to affirm the dismissal of groundwater contamination claims brought by a California municipal water district, claims the intervening companies say are unsupportable and barred by a prior settlement.

  • June 22, 2016

    $1.4M For Petcoke Pollution Not Enough, Homeowners Say

    Homeowners included in a class suing Koch Industries and several other companies over lax storage of oil refining byproducts asked an Illinois federal judge to reject $1.4 million in settlements Tuesday, arguing it isn’t enough to repair years of damage to homes and yards.

  • June 22, 2016

    Pipeline Regulator Reauthorized As Obama Inks Safety Bill

    President Barack Obama signed legislation Wednesday reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration through 2019, which includes a mandate to craft new rules for underground natural gas storage in the wake of a massive gas leak in Southern California last fall.

  • June 22, 2016

    FERC Won't Halt Dominion's $159M NY Pipeline Upgrade

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday rejected a bid by a conservation group to block Dominion Transmission's $159 million upgrade to its natural gas pipeline in upstate New York, saying the group hasn't shown why a stay of the project would be justified.

  • June 22, 2016

    Seadrill Didn't Lie About Russian Sanctions, Judge Says

    A Manhattan federal judge has tossed a consolidated class action claiming that Seadrill Ltd. misled investors with vows to preserve chunky dividend payments despite uncertainty over contracts with a Russian government-controlled oil company, saying investors hadn’t identified any deceptive statements. 

Expert Analysis

  • New Far-Reaching Air Regulations For US Oil And Gas Wells

    Scott Janoe

    The Obama administration recently announced two sweeping final rules to regulate air emissions from oil and gas exploration, production and transportation facilities and has begun a rulemaking process aimed at controlling methane emissions from existing oil and gas facilities, both of which will will place a significant burden on in-house staff, say attorneys at Baker Botts LLP.

  • OPINION: Sotomayor's Solution To Pro Bono Is Incomplete

    David A. Lash

    In calling for mandatory pro bono service, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is effectively using her bully pulpit to advance the cause of access to justice for the poor. Her courageous leadership is a clarion call to action that must be heeded. But bold as it may be, the pronouncement is incomplete, says David Lash, managing counsel for pro bono at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Creating Barclay Damon: Lessons From A Law Firm Merger

    John P. Langan

    Joining two firms with long histories meant not only combining cultures, philosophies and deeply rooted ways of doing business, but also combining two IT systems, two accounting systems, and two ways of handling many other administrative functions. It didn't help that the firms had different fiscal year ends, says John Langan, managing partner of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • Considerations For Power Generation Co. Restructuring

    Deryck Palmer

    Many power generation companies are experiencing difficulties under current market conditions. As restructuring discussions commence across the capital structure, creditors seeking to improve their recoveries should bear in mind lessons learned from recent cases such as Dynegy and Edison Mission Energy, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Reflecting On The 20th Anniversary Of BMW V. Gore

    Andrew Frey

    On May 20, 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a $2 million punitive damages award imposed for a tort that caused $4,000 in economic harm was unconstitutionally excessive. In the ensuing 20 years, BMW v. Gore has proved to be a foundational case in punitive damages jurisprudence. We were fortunate enough to have played a role in this historic decision, say Mayer Brown LLP partners Andrew Frey and Evan Tager and Maserati North Am... (continued)

  • Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider (The Sequel)

    Mark A. Cohen

    Last week, we discussed why corporate legal departments are taking on so much more work themselves instead of outsourcing it to law firms. This is, of course, an ominous sign for law firms and the traditional partnership structure. So too is disaggregation and the emergence of legal service providers as well as others — notably the Big Four — poised to enter the gargantuan legal services market, says Mark A. Cohen of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • Recent State And Local Tax Developments In Pennsylvania

    James R. Malone Jr.

    The past six months have brought a number of significant state and local tax cases with wide-ranging effects on businesses and individuals in Pennsylvania, including cases on the corporate net income tax, the Public Utility Realty Tax Act and the Local Tax Enabling Act, among others, says James Malone at Post & Schell PC.

  • Could Community Microgrids Be More Than Just A Fad?

    Thomas C. Havens

    Given the increased focus in the energy industry on reliability, sustainability and resiliency, microgrids could play a key role in shaping the U.S.'s energy future, but the speed and success of that growth will largely depend on how policymakers address the various legal and regulatory barriers to microgrid deployment encountered by project developers across the nation, say Tom Havens and Jennifer Galiette at Day Pitney LLP.

  • Uptick In FCPA Enforcement Suggests 2015 Drop Was Outlier

    Marc Alain Bohn

    After a relative slowdown in 2015, the pace of enforcement activity under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has increased sharply in 2016, resulting in a record 15 first-quarter enforcement actions and 17 year to date, say Marc Alain Bohn and Michael Skopets of Miller & Chevalier Chtd.

  • OPINION: Stop 'Vigorously Defending' Your Clients

    Dan McGinn

    Oddly, amazingly, inexplicably, in a business where words are never in short supply, only one word seems to work when it comes to characterizing a lawyer’s commitment to clients, says Dan McGinn, a national reputation management adviser who has counseled nearly half the Fortune 100.