While oil and gas operators may grumble about the Obama administration's revised hydraulic fracturing rule creating another layer of regulations, attorneys say the industry should be pleased that the current version strives for greater harmony with well-established state regulations and imposes less onerous requirements than the previous edition.
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker introduced legislation on Thursday designed to ensure that deductions taken out of royalty checks issued to landowners who lease their properties to gas drillers are clearly broken down.
A pair of U.S. senators on Thursday became the latest lawmakers to push for reforms to the federal renewable fuels standard program, introducing a bill aimed at allowing more domestic ethanol to be blended into the fuel supply by removing incentives for foreign ethanol imports.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly confirmed Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Ernest Moniz as the new energy secretary, with not a single senator casting a dissenting vote.
The Obama administration unveiled revised rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands Thursday that environmentalists denounced as a cop-out to the energy industry, while oil and gas groups only offered tepid support due to concerns that the rules will overlap with state regulations.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Thursday criticized the U.S. Department of the Interior's management of federal oil and gas resources, claiming that the agency needs to do a better job training its staff and making sure it is collecting its full share of revenue.
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker unveiled a package of bills Wednesday that would fund transportation projects and infrastructure across the commonwealth by imposing a severance tax on natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale and closing a loophole allowing companies to shift certain taxable assets out of state.
The White House's pick to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency moved a step closer to confirmation Thursday after a Senate committee advanced Gina McCarthy's nomination with a 10-8 vote, but Republicans still are holding out the threat of a filibuster to block full Senate consideration.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday finalized a rule to protect the nation’s bulk power system from geomagnetic disturbances like solar flares, as it looks to fill regulatory gaps that leave the grid vulnerable to disruptions.
President Barack Obama has pushed through a significantly higher number of major rules over the last four years than former President George W. Bush did during his own first term, according to a report by the research arm of Congress.
Argentina filed a formal complaint against the European Union with the World Trade Organization on Wednesday, challenging European rules for the importation and marketing of biodiesel.
Senate lawmakers on Tuesday grilled the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy on the president's $28.4 billion budget proposal for the agency, demanding more details about an international nuclear research fusion project that could cost the government more than $3 billion.
Texas lawmakers on Tuesday killed legislation designed to promote transparency and eliminate perceived industry influence over the state’s regulator of oil and gas development by restricting campaign contributions to its elected leadership and imposing tougher enforcement standards.
Lawmakers fuming over cuts to a minerals revenue sharing program floated legislation Tuesday that would allow royalty payments from energy projects on federal land to bypass the U.S. Treasury and go directly to states.
U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday again set their sights on the controversial federal renewable fuel standards program, introducing a bipartisan bill that would allow natural-gas based ethanol to compete with corn-based ethanol under the standard, which they claim will combat rising food and feedstock prices.
Florida's Public Service Commission on Tuesday exercised jurisdiction in a dispute pitting No Name Key homeowners against Monroe County, allowing the homeowners to hook up to the electrical grid in a move the county says could undermine efforts by local governments to manage development.
A New Jersey appellate court on Monday squashed a citizens' group's protest against a FirstEnergy Corp. substation that was built in the state's environmentally sensitive Highlands region, saying state regulators had acceptable reasons for exempting the station from state environmental law.
The Pennsylvania-based Marcellus Shale Coalition announced Monday that it had added a former government relations professional from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC to lead its lobbying efforts.
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., on Friday introduced bipartisan legislation that would reform the federal ethanol mandate, highlighting the harmful impacts of a federal ethanol production requirement on farmers, consumers and sportsmen.
A leading House Democrat said Friday that BP PLC hasn't turned over information detailing how it misled Congress about the amount of oil released during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and urged regulators to keep the company's federal contracts ban in place until it adequately responds.
The pros of using predictive coding far outweigh the cons. Given the heavy pressure on law firms and in-house counsel to reduce discovery costs, as well as the Justice Department's recent stance on the subject, it appears predictive coding will continue to emerge from the obscure world of legal technology to the mainstream of legal practice, say Michael Moscato and Myles Bartley of Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle LLP.
The interpretation by the Supreme Court of Texas in Reeder v. Wood County Energy LLC grants vast protection to oil and gas operators, but by doing so, it is perceived by some as muddling the differences between tort and contract law, says Michael Bolton and Kate Kalanick of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
The Fourth Circuit recently issued a ruling in PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston that may limit the availability of the bona fide prospective purchaser defense. By narrowly construing one of the elements of the BFPP defense, the court has underscored the importance of strict compliance with all requirements of the defense, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.
The California Air Resources Board has again been sued over its implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act in Morning Star Packing Co., et al. v. CARB, which resembles an earlier action brought by the California Chamber of Commerce. Petitioners of both cases face the difficult challenge of convincing the court to derail a massive regulatory scheme that is now well underway, say attorneys with Marten Law PLLC.
Public-private partnerships have been used in a wide range of sectors to provide public services, from power plants and railroads to hospitals and sanitation plants. Yet there are a variety of potential contractual arrangements and the financing of a PPP can be complex, say Maryam Khosharay and Herbert Glaser of Haynes and Boone LLP.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed technology-based effluent limitation guidelines and standards for steam electric power-generating units. These guidelines will certainly impose significant costs, and when coupled with the cost of the EPA’s rules under the Clean Air Act, there can be little question that some coal-fired facilities will close as a result, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.
Many lawyers are asking whether placing electronically stored information in the cloud could inadvertently waive the attorney-client privilege and whether the government or a civil litigant could obtain ESI directly from a cloud service provider. In answering these questions, there are a number of aspects of the cloud worth considering, say Timothy Broas and Matthew Saxon of Winston & Strawn LLP.
Not every company can be the next Facebook. But thankfully, for many startups, generating one billion users is not the end goal, nor should it be. Enter “narrowcasting” — one of a few reasons to be optimistic about venture capital, despite the first quarter of 2013 being the slowest for fundraising since 2002, says David Kaufman of Thompson Coburn LLP.
While the recently introduced bill permitting renewable energy projects to use a master limited partnership structure seems like good policy, there is concern that opening the MLP franchise to projects without a strong track record of producing steady cash flows could result in failed projects and cast a pall over the entire investment category, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.
Recently, a New York appellate court upheld lower court decisions in Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, which found municipal bans on natural gas development to be a valid exercise of home rule. There are a number of reasons, however, that the court should have instead overturned these decisions, says Yvonne Hennessey of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.