• October 18, 2016

    PennEast Decries NJ Agency's Critique Of Pipeline Plan

    PennEast defended its controversial plan for a 118-mile natural gas pipeline through New Jersey and Pennsylvania on Monday, arguing that criticism by a Garden State ratepayer advocate agency demonstrated a “lack of understanding” of how local energy distribution companies contract to use pipeline capacity.

  • October 18, 2016

    3 Takeaways From Global Deal To End Use Of HFCs

    The recent agreement by 197 nations to cut down on and ultimately phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, chemicals used in cooling systems that have been found to significantly contribute to global warming, was the result of years of planning and compromise, experts say. Here are three key takeaways from the deal.

  • October 18, 2016

    FEMA To Revise High-Risk Flood Maps After NYC Appeal

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Monday it will revise its flood maps for New York City, following an appeal lodged by Mayor Bill de Blasio last year that challenged the addition of 35,000 buildings to the highest flood-risk areas.

  • October 18, 2016

    BIA Needs Both Wyo. Tribes' OK For Joint Contracts: Judge

    A Montana federal judge on Monday blocked the Bureau of Indian Affairs from entering into contracts funding government services for two tribes that share a Wyoming reservation unless it gets approval from both, saying the government’s contention that it had stopped agreeing to contracts with just one of the tribes didn’t mean it wouldn’t do so again.

  • October 18, 2016

    Tribes Blast Attempt To Discuss Changes To Fishing Plan

    The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe and Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe urged a Washington federal court on Monday to reject the Quileute Tribe’s attempt to force various tribes to have settlement discussions about modifying a plan that seeks to balance their halibut fishing rights.

  • October 18, 2016

    GAO Report Sets Stage For Long Fight Over Train Brake Rule

    A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report suggesting that federal transportation officials may have overstated the benefits of a rule requiring modern braking technology for high-hazard flammable trains will fuel railroads’ efforts to kill that rule in court, experts say, but staunch government and union support means those regulations are far from dead.

  • October 18, 2016

    Coal Co.'s Win Won't Diminish EPA's Regulatory Clout

    A recent ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shirked its duty to evaluate the employment consequences of its air pollution regulations marked a rare court win for the beleaguered coal industry, but experts say the victory is more political than practical, since the EPA isn't required to alter its regulations based on its employment studies.

  • October 18, 2016

    DOI Urges FERC To Approve Klamath River Dam Removal

    The U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday backed the removal of four PacifiCorp-owned dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon, saying that getting rid of the dams is important to restoring the river basin and aiding surrounding communities.

  • October 18, 2016

    Abeinsa Gets Nod For Restructuring Deal With Parent Co.

    Bankrupt alternative energy developer Abeinsa Holding Inc. received permission from a Delaware bankruptcy court judge Tuesday to enter into a master restructuring agreement with its parent company, Spanish firm Abengoa SA, to facilitate a global reorganization plan.

  • October 18, 2016

    Nuke Plant Risks Must Block $971M Pipeline, Enviros Say

    Riverkeeper Inc. on Tuesday renewed its call for the D.C. Circuit to halt construction of a $971 million gas pipeline project to further assess the risk of building it so close to a nuclear power plant, arguing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission blindly signed off on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inadequate analysis.

  • October 18, 2016

    Mining Co. Wants Out Of Navajo Nation's Gold King Suit

    Sunnyside Gold Corp. asked a New Mexico federal judge Monday to cut it loose from the Navajo Nation’s lawsuit over last year’s Gold King Mine disaster, saying it had no part in the incident that spilled 3 million gallons of toxic mine waste into a Colorado waterway.

  • October 18, 2016

    FWS Pushes To Shut Down Enviros' Coastal Marten ESA Suit

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has asked a California federal judge to rule that it made a reasonable decision not to extend Endangered Species Act protection to the coastal marten, a mink-like forest animal once widespread in coastal Oregon and northern California.

  • October 18, 2016

    EU Prepares To Tackle Bloated Fishing Subsidies At WTO

    The European Union on Monday said it will soon circulate a proposal to tackle widespread fisheries subsidies at the World Trade Organization and called for members to prioritize the issue as a key area of focus for the trade body's ministerial conference next year.

  • October 18, 2016

    3M Hit With New Pa. Navy Base Contamination Suit

    Residents living near two former military bases and workers formerly employed there have slapped 3M Co. and a slew of others with class allegations that the companies contaminated the residents' water with toxic chemicals used in fire suppression foam during training activities.

  • October 18, 2016

    Feds' Tribal Talks May Yield Clarity For Wary Energy Cos.

    Energy companies are worried that meetings between tribal leaders and the U.S. government stemming from the ongoing Dakota Access pipeline controversy will give tribes more power over infrastructure project approvals, but attorneys say those talks could actually help developers avoid acrimony and last-minute litigation if they lead to clearer standards.

  • October 18, 2016

    EPA Pulls Rule Tweaking Small Biz Program After Backlash

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday withdrew a rule intended to improve its program for encouraging disadvantaged businesses to participate in EPA-funded procurements, citing criticism arguing that the rule could encourage ineligible businesses to falsely certify their eligibility for the program.

  • October 18, 2016

    Feds Say Lower Court Botched Seal's Endangered Status

    The federal government on Monday asked the Ninth Circuit to uphold its decision to list a ringed seal subspecies as "threatened,” arguing a lower court applied the wrong legal standard in its decision to strike down the subspecies’ threatened status.

  • October 18, 2016

    Rainmaker Q&A: Nossaman's Kevin Sheys

    I always consider whether my time would be better spent expanding work from existing clients. I cannot focus on a new client pitch unless I am fairly certain we would win a similar pitch to any existing client, says Kevin Sheys, partner at Nossaman LLP.

  • October 17, 2016

    Enviros Won't Oppose Navajo Co.'s Intervention In Mine Suit

    Environmental groups claiming the federal government inappropriately approved the continued, expanded operations of a power plant and a coal mine on Navajo Nation land told an Arizona federal judge Monday that they don't oppose the intervention of the tribe-owned mine.

  • October 17, 2016

    Law Firm Can't Appeal $7.8M Settlement Enforcement Denial

    The Fifth Circuit on Monday declined a request from The Andry Law Firm LLC to disturb a district court's decision refusing to enforce an alleged $7.8 million settlement between the firm and BP Exploration & Production, stemming from the sprawling Deepwater Horizon multidistrict litigation, holding there is not a final decision to appeal.

Expert Analysis

  • Gas Demand Response Programs Are Alluring But Impractical

    Gordon A. Coffee

    As a solution to the shortage of gas for power generation during the winter some industry analysts have suggested creating demand response programs for natural gas, which would be far less capital-intensive than other options. Unfortunately, several practical problems hinder their implementation, says Gordon Coffee of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • The Yates Memo And Parallel Products Liability Litigation

    Geoffrey M. Drake

    There has been little discussion of the potential impact of the Yates Memo on parallel civil litigation — particularly product liability and other types of mass tort litigation — or of the reactionary measures that companies and their executives and other employees may be taking in response, says Geoffrey Drake of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Overhauling Law Firm Records Departments For A New Reality

    Raymond Fashola

    As automation increases, so do business challenges that impact overall law firm operations. Records departments are facing roadblocks associated with antiquated processes, ever-changing regulatory requirements, and emerging technologies. As a result, firms are reassessing the needs of their records department staffing models, says Raymond Fashola of HBR Consulting.

  • Expanded Wharfinger Liability Confuses Spill Cost Recovery

    Lawrence I. Kiern

    A recent decision from a Pennsylvania federal court in the protracted litigation surrounding the Athos I oil spill signals profound implications for the liability of charterers, wharfingers and the U.S. government. The ruling portends costly new obligations for all three entities to conduct frequent underwater surveys using side-scanning sonar to detect obstructions, says Lawrence Kiern of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • Raising Calif. GHG Targets: A Look At What's Ahead

    Ryan Waterman

    With the recent passing of California's Senate Bill 32 and its companion legislation, Assembly Bill 197, we find ourselves again in a period of transition as the state moves forward with climate change 2.0. We know where the state is heading, but details about how it will get there are still to be developed, say attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

  • Paris Agreement Progress From World’s Largest GHG Emitters

    Eric B. Rothenberg

    With the U.S. and China acceding to the Paris agreement earlier this month, the treaty is on its way to entering into force later this year or early in 2017. Eric Rothenberg and Remi Moncel of O’Melveny & Myers LLP explain what the agreement requires of the world’s two largest economies and how each country plans to meet its obligations.

  • 3 Steps To Successful Judgment Enforcement

    Craig Weiner

    Judgment enforcement is typically governed by the law of the state where collection is sought, which frequently means collection efforts are controlled by an arcane body of law replete with debtor-friendly roadblocks. Fortunately, there are a number of actions a judgment creditor can take to secure satisfaction of a claim, say Craig Weiner and Michael Kolcun of Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • Bolstering New Jersey's Historically Weak 'Duty To Defend'

    Steven J. Pudell

    Thanks to Burd v. Sussex Mutual Insurance Company in 1970, New Jersey's "duty to defend" has been the weakest in the nation, providing policyholders with limited protection from lawsuits. The recent Cooper Industries v. Employees Insurance of Wausau may be the first step toward weakening or overturning Burd, say Robert Chesler and Steven Pudell of Anderson Kill PC.

  • A Clean Air Act Nightmare For Yuma County, Ariz.

    Lucas J. Narducci

    In response to certain air quality challenges Yuma County, Arizona, currently faces, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly suggested the concerns be addressed through various relief mechanisms established in the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, it is unlikely any of these options will be of use to Yuma County while it’s at risk of being designated a nonattainment area for ozone, say attorneys at Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • What Is 'Real Property'? Looking At The Latest REIT Rules

    Don Lonczak

    The final IRS regulations defining “real property” for real estate investment trust purposes provide welcome certainty with respect to certain assets, including oil and gas storage tanks, silos and offshore drilling platforms. At the same time, the regulations will be a disappointment to many in the solar energy industry, say attorneys with Baker Botts LLP.