Two major decisions — one from a New York state appeals court on a municipality's ability to regulate natural gas exploration through home rule powers and another from a state agency on whether health effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing have been sufficiently addressed — are expected in the spring of 2013 and will largely determine the extent to which fracking will occur in New York state, say attorneys with Nixon Peabody LLP.
Pennsylvania's new Public and Private Partnerships for Transportation Act should stimulate private investment in public highways, bridges and other facilities where governments confront funding restraints. Private firms should appreciate that interest in P3 programs is high and competition for projects is likely to be intense, say Ralph Finizio and Ryan Stewart of Pepper Hamilton LLP.
With more cross-border insolvencies being filed, and more petitions for recognition of foreign proceedings coming before U.S. bankruptcy courts, it is clear that the outlines of Chapter 15 will continue to be limned. It is also clear that the question of comity in Chapter 15 proceedings will figure prominently in those proceedings and in the continued development of this area of the law, says Kevin Ray of Greenberg Traurig LLP.
Early neutral evaluation usually asks a retired judge to consider one party’s case, as if preparing to rule on summary judgment or presiding over a bench trial. Effective evaluation can supply a reality check on a case — it gives the lawyer the gift of seeing the case as others see it, says James Rosenbaum, a panelist with JAMS and former U.S. district judge for the District of Minnesota.
A recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision marks a rare instance of FERC flatly rejecting a proposed sale of a power plant under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and provides some insight as to what FERC considers to be sufficient mitigation when a proposed transaction raises horizontal market power concerns, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.
Today, the aging fields in Cook Inlet, Alaska, are nearing exhaustion, and the home heating oil in Fairbanks is also becoming dramatically scarcer. Policymakers are concerned about how these sources will be replaced to provide heat and power for nearly half a million people, and the dilemma lies in deciding the best solution before supplies are exhausted, says Michael Jungreis of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.
Despite recession-driven cost pressures that have resulted in the downsizing of nonlawyer personnel at law firms, many litigation support departments are growing. In a recent survey, half of respondents indicated that their function has grown in size in the past three years, and more than half of respondents indicated that current staffing levels are inadequate for the projected needs of the coming year, say experts at Epiq Systems and Georgetown University Law Center.
The nation’s coal-fired electric generation industry is struggling against strong headwinds of slowing electricity demand growth, an aging fleet and sustained low natural gas prices resulting from the shale gas boom. Now, the industry faces new challenges from environmental regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, say attorneys with Vinson & Elkins LLP.
Holding company loans have been gaining traction in the energy industry as the acquisition and development of oil and gas assets continues at a historic pace. While these financings have some terms that are common to any financing, they also present a number of unique structuring issues, say Craig Kornreich and Michele Penzer of Latham & Watkins LLP.
The D.C. Circuit's recent decision in New England Power Generators Association Inc. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission represents the first time FERC applied the Mobile-Sierra public interest standard to rates that are not the result of contract negotiations and could have a significant impact on organized energy markets, say attorneys with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.