• January 19, 2017

    EPA Stands Firm On 2016 Biofuel Volume Obligations

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday struck down a petition by petroleum refiners to have the agency lower their obligations to buy cellulosic biofuels under the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standards program, saying that waiving the 2016 obligations could undermine the program.

  • January 19, 2017

    Report On Trump's Planned DOE Cuts Takes Perry By Surprise

    U.S. Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry pledged to back the agency's energy technology research and development efforts at his confirmation hearing Thursday but appeared in the dark about a news report that President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to make massive cuts at the department.

  • January 19, 2017

    FPL Wants State's Review Of Nuclear Plant Plans Stayed

    Florida Power & Light Co. has asked the Florida Supreme Court to delay further state review of its plans to build two nuclear generating units south of Miami while the high court considers whether to review an appeals court's reversal of the state's prior approval.

  • January 19, 2017

    Blank Rome Welcomes Cross-Border Transaction Partner In NY

    Blank Rome LLP announced it has added a Withers Bergman LLP partner to its corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and securities group and its cross-border practice.

  • January 19, 2017

    US Trustee Blasts Peabody's $240M Fee Bid In Ch. 11

    A U.S. trustee has urged the Missouri bankruptcy judge overseeing Peabody Energy’s Chapter 11 case to reject parts of the energy company’s proposed reorganization plan, calling its bid to pay $240 million in transaction fees “exorbitant.”

  • January 19, 2017

    EPA Defends Mercury Cost Analysis At DC Circ.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has told the D.C. Circuit that the agency's U.S. Supreme Court-ordered analysis of the costs and benefits of a rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants reasonably interpreted ambiguous language in the Clean Air Act.

  • January 19, 2017

    BREAKING: 4th Circ. Backs Ex-Massey CEO's Conspiracy Conviction

    The Fourth Circuit on Thursday upheld former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship's conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety laws before a 2010 coal mine explosion that claimed 29 lives, finding no mistakes by the lower court to warrant a reversal.

  • January 18, 2017

    Landowners Seeking $150M in Gas Royalties Get Class Cert.

    An Oklahoma federal judge granted class certification Tuesday to landowners claiming Chaparral Energy LLC withheld $150 million in gas royalties through improper deductions, but excluded a fraud claim and narrowed the group to those with agreements that don’t release the well operator’s obligation to pay production costs.

  • January 18, 2017

    Exxon, Quanta Settle Long-Running NY Cleanup Suit

    Exxon Mobil Corp. and Quanta Resources Corp. told a New York federal judge Wednesday they had reached a settlement that would release dozens of companies from labyrinthine environmental cleanup litigation over Quanta's old waste transfer station in Queens.

  • January 18, 2017

    Venezuela Loses 3rd Reconsideration Bid In Conoco Row

    An international tribunal on Tuesday declined to undo a 2013 decision finding Venezuela had improperly nationalized ConocoPhillips' interests in three oil projects, but took the opportunity to clarify that the tribunal in the underlying decision had not found Venezuela had acted in bad faith.

  • January 18, 2017

    Duane Morris Adds Partners In Miami, Chicago

    Duane Morris LLP has added a former McDermott Will & Emery LLP litigator and international arbitration expert in Miami and a former Locke Lord LLP corporate partner in Chicago, the firm announced Wednesday.

  • January 18, 2017

    Trump EPA Pick Won't Vow To Recuse Himself In Agency Suits

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, declined to say Wednesday whether he’d recuse himself from several pending lawsuits he filed against the agency if he is confirmed, instead leaving the matter up to the EPA’s ethics counsel.

  • January 18, 2017

    Oil Co. Directors Say Nigerian Assets Bought In Good Faith

    The directors of oil exploration firm Erin Energy Corp. argued Wednesday to have a derivative suit dismissed in Delaware Chancery Court, saying they acted in good faith when approving a pair of transactions to buy offshore assets in Nigeria.

  • January 18, 2017

    NY Says Bid To Force Pipeline Decision Is Uncalled For

    The New York State Department of Environment Conservation asked the D.C. Circuit to dismiss a suit by a natural gas pipeline company alleging the state agency is moving too slowly on approving a 7.8-mile gas pipeline, arguing on Tuesday that the state is following the timeline set out by law.

  • January 18, 2017

    Duke Energy To Pay To Resolve Feds' 'Gun-Jumping' Claims

    Duke Energy Corp. has agreed to pay $600,000 in civil penalties to settle the U.S. Department of Justice’s allegations that it took control of a natural gas-fired power plant in Florida from Calpine Corp. before a mandatory waiting period for antitrust review had lapsed, the department announced on Wednesday.

  • January 18, 2017

    EPA Reaches $600M Mine Fix Deal With Freeport-McMoran

    Two subsidiaries of mining company Freeport-McMoRan Inc. agreed Tuesday in Arizona federal court to pay roughly half the cost of a $600 million settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the cleanup of 94 abandoned uranium mines on Navajo Nation land in the Southwest.

  • January 18, 2017

    Army Gets OK For Enviro Review Of Dakota Access Pipeline

    The U.S. Army said Wednesday it will prepare a new environmental impact statement to consider Dakota Access LLC’s bid to complete construction of its pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, as a D.C. federal judge rejected the company’s bid to block the publication of the Army’s plans in the Federal Register.

  • January 18, 2017

    Aussie Builder Must Arbitrate AU$1.8B Chevron Jetty Case

    An Australian contractor that has filed suits against KBR Inc., Chevron Corp. and their affiliates for allegedly shortchanging it for work on a AU$3.4 billion ($2.6 billion) liquefied natural gas jetty had its case against Chevron paused by a California federal judge on Tuesday, with the court saying arbitration underway in Australia should conclude first.

  • January 18, 2017

    NJ Atty Escapes Default In Energy Co.'s Malpractice Suit

    A New Jersey attorney accused of negligently handling a financial deal for an Idaho energy company escaped a default judgment Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that although the lawyer may have been culpable for failing to appear in the case, the matter should still be decided on the merits.

  • January 18, 2017

    Willkie Farr Adds Energy Partners From Cadwalader

    Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has announced it has added two new energy and commodities attorneys to its firm who will join its Washington, D.C., offices from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Expert Analysis

  • Limitation Act Of 1851 Still Relevant To Offshore Energy

    Andrew Stakelum

    From the Titanic to the Deepwater Horizon, an obscure federal law has been invoked after many maritime disasters to limit vessel owners' liability for losses stemming from conditions outside the owners' privity or knowledge. But in today's offshore energy industry, technology can place the owner and its management in the wheelhouse, on the cargo deck and on the rig floor, says Andrew Stakelum of King & Spalding.

  • Attracting And Retaining The Millennial Lawyer

    Christopher Imperiale

    Instead of trying to change the new workforce to follow a law firm's existing processes and procedures, perhaps it's time for firms to start changing their processes and procedures to better accommodate the mentality of this next generation of lawyers, says Christopher Imperiale, a law firm adviser with Berdon LLP.

  • Trump's EPA: Be Careful What You Wish For

    Mitchell J. Klein

    Trying to prognosticate what President-elect Donald Trump will do is very difficult. But assuming he does seek to implement change at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if it's perceived as backing off of environmental enforcement, private parties will step in and cases will likely be even more expensive, more problematic and more unreasonable than those brought by the EPA and the states, says Mitchell Klein of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • The Trump Administration And Nuclear Energy

    David Repka

    Nuclear energy has fallen on hard times in the United States. Operating costs are high, while natural gas is abundant and cheap. So what will the Trump administration mean for nuclear generation? The president-elect seems uninterested in carbon-free nuclear power as a means to fight climate change, but job creation could justify the construction of new nuclear plants, say David Repka and Tyson Smith of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • It’s Time To Change The Law Firm Business Model

    Lucia Chiocchio

    Every year, statistics reveal very little change in the number of women and minorities in the ranks of partnership. So how do law firms change this painfully slow rate of progress? It takes more than adding a diversity policy or a women’s leadership program to the current law firm business model, says Lucia Chiocchio, co-chair of Cuddy & Feder LLP's telecommunications and land use, zoning & development groups.

  • Tribal Treaty Rights And Public Interest: Showdown In ND

    Lael Echo-Hawk

    Following the Obama administration's refusal to issue a required permit for the Dakota Access pipeline, the matter is far from resolved. However, regardless of the ultimate outcome, the world is now better educated about Native American issues, and the government has shown a willingness to fulfill its legal obligations, says Lael Echo-Hawk of Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP.

  • Suits Against Foreign Sovereigns: Mixed Bag For Energy Cos.

    Kenneth Reisenfeld

    Legal claims against foreign governments — including those of major oil-producing states — are growing in size and number. This trend creates a paradox for global energy companies: It is easier for them to protect their rights on projects abroad, but the increase in successful claims against sovereign states poses unforeseen risks for those doing business with government-owned oil concerns, say attorneys from BakerHostetler LLP.

  • Amended Rule 37(e): 1 Year Later

    Samantha Southall

    After a full year in effect, the amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) has been tested in a variety of district courts. A sampling of these decisions reveals that courts seem to be adhering closely to the amended rule and ordering adverse inference instructions only where there was intent to deprive another party of access to relevant information, say Carrie Amezcua and Samantha Southall of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • In Congress: More Confirmation Hearings

    Richard Hertling

    Democrats will have a difficult time actually defeating any of President-elect Trump's cabinet nominations because of a change they made to the Senate rules to end the filibuster for executive branch nominations. Their goal is not really to defeat the nominees but to draw stark differences early on in the new administration, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • EPA's New Risk Management Rule Is Here ... For Now

    Michael Reer

    After the 2013 explosion at a fertilizer facility in Texas, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to identify improvements to risk management practices. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just published a final rule amending its Risk Management Program regulations. But changes to the Congressional Review Act could affect the rule's future, says Michael Reer of Harris Finley & Bogle PC.