Energy

  • June 01, 2020

    DOI Says ND Has Mineral Rights Under River On Tribal Land

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's chief attorney has killed part of an Obama-era decision by his predecessor backing tribal claims against North Dakota to mineral rights, saying the state legally owns submerged lands beneath the Missouri River where it flows through a tribe's reservation.

  • June 01, 2020

    5th Circ. Told Texas Power Grid Law Is Unconstitutional

    A new Texas law that only allows incumbent transmission companies to build new power lines is an example of "blatant discrimination by statute" and should be struck down as unconstitutional, an attorney for a NextEra Energy Inc. unit told the Fifth Circuit on Monday.

  • June 01, 2020

    Surety Firms Lose Bid To Block Fees In Cloud Peak Ch. 11

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Monday approved a request by coal mining company Cloud Peak Energy to pay $26 million in fees to its Chapter 11 professionals over objections by insurers insisting $280 million in surety bond claims should get equal priority.

  • June 01, 2020

    Texas Energy Co. Beats 'Hazy' Trade Secrets Claims

    A digital marketing company has repeatedly failed to show its trade secrets were stolen by an energy company that had licensed its software or that its information ever qualified as trade secrets, an Illinois federal court ruled Sunday.

  • June 01, 2020

    Spain Says Energy Investors Can't Enforce $66M Award

    Spain is urging a D.C. federal court to toss litigation to enforce a $66.3 million arbitral award over revoked economic incentives for renewable energy projects, arguing that the investors who won it are trying to skirt "well-settled" European law.

  • June 01, 2020

    Marathon Escapes Kentucky's Gasoline Antitrust Suit

    A Kentucky federal court on Monday tossed a suit from the state attorney general accusing Marathon Petroleum of manipulating the market for reformulated gasoline after excluding the state's only expert witness.

  • June 01, 2020

    IRS Rules Would Open Doors For Carbon Capture Projects

    Proposed IRS rules on the carbon capture tax credit would allow another avenue for businesses to prove they meet the credit's requirements for enhanced oil recovery projects, which would provide flexibility for projects without jettisoning monitoring, reporting and verification standards.

  • June 01, 2020

    Texas Energy Co. Gets $1M Award From Profits Row OK'd

    A federal court has confirmed a Texas energy company's 5.8 million Brazilian real (roughly $1 million) victory in arbitration over misappropriated profits following a sale agreement. 

  • June 01, 2020

    2nd Circ. Side-Eyes Vehicle Emissions Penalty Rollback

    A Second Circuit panel appeared skeptical Monday about whether the Trump administration was within its rights to implement a nearly 61% rollback of penalties for violations of motor vehicle average fuel economy standards.

  • June 01, 2020

    Mexican Rebar Co. Hit With Higher Duties After Prior Evasion

    A Mexican rebar producer will face expanded anti-dumping duties after the U.S. Department of Commerce determined on Monday that the company evaded its duty order by slightly bending the ends of its bars before exporting them.

  • June 01, 2020

    NextEra Can Enforce $316M Award Against Spain

    An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes committee has lifted a stay of enforcement on a €291 million ($316 million) arbitral award that U.S.-based NextEra Energy Inc.'s Dutch subsidiaries won against Spain, after the country declined to promise to pay the award if an ongoing bid to annul it is unsuccessful.

  • June 01, 2020

    Egypt Gets Gas Co.'s Doc Bid Trimmed In $2B Award Fight

    A Spanish natural gas company must narrow its bid for documents from the Depository Trust Company as it seeks to enforce a $2 billion arbitral award against Egypt, a New York federal judge said Friday.

  • June 01, 2020

    DOD Bars Contractors From Using Russian Energy At Bases

    The U.S. Department of Defense barred federal contractors from using Russian-sourced energy to power American operating bases in Europe, in an attempt to shield the military installations from the "potential risk" of depending on Russian power.

  • June 01, 2020

    EPA Defends Easing Pollution Enforcement Policy For Virus

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told a federal court that environmental groups suing it for relaxing how it handles pollution standards noncompliance during the coronavirus outbreak are seeking unreasonable relief for a hypothetical injury.

  • June 01, 2020

    Justices Told Deal In The Works To End Oil Rig Race Bias Suit

    A company and the black workers it allegedly discriminated against by making them work on a hot oil rig while their white colleagues enjoyed air conditioning asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold off considering whether to review the case due to a pending settlement.

  • June 01, 2020

    EPA Finalizes Restraints On State, Tribal Water Permit Power

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday hobbled the authority of states and tribes to block projects like pipelines, export terminals and dams over Clean Water Act concerns, saying the power had been abused to unfairly restrict commerce.

  • June 01, 2020

    Justices Revive GE Unit's Arbitration Bid In Steel Plant Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday concluded that a French unit of General Electric Co. may be able to force arbitration of a multimillion-dollar dispute with an Alabama steel plant owner despite not signing an underlying arbitration agreement, reversing an Eleventh Circuit decision.

  • June 01, 2020

    Templar Energy Hits Ch. 11 Over COVID-19 Impact On Oil Price

    Oklahoma-based oil and gas driller Templar Energy filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware Monday with a plan to liquidate its assets after reeling from oil and gas price disruptions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • May 29, 2020

    PG&E Objector Suggests Weil Atty's Son Raises Conflict

    A bench trial over whether to confirm Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s $58 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan entered its third day Friday, with an objector questioning whether a conflict exists because a Weil LLP attorney representing PG&E is the father of a director of the company running its confirmation process.

  • May 29, 2020

    Bankruptcies Pile Up As COVID-19 Pandemic Squeezes Cash

    In the 2½ months since COVID-19 created a national emergency in the United States, dozens of companies have tilted into bankruptcy in the retail, travel and energy sectors, and a former bankruptcy judge predicts the turmoil will spread further through the economy in the coming months.

  • May 29, 2020

    5th Circ. Agrees With EPA's Review Of Exxon Refinery Permit

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision not to oppose Exxon Mobil Corp.'s air pollution permit application to enlarge a Texas petrochemical plant, rejecting arguments the permit should have received more scrutiny.

  • May 29, 2020

    Corporate Bond Rush Brings A Big Wave Of Firsts

    The tidal wave of corporate debt offerings in recent months has enabled companies to raise billions in cash and gain much-needed breathing room to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, setting records and ushering in several first-of-their kind deals along the way.

  • May 29, 2020

    Texas Justices To Consider Royalty Clause Dispute

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review an oil and gas developer's dispute with royalty owners over whether the company can charge them for post-production costs.

  • May 29, 2020

    Gov't Contracts Of The Month: Virus, Space And Google Deals

    The federal government looked to the future in May, injecting $1.2 billion into AstraZeneca's candidate COVID-19 vaccine and infusing billions into the U.S.'s space-bound ambitions. Other megadeals include remediation of a nuclear site and Google's partnership with the Pentagon.

  • May 29, 2020

    Native American Tribes Sue Feds Over Keystone Pipeline

    Two Montana-based Native American tribes filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government on Friday challenging the approval of an oil pipeline being built near the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, claiming federal agencies failed to consider how the project would impact the tribes.

Expert Analysis

  • How Lawyers Can Network Better, Virtually And In Person

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    The current decrease in formality and increase in common ground due to the work-from-home environment can make it easier to have a networking conversation, says Megan Burke Roudebush at Keepwith.

  • Texas Ruling May Weaken Anti-Washout Clauses In Oil Leases

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    The Texas Supreme Court's recent opinion in Yowell v. Granite Operating Co. is the latest indication that the rule against perpetuities presents a unique challenge for overriding royalty interest owners who wish to utilize anti-washout provisions to carry an interest forward to new oil and gas leases, says Michael Reer at Harris Finley.

  • Practical Tips For Presenting Your Case To Litigation Funders

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    One mistake that attorneys commonly make when presenting a case to a third-party funder is focusing almost exclusively on liability and giving short shrift to the damages analysis — resulting in an aspirational damages estimate that falls apart under scrutiny, say Cindy Ahn and Justin Maleson at Longford Capital and Casey Grabenstein at Saul Ewing.

  • Avoiding Inadvertent Privilege Waivers In E-Communications

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    Attorneys at WilmerHale highlight recent developments in privilege law, the significant challenges raised by nontraditional working arrangements popularized during the pandemic, and ways to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege when using electronic communications.

  • 5 Tips For Drafting Effective Legal Billing Guidelines

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    To properly manage outside counsel, it's imperative for a company's legal department to implement and maintain rules on what they will and won't pay for, on staffing cases and requesting rate increases, and on how matters will be handled, says Chris Seezen at Quovant.

  • How Energy Co. Buyers Can Limit Environmental Liability Risk

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    As potential buyers look to purchase assets of energy companies driven into bankruptcy by the coronavirus pandemic, there are a number of precautionary steps they should take to reduce the risk of liability for the seller's environmental obligations, say Jacob Hollinger and Darren Azman of McDermott.

  • Opinion

    Keystone XL Ruling Paralyzes Infrastructure Permit Process

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    A Montana federal judge's recent ruling revoking water permits for the Keystone XL pipeline and imposing a nationwide moratorium on dredging and filling operations by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seriously undermines a tried and true regulatory process, say Tom Magness at Grow America's Infrastructure Now and Patrice Douglas at Spencer Fane.

  • Opinion

    Don't Cancel Your Summer Associate Programs

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    While pulling off an effective summer associate program this year will be no easy feat, law firms' investments in their future attorneys should be considered necessary even during this difficult time, says Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • Retail Investors Hit By Oil Price Drop May Turn To The Courts

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    The recent large drop in oil prices — and in the prices of futures contracts tied to oil — resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has generated substantial losses for many retail investors, and precedent suggests this may lead to a wave of litigation against fund managers, say economists at Bates White.

  • New Trend In IPR Institution Appealability Demands Scrutiny

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    While a recent trend of federal courts holding that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions instituting inter partes reviews are not appealable requires close following, there are two remedies practitioners can seek apart from appeal, say Brett Cooper and Kevin Schubert at McKool Smith.

  • Trial By Webcam: Tips From A Firsthand Experience

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    Initially incomprehensible, it turns out that conducting trial by video is reasonable and relatively convenient, as long as lawyers do not try to recreate the courtroom experience, say Wheeler Trigg attorneys Joel Neckers and Peter Herzog, who recently participated in an online bench trial in United Power v. Tri-State before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

  • 5 Ways To Reduce Post-Pandemic Legal Malpractice Exposure

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    History suggests that legal malpractice claims will rise following the current economic downturn, and while a certain percentage of the claims will be unavoidable, there are prophylactic steps that law firms can take, says John Johnson at Cozen O'Connor.

  • NY Order Kicks Power Grid Modernization Into High Gear

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    The New York Public Service Commission's recent order directing investor-owned utilities to rapidly review their distribution and local transmission infrastructure represents a turning point in the state's efforts to update its electric grid for green energy — so interested stakeholders must weigh in soon, says Kevin Blake at Phillips Lytle.

  • FTC Continues To Zero In On Problematic M&A Noncompetes

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    Although noncompete clauses often play a vital role in mergers and acquisitions, they are not immune from antitrust scrutiny — exemplified by three recent Federal Trade Commission challenges, say Joel Grosberg and Lisa Rumin at McDermott.

  • Justices' SEC Disgorgement Ruling May Shape FCPA Matters

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming opinion in Liu v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may call into question when Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlements should be subject to disgorgement, say Matthew Rutter and Neal Hochberg at Charles River Associates.

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