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Energy

  • July 20, 2018

    Ex-Balch & Bingham Partner, Coal Exec Convicted Of Bribery

    A federal jury has convicted a former Balch & Bingham environmental partner and a coal company executive of bribing an Alabama legislator for his help in dodging cleanup liability with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, prosecutors announced Friday evening.

  • July 20, 2018

    DC Circ. Finds EPA's Exceptional Events Rule Can Stand

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule for so-called “exceptional events,” like wildfires and volcanic eruptions, rejecting environmental advocates’ contention that the rule would let the agency write off human-caused pollution as natural activity.

  • July 20, 2018

    NEPA-Deficient Uranium Mine License Wrongly Kept: DC Circ.

    The D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrongly allowed Powertech to keep a uranium mining license after failing to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act over objections from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, holding that such a decision “vitiates” the environmental law’s requirements.

  • July 20, 2018

    House Panel Wants To Grill Puerto Rico Gov. On PREPA Crisis

    The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources asked the governor of Puerto Rico on Thursday to send an administration official to speak at an upcoming panel hearing on mismanagement at the island's troubled electric utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, amid mass turnover at the top.

  • July 20, 2018

    Baltimore Sues Chevron, Others Over Climate Change

    The city of Baltimore on Friday added its name to a growing list of local governments that have filed suit against Chevron, BP and a slew of other energy companies accusing them of contributing to climate change that is causing sea level rise, extreme weather and other problems of concern to a city with 60 miles of waterfront.

  • July 20, 2018

    Republican ESA Reform Proposals Face Uphill Battle

    Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration in recent weeks have turned their attention to weakening the Endangered Species Act, but experts say legislation amending the 45-year-old law has a low likelihood of success, and environmentalists are almost certain to challenge new agency rules in court.

  • July 20, 2018

    Chancery Court Tosses Investor Challenge To Energy Co. Deal

    A Delaware Chancery Court judge on Friday rejected a challenge by a shareholder in Earthstone Energy Inc. to the company’s acquisition of Bold Energy III LLC, saying the shareholder failed to show private equity firm EnCap Investments LP forced the company into a raw deal.

  • July 20, 2018

    Refiner Prevails On Renewable Fuel Exemption In 4th Circ.

    The Fourth Circuit on Friday sided with a small West Virginia refinery and threw out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rejection of the company’s application for an exemption to the renewable fuel standard program, saying that the decision had wrongly relied on a faulty economic hardship analysis.

  • July 20, 2018

    Steel Importers Ask CIT For Quick End To Trump's Tariffs

    A coalition of steel users on Thursday urged the U.S. Court of International Trade to hand it a quick win in its efforts to knock down the Cold War-era trade law President Donald Trump has used to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, reiterating its claims that the law is unconstitutional.

  • July 20, 2018

    9th Circ. Rebuffs Latest Bid To Dump Kids' Climate Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday rejected another bid to undo a judge's green light for 21 children to sue the U.S. government for allegedly endangering them and future generations with policies that contribute to climate change, the latest setback for the Trump administration in its efforts to nix the suit.

  • July 20, 2018

    ND Wants $38M From Army Corps For Pipeline Protest Costs

    North Dakota filed a tort notice seeking $38 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the law enforcement resources it deployed to respond to eight months of sometimes violent Dakota Access Pipeline protests, alleging the federal government’s inaction forced the state to step in.

  • July 20, 2018

    Taxation With Representation: Latham, Freshfields, Kirkland

    In this week’s Taxation With Representation, Phillips Edison took over a real estate investment trust that it manages in order to create a $6.3 billion business, Linde AG offloaded parts of its business interests in North America to a joint venture between Messer Group GmbH and a CVC Capital Partners fund for $3.3 billion, and Asahi Kasei Corp. agreed to buy Sage Automotive Interiors from Clearlake Capital Group for $700 million.

  • July 20, 2018

    Sunrun Investor Suit Booted With Last Chance For Fixes

    The latest iteration of an investor suit claiming Sunrun Inc. fudged customer cancellation numbers to keep its stock afloat fared no better than the first two versions, a federal judge in California found Thursday in a pithy two-page opinion chucking the complaint.

  • July 20, 2018

    Electric Worker's Facebook Post Was Protected, NLRB Says

    A National Labor Relations Board panel ordered an Iowa electric company to rehire and provide back pay to a utility pole worker who was fired after he complained on Facebook about the employer’s safety policies, saying his post was protected activity.

  • July 20, 2018

    Hunton Brings In Energy Partners From Vinson & Elkins

    Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has bolstered its energy and infrastructure team in Dallas with two new partners coming in from Vinson & Elkins.

  • July 19, 2018

    Drummond Exec, Balch & Bingham Partner Trial Goes To Jury

    An Alabama federal jury heard that a coal company executive who, along with a former Balch & Bingham partner, stands accused of bribery to help avert liability for an EPA cleanup was "doing his job," as closing arguments wrapped Thursday morning.

  • July 19, 2018

    16 AGs Sue EPA Over 'Super-Polluting' Truck Rule Rollback

    The attorneys general for New York, California and other states sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday for suspending a rule that limited the number of remanufactured, heavy-duty trucks that could be sold, a decision issued on Scott Pruitt's last day as agency administrator.

  • July 19, 2018

    Carpenter Can't Save NGO Boss From FCPA Case

    A New York federal judge on Thursday rebuffed a bid by the head of a Chinese nongovernmental organization to parlay the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Carpenter ruling into the suppression of evidence in his Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case, and further refused to dismiss the criminal action in its entirety.

  • July 19, 2018

    Fla. Battery Co. Exec Pays $50K To End SEC Suit

    A former executive at a lithium-battery manufacturer agreed Wednesday in Florida federal court to pay the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a $50,000 fine to end allegations that he and another executive made misleading financial statements in an effort to inflate stock prices.

  • July 19, 2018

    Real Estate Rumors: WeWork, Fla. Mall, United Refining

    WeWork is reportedly taking 96,000 square feet at a Hines property in California, a Florida mall has reportedly traded hands for $23.2 million, and oil firm United Refining is said to be leasing more than 20,000 square feet from REIT SL Green in New York.

Expert Analysis

  • Takeaways From 5th Circ. Wind Farm Scam Case

    Kip Mendrygal

    The misappropriation of funds charge can leave defense attorneys struggling throughout trial to distinguish personal expenses from legitimate business expenses. The Fifth Circuit's decision in U.S. v. Spalding sheds light on how to handle these situations, but also sets out the battles that attorneys won’t win, say Kip Mendrygal and Mario Nguyen of Locke Lord LLP.

  • Suddenly, ALJs Become Political Appointees

    Brian Casey

    Less than three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, President Donald Trump signed an executive order applying the court’s rationale in Lucia to the hiring — and firing — of all administrative law judges in the federal government, making them entirely beholden to the heads of their agencies or the president for their jobs, says Brian Casey of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • DC Circ. Set A Higher Bar For Hydro License Renewal

    Walker Stanovsky

    On July 6, the D.C. Circuit torpedoed a hydroelectric license renewal issued in 2013 because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not consider environmental damage already caused by the project. In doing so, the court rejected FERC’s long-standing practice of using existing conditions and operations as an environmental baseline, say attorneys at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • Congressional Forecast: July

    Layth Elhassani

    While Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court will draw much attention during July, Congress remains very busy with fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills. The chambers may go to conference this month on the first of several appropriations "minibuses," says Layth Elhassani of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • What Kavanaugh's Writing Tells Us About His Personality

    Matthew Hall

    People with certain personality traits tend to use certain words. A computer analysis of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit opinions reveals that he is highly extraverted, which means that he would be a prominent voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Matthew Hall, a professor at the University of Notre Dame.

  • Lorenzo V. SEC: Will High Court Further Curtail Rule 10b-5?

    Roger Cooper

    In Lorenzo v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether a misstatement claim that does not meet the elements set forth in the court’s 2011 Janus decision can be repackaged and pursued as a fraudulent scheme claim under Rule 10b-5. A number of possible outcomes present themselves, say attorneys with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    DOJ Should Encourage The Bid-Rigging Whistleblower

    Robert Connolly

    There are relatively few government contract collusion whistleblowers. The U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division could roll out the whistleblower welcome mat by making a few changes that will not cost the government a nickel. Even if only one new case emerges, the efforts would be worth it, says former federal prosecutor Robert Connolly.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.