Energy

  • February 24, 2017

    Essar Steel Seeks Approval Of Union Deals For Minn. Plant

    Bankrupt iron ore mining firm Essar Steel Minnesota LLC asked a Delaware judge Friday to authorize the company to enter into agreements with the United Steelworkers aimed at stabilizing labor relations as Essar moves forward with plans to complete construction of a mine and processing facility.

  • February 24, 2017

    Schlumberger Unit Tells Jurors Trade Secrets Were Taken

    An attorney for Schlumberger Ltd. subsidiary M-I LLC, which operates as M-I SWACO, told jurors during closing arguments Friday that had the company's former employee left to work for its competitor in “the right way,” a lawsuit over its trade secrets that has dragged on for nearly three years wouldn't have been necessary.

  • February 24, 2017

    Battery Maker Says DOE Loan Denial Row Belongs In DC Circ.

    A car battery maker continued to press the D.C. Circuit Friday to undo a decision remanding a $15 million loan dispute back to the U.S. Department of Energy, saying the agency’s argument that the appellate court lacks jurisdiction does not hold weight under scrutiny.

  • February 24, 2017

    Texas Justices Dump Exxon Row Under Free Speech Law

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday said an ExxonMobil Corp. worker’s defamation suit, based on communications about his alleged failure to measure a petroleum storage tank, should be dismissed under a state free speech law because the comments were in connection with a matter of public concern.

  • February 24, 2017

    Fla. High Court Rejects Nuke Plant Appeal From Gov., FPL

    The Florida Supreme Court on Friday declined to review an appeals court's decision nixing gubernatorial approvals for Florida Power & Light Co.'s plans to build two nuclear generating units and 89 miles of transmission lines in South Florida that were challenged by several local governments.

  • February 24, 2017

    Commission OKs South Jersey Gas Pipeline Amid Protest

    The New Jersey Pinelands Commission on Friday approved South Jersey Gas’ proposal for a 21.6-mile natural gas pipeline that would traverse the state’s environmentally sensitive Pine Barrens despite questions over whether the plan meets the objectives of the region’s management goals.

  • February 24, 2017

    Texas Justices Limit Ranch's Pollution Case Against Exxon

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday limited a groundwater contamination suit against ExxonMobil Corp., cutting claims based on two abandoned wells on a ranch in West Texas as time-barred, but allowing claims based on wells still operating to move forward.

  • February 24, 2017

    DOI Slams Brakes On Mineral Royalty Rule Amid Court Fight

    The U.S. Department of the Interior recently said it will hold off on implementing the Obama administration's update of how lease royalties for minerals on federal and Native American lands are calculated, until legal challenges to the revisions play out.

  • February 24, 2017

    $150M Atty Fees Slammed In Dow, Boeing Nuke Pollution Case

    A member of a class of residents who reached a $375 million settlement with Dow Chemical Co. and a Boeing Co. unit over exposure to nuclear waste on Thursday said the class’s attorneys don’t deserve the $150 million in fees they’ve asked for.

  • February 24, 2017

    Deal In Calif. Power Plant Emissions Suit Gets Green Light

    A federal judge on Thursday approved a deal that puts to rest Clean Air Act claims asserted by the federal government and the California air quality regulator against the operator of a biomass-fired power plant, despite objections raised by the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe.

  • February 24, 2017

    Deals Rumor Mill: Terra Firma, FNB, Royal Bank Of Canada

    U.K. PE shop Terra Firma is looking to sell its U.S. wind energy business, the Federal Reserve will greenlight F.N.B.'s $1.4 billion acquisition of fellow bank Yadkin Financial and Royal Bank of Canada is mulling a sale of its Asian wealth management business.

  • February 24, 2017

    Chevron Admits Risks Of Climate Change Probes, Litigation

    Chevron Corp. on Thursday acknowledged to investors that increasingly aggressive public efforts to combat climate change could eventually strand its oil and gas resources underground, as well as open the company up to governmental probes and litigation, a fate that has already befallen fellow energy giant ExxonMobil Corp.

  • February 24, 2017

    Valero Refinery Appraisal Was Unfair, Texas Justices Say

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed and remanded a lower court’s decision in Valero Energy Corp.’s challenge to its Galveston County refinery’s $527 million appraisal, finding that once a district divides a property into multiple accounts for appraisal, an owner can lawfully appeal the valuation of some accounts and not the whole tract.

  • February 24, 2017

    4th Circ. Won't Take New Look At Ex-Massey CEO’s Conviction

    The Fourth Circuit refused Friday to rehear former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship’s appeal of his conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety laws before a 2010 coal mine explosion that killed 29 people, declining to re-examine claims that that the jury was given faulty instructions.

  • February 24, 2017

    Scalpel, Not Sledgehammer, Seen As Pruitt's Best Bet

    While U.S. Environmental Protection Agency boss Scott Pruitt is poised to roll back climate change regulations crafted by the Obama administration, it's not exactly clear how he'll achieve that goal. But experts say narrowing the existing regulations carries fewer legal risks than assailing the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

  • February 24, 2017

    AES, Alberta Investment Pay $853M For Solar Co. sPower

    AES Corp. and Alberta Investment Management Corp. have agreed to pay about $853 million to acquire the largest independent owner, operator and developer of utility-scale solar assets in the U.S. from private equity firm Fir Tree Partners, the companies said Friday.

  • February 24, 2017

    Okla. AG Seeks To Block More Pruitt Email Releases

    The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office on Thursday asked the state Supreme Court to nix an order that it turn over a new trove of documents related to new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s time as AG, saying that a lower court judge violated the office’s due process rights.

  • February 24, 2017

    Hemlock Asks 6th Circ. To Affirm $3.5M Fee In Contract Row

    Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. has told the Sixth Circuit it should affirm a $3.5 million attorneys' fees award in a supply contract dispute with a SolarWorld unit, saying that the awarding district court did not abuse its discretion and that the unit’s objections ring hollow.

  • February 24, 2017

    New Exxon CEO Makes Case For US Carbon Tax

    The new chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corp. on Thursday reaffirmed his company's support of a U.S. carbon tax, calling it an effective way to tackle climate change without significantly harming the economy.

  • February 24, 2017

    Trump Orders Agencies To Create Deregulation Task Forces

    Flanked by some of the nation’s top manufacturing executives, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday directing federal agencies to create task forces to identify burdensome regulations ready for the chopping block, promising the end of “an impossible situation” for U.S. companies and new economic growth.

Expert Analysis

  • What Lawyers Can Learn From Kellyanne Conway

    Michelle Samuels

    Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway's TV appearances provide some examples of what lawyers should and shouldn't do when speaking to the media, says Michelle Samuels, a vice president of public relations at Jaffe.

  • The Uncertain Future Of PURPA, A Key To Renewable Energy

    Larry Eisenstat

    The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act was enacted in 1978 to encourage development of alternative energy resources. But PURPA's opponents want to see it amended or repealed. With the law’s supporters staying relatively quiet, calls for reform may gain traction with the new Congress and the Trump administration, say attorneys from Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • The Mistakes Lawyers Make When Copying And Pasting

    Robert D. Lang

    We all recognize that cutting or copying text from earlier works and pasting it into new documents saves attorneys time. However, with this increase in speed comes an increased risk of making, or not catching, errors, says Robert Lang of D’Amato & Lynch LLP.

  • Here Come The Drones — And The Legal Headaches

    Nathan Bohlander

    Unmanned aerial vehicles are being adapted for a myriad of commercial purposes, by a range of industries including entertainment, energy, farming, real estate, telecommunications, shipping and construction. But as drone usage proliferates, manufacturers and distributors must be cognizant of product liability risks, safety standards, technological developments, and changing insurance coverage requirements, says Nathan Bohlander of M... (continued)

  • Opinion

    Calif. Court Gets Automatic Funding Disclosure Right

    Matthew D. Harrison

    Detractors of litigation funding have strained to characterize a recent decision from a California federal court as significant headway in their crusade against the litigation funding industry. However, in truth, this is a victory for both the industry and those in need of capital to bring meritorious claims against wrongdoers in an often prohibitively expensive legal system, say Matthew Harrison and Priya G. Pai of Bentham IMF.

  • Big Settlement Shows FERC's Pursuit Of Market 'Gaming'

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    In a recent settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, energy supplier GDF Suez paid the largest penalty levied by the agency in almost four years. This reflects FERC’s pursuit of “gaming” of wholesale electric markets through strategies that technically comply with rules, but are allegedly inconsistent with their purpose, say David Applebaum and Todd Brecher of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

    Brett Moore

    The Butte County, California, sheriff recently ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding the Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in its emergency spillway. Although other avenues may exist to pursue liability against the agencies involved in management of the facilities, those agencies might avoid state tort liability on preemption grounds, says Brett Moore of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.

  • The Quadrennial Energy Review And Grid Security

    William Demarest, Jr.

    The most recent installment of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review includes a number of recommendations for physical and cybersecurity protection of the nation's power infrastructure. Although the report recommends developing and implementing "necessary" security measures, it provides limited details in some areas, and does not identify revenue sources for some initiatives, say attorneys from Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • 2-For-1 Executive Order Leaves OMB To Work Out Details

    Laurence Platt

    While President Donald Trump’s recent executive order reducing regulations may seem appealing in its simplicity, the White House has provided agencies with little guidance on its implementation, instructing them to call the Office of Management and Budget with questions. Yet the OMB's ability to provide answers will be impaired by a lack of clear legal standards, say Laurence Platt and Joy Tsai of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Waive Goodbye: How Trump Might Attack The Iran Deal

    Anthony Rapa

    On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump attacked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program. But he suggested that rather than tearing the deal up, he would seek to improve it. One possible approach would be to engage in brinksmanship related to the statutory sanctions waivers President Obama issued in implementing the deal, says Anthony Rapa of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.