• May 24, 2017

    SEC Charges CPAs Over Oil Royalty Profit-Hiding Scheme

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched administrative proceedings Tuesday against two Wisconsin certified public accountants, one of which is accused of concealing auditing issues for an oil and gas investment fund whose founder allegedly funneled himself disguised profits.

  • May 24, 2017

    Exxon Auditor Must Share Climate Docs: NY Appellate Court

    A New York appellate court on Tuesday upheld a decision to force ExxonMobil's outside auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to comply with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's demand for documents in his probe of whether the oil giant lied to investors about the climate change risks to its business.

  • May 23, 2017

    Trump Energy, Enviro Cuts Will Raise Eyebrows In Congress

    The energy and environmental portions of the 2018 budget proposal released Tuesday largely stick to the blueprint the Trump administration laid out in March, calling for steep cuts to popular environmental protection and energy development programs that are sure to get a frosty reception on Capitol Hill. Here are four proposed moves that will likely face significant congressional pushback.

  • May 23, 2017

    Takeaways For Tribes In Reduced DOI Budget Proposal

    The 2018 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled Tuesday by the Trump administration would trim over $300 million from federal programs serving Native Americans, cutting education, social services, tribal courts and other items. Here, Law360 looks at how the proposed budget would impact Indian Country.

  • May 23, 2017

    5th Circ. Rejects Deepwater Settlement Calculations

    The Fifth Circuit on Monday rejected most of the formula BP used to determine the settlement it will pay a class of Gulf Coast businesses harmed by 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, saying the calculation methods don’t match the settlement deal.

  • May 23, 2017

    Enviro Group Sues Agencies For Climate Denial Records

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday filed a suit in D.C. district court alleging that four federal agencies violated public records laws by not disclosing key climate change information in a timely fashion.

  • May 23, 2017

    EPA Sues Fiat Over Emissions Testing 'Defeat Devices'

    Following months of investigation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday formally accused Fiat Chrysler of installing “defeat devices” in about 104,000 diesel vehicles that produced lower emissions levels during testing than while on the road, according to a lawsuit filed in Michigan federal court.

  • May 23, 2017

    DC Circ. Affirms FERC’s Certificate For $600M Gas Pipeline

    A D.C. Circuit panel on Tuesday affirmed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to approve an approximately $600 million gas pipeline project in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, denying an environmental group’s contention that the certificate violated the Clean Water Act.

  • May 23, 2017

    GAO Says Army Did Homework On $64M Afghan Fuel Order

    A Government Accountability Office decision made public Tuesday sided with the U.S. Army and against an Afghanistan fuel supplier contesting a $64 million task order awarded to a competitor, concluding the service branch properly considered allegations that the awardee breached fuel-sourcing and quality needs.

  • May 23, 2017

    Westinghouse Set To Tap Remainder Of $800M DIP Loan

    Bankrupt nuclear energy behemoth Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC is poised to tap the remaining $450 million from an $800 million debtor-in-possession loan, after a New York bankruptcy judge told the debtor Tuesday he fully expects to approve the transaction after reviewing a recently finalized request.

  • May 23, 2017

    Acting Pa. DEP Boss Gets Senate OK For Permanent Post

    The Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously confirmed Patrick McDonnell to lead the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, following a year of service in an acting capacity after his predecessor’s resignation over emails chiding advocacy groups for failing to come out in support of proposed rules for natural gas drilling.

  • May 23, 2017

    Fla. Utility Seeks OK To Close Third Coal-Fired Power Plant

    Florida Power & Light Co. announced Tuesday that it has filed with the state for approval to shut down a Jacksonville coal-fired power plant, which would be the third coal-fired plant it has closed as it shifts to more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly natural gas and solar production.

  • May 23, 2017

    Blue Water Leads $300M Investment In Norwegian Energy Co.

    A new energy production and development company focused on the Norwegian continental shelf said Tuesday that private equity shop Blue Water Energy will lead an initial investment that could be worth up to $300 million, making the energy-focused firm the company’s majority shareholder.

  • May 23, 2017

    Romanian Oil Row Must Be Arbitrated, Court Told

    Carpathian Energy Companie Petroliera SRL's suit alleging an energy company with offices in Romania and Texas breached a contract concerning Romanian oil and gas operations must be sent to arbitration and dismissed, the company recently told a Mississippi federal court.

  • May 23, 2017

    10th Circ. Tosses Bid To Review Lung Benefit Award Decision

    A Tenth Circuit panel on Tuesday denied a petition from Energy West Mining Co. to review a decision backing a Black Lung Benefits Act award given to a veteran miner who developed a respiratory disease, saying an administrative law judge didn’t err in considering the opinion of a doctor who said the miner’s work caused his sickness.

  • May 23, 2017

    Trump Renominates NRC Chair, Looks To Fill 2 Other Slots

    President Donald Trump has renominated Kristine Svinicki to be chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and put forward the names of two new commissioners, the White House said on Monday.

  • May 23, 2017

    Some ConEd Bias Claims Should Proceed, Judge Says

    A New York federal magistrate judge on Monday said the entirety of a ConEd employee’s discrimination and retaliation suit against the company shouldn’t be tossed, recommending instead that the weighty suit be trimmed.

  • May 23, 2017

    Southwestern Energy Settles Arkansas Royalty Row For $30M

    Southwestern Energy Co. and some of its subsidiaries have settled a class action suit brought by oil and gas royalty owners in Arkansas for $30 million in addition to agreeing to change the way it calculates future payment deductions, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

  • May 22, 2017

    Trump's $4T Budget Pays For Defense With Domestic Cuts

    President Donald Trump’s first full budget plan doubles down on promised increases in defense and border security spending, paid for by billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid, federal retiree benefits, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, among other programs and agencies.

  • May 22, 2017

    Okla. Tribe Slams FERC Assessment Of Dam Proposal

    The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma slammed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday for finding that changing the elevation levels of an Oklahoma hydroelectric dam’s reservoir wouldn’t result in any adverse cultural impacts, accusing the agency of sidestepping its obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act.

Expert Analysis

  • 5 Mistakes That End Law Firms

    Randy Evans

    Although the end often comes quickly, law firms do not fail overnight. Randy Evans of Dentons and Elizabeth Whitney of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions review five mistakes that expedite law firm failures.

  • 'From Heaven To Hell' — Mineral Rights And Ancient Deeds

    Marcy Rothman

    Development of mineral rights can lead to title disputes, especially where conveyances to railroads are memorialized in ancient documents, with archaic expressions that do not correspond to modern usage. Ownership interests in any parcel crossed by railroad tracks could be affected, says Marcy Rothman of Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC.

  • Cybersecurity Is The Next Frontier Of State Regulation

    David Forscey

    States considering whether to enforce existing cybersecurity rules more aggressively, or else pass standards of their own, should carefully consider the policy rationale and potential pitfalls of existing frameworks and collaborate with private experts to determine what works and what does not, say David Forscey of the National Governors Association, and Steven Cash and Benjamin Nissim of Day Pitney LLP.

  • The Whys And Hows Of Forced Pooling

    Jack Luellen

    Forced pooling in oil and gas development allows small or irregularly sized tracts to be joined without the consent of the mineral interest owners. But stakeholders must be aware that rules vary from state to state, and current legislation pending in Colorado and elsewhere may alter the terms applied in forced pooling scenarios, says Jack Luellen of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • A Closer Look At Trump's Antiquities Act Order

    John Freemuth

    President Donald Trump’s recent executive order to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has brought the Antiquities Act back to center stage. The order has several specific review standards, the most important being the size of a monument created by proclamation, says John Freemuth, professor of environmental policy at Boise State University.

  • In Trump Era, States Take Lead On Social Cost Of Carbon

    Seth Belzley

    The social cost of carbon is a measure intended to quantify the effect that a single ton of carbon dioxide emissions has on climate change. Even as the Trump administration has disbanded the federal interagency working group on this issue, the states have been stepping up their efforts, say Seth Belzley and Stephen Humes of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • In Contract Law, There Is A 'Try' And It Can Have Teeth

    Glenn West

    Despite the common use of contract terms like “efforts” or “endeavors” to commit a party to “try” to accomplish an objective, there has been a fair amount of controversy over the years as to exactly what such an obligation entails. But recent cases confirm that these efforts obligations, however seemingly amorphous, are very much enforceable, says Glenn West of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Stability For Calif. Cap-And-Trade Program, For Now

    Robert Hines

    Thanks to a California appellate court's recent decision in California Chamber of Commerce v. State Air Resources Board, the future of California’s cap-and-trade program looks a little brighter. The opinion provides at least temporary stability to a key portion of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, say Robert Hines and Ashley Breakfield of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • In Tronox, 2nd Circ. Sends Clear Message About Injunctions

    Jack Haake

    There is value in the protections afforded by an injunction, be it through a settlement or a bankruptcy discharge. The Second Circuit’s recent decision in Tronox preserves an injunction’s value in two ways, says Jack Haake of Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • A Refresher On Exceptions To The 'American Rule' In Texas

    David Salton

    Although there are several well-known exceptions to the American Rule, Texas entities — and foreign entities doing business in Texas or performing a contract governed by Texas law — should be aware of another exception flying under the radar that may be available to parties incurring attorneys' fees when enforcing agreements to arbitrate, says David Salton of Porter Hedges LLP.