Energy

  • October 19, 2017

    FERC Sets Default 40-Year License For Hydro Projects

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unveiled changes to its policy establishing licensing terms for hydroelectricity projects, the centerpiece being a 40-year default license for nonfederal projects after federal and state environmental regulators balked at a proposed 50-year default license.

  • October 19, 2017

    Parker Hannifin Says Feds' Merger Challenge Came Too Late

    Parker Hannifin Corp. and Clarcor Inc. on Wednesday accused the federal government of dragging its feet to challenge their $4.3 billion tie-up, urging a Delaware federal court to block enforcers’ bid to partially unwind the now-completed transaction.

  • October 19, 2017

    DOT's Rail Brake, Competitive Switching Proposals In Doubt

    A recent U.S. Department of Transportation analysis and lingering uncertainty over key agency appointments have cast doubt on whether a pair of Obama-era freight rail proposals will survive the Trump administration’s deregulatory push. Here, Law360 examines where things stand on a mandate for new braking technology and a proposal to encourage competition on shipping routes.

  • October 19, 2017

    Former FERC Commissioners Slam Perry's Grid Pricing Plan

    Eight former commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including five ex-chairs, on Thursday panned Secretary of Energy Rick Perry's proposal to pay coal and nuclear plants for providing base load power and grid reliability services, saying it would reverse the development of wholesale electricity markets and soak consumers.

  • October 19, 2017

    Investors Lose Bid For 20M Pages Of Docs In Volkswagen MDL

    A California magistrate judge on Wednesday denied investors’ request for more than 20 million pages of documents in multidistrict litigation over Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions scandal, saying the investors haven’t proven all the documents are relevant to their claims.

  • October 19, 2017

    Mayor Acts For Boston In FERC Pipeline Row, DC Circ. Hears

    The city of Boston does not have to be among the parties challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of a $971 million natural gas pipeline, as the mayor effectively “is the city for all purposes,” counsel for the mayor and other Boston politicians told a D.C. Circuit panel Thursday.

  • October 19, 2017

    Enviros Say NRG Can't Stall Rejection Of Calif. Gas Plant

    Environmentalists have urged the California Energy Commission to reject NRG Energy Inc.'s bid to suspend review of a proposed gas-fired power plant, claiming the company is trying to stall after two of the agency's commissioners indicated earlier this month that they would vote against the project.

  • October 18, 2017

    Pa. Reps. Pass Natural Gas Severance Tax Through Committee

    The Pennsylvania House Finance Committee on Wednesday cleared a bill that imposes an incremental severance tax on natural gas production in a bipartisan, 16-9 vote.

  • October 18, 2017

    Ex-HSBC Forex Exec Gets 'F-Minus In Fraud,' Jury Hears

    In a closing argument that lasted 5 1/2 hours, counsel for former former HSBC foreign currency exchange executive Mark Johnson told a Brooklyn federal jury Wednesday that Johnson, despite defrauding Cairn Energy through a $3.5 billion forex deal, is a good man, an innocent man incapable of committing fraud and, for good measure, there was no fraud.

  • October 18, 2017

    SantosCMI Loses Bid To Escape Hyundai Arbitration

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday shot down Ecuadorean engineering and construction firm SantosCMI SA's bid to halt a Hyundai unit from proceeding with an $18.6 million arbitration stemming from a power plant construction project gone awry.

  • October 18, 2017

    Arch Coal Tells DC Circ. Black Lung Bulletin Is Reviewable

    Arch Coal Inc. has told the D.C. Circuit that the U.S. Department of Labor’s bulletin that advised on who should be liable for certain coal miner black lung claims can be reviewed by the federal courts and not the agency itself, saying that a lower court had gotten the matter backwards.

  • October 18, 2017

    Pa. Panel Mulls If Towns Can Regulate Pipeline Locations

    An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Wednesday expressed skepticism at Sunoco Pipeline LP’s arguments that two municipalities were preempted from imposing any restrictions on the path of natural gas pipelines, in the latest battle over the company’s controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline.

  • October 18, 2017

    Chevron Phillips Worker Cops To $1.8M Embezzlement Plot

    An ex-Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. employee pled guilty Tuesday in Texas federal court to one count of wire fraud in connection with a scheme in which she used company credit cards to cheat the company out of $1.8 million.

  • October 18, 2017

    Bayer, Others Sued Over Radioactive Waste Near Niagara Falls

    Bayer CropScience Inc., Occidental Chemical Corp. and Union Carbide Corp. put residents near Niagara Falls in danger by negligently leaving behind radioactive waste from their operations, local businesses and residents have alleged in New York federal court.

  • October 18, 2017

    Agencies Balk At Venoco Plan To Ditch Pipelines, Drill Sites

    Local, state and federal authorities Tuesday asked the Delaware bankruptcy court to deny Venoco LLC permission to abandon two California oil pipelines and more than a dozen offshore and onshore drilling operations, saying the company has not taken the steps to safely shut them down.

  • October 18, 2017

    Sen. Asks FERC To Probe $3.6B Market Manipulation Claims

    Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday asking it to investigate allegations that utilities Eversource Energy and Avangrid manipulated electricity prices in the region, costing New England consumers $3.6 billion in higher energy bills.

  • October 18, 2017

    4th Circ. Scraps $3.5B Pipeline Permit Fight For New Review

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday ended a suit by environmentalists challenging West Virginia’s issuance of a water quality permit for the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline, granting the state’s request to vacate the original permit so it can re-evaluate the permit application.

  • October 18, 2017

    Gas Co. Says Pols, Enviros Have No Right To Fight Pipeline

    Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC told the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday that a group of Massachusetts politicians, environmental groups and individuals didn’t have standing to bring a legal challenge against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of a $971 million pipeline that runs through New York and New England.

  • October 18, 2017

    Sens. Float Bill To Speed Up Small-Scale LNG Exports

    U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Wednesday introduced legislation that would automatically approve small-scale exports of liquefied natural gas to nations that don’t have free-trade agreements with the U.S., codifying a recent U.S. Department of Energy proposal.

  • October 18, 2017

    Gambia Faces Arbitration Over Offshore Drilling Rights

    A U.K.-based oil exploration company initiated arbitration proceedings with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes against Gambia on Wednesday over the government's decision to revoke its right to explore two offshore areas believed to contain billions of barrels of oil.

Expert Analysis

  • The Rise Of Employee Religious Discrimination Claims

    Barbara Hoey

    Many employers are seeing an increase in requests for religious accommodations. Several recent court decisions and statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provide insight into the rise in claims related to these requests, and the importance of employers understanding their obligations to accommodate, say Barbara Hoey and Alyssa Smilowitz of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • The Legal Theory Behind The Clean Power Plan's Repeal

    Jane Montgomery

    News media reports about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan have focused on President Donald Trump’s attacks on his predecessor's environmental legacy. However, repeal proponents can make a strong argument that the CPP was always on shaky legal ground, say Jane Montgomery and Amy Antoniolli of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.

  • Why The Supreme Court Could Rule ALJs Unconstitutional

    David Perlman

    Following recent federal appeals court decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to address the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's use of administrative law judges, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's use of them may require further litigation, say David Perlman and Britt Steckman of Bracewell LLP.

  • Opinion

    Time To Lift Student Loan Counseling Restrictions

    Christopher Chapman

    While it lends more than $100 million each year to our nation’s college students — including law students — the U.S. Department of Education surprisingly limits loan counseling to one-time entrance counseling for first-time student borrowers. Is this rational? asks Christopher Chapman, president of AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit focused on access to legal education.

  • Deciding The Forum For 'Waters Of The US' Suits

    Joel Beauvais

    Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in National Association of Manufacturers v. U.S. Department of Defense. During argument, the balance of questions seemed to favor the industry and state petitioners arguing in favor of district court jurisdiction for suits challenging the Clean Water Rule, says Joel Beauvais of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Learning From DOJ’s Parker Hannifin Merger Challenge

    Jack Sidorov

    The U.S. Department of Justice's recent lawsuit challenging Parker Hannifin’s consummated acquisition of Clarcor serves as an important reminder that the agencies can — and in some limited instances will — challenge consummated transactions that were reported to them under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, says Jack Sidorov of Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

  • NY Insurance Case Highlights Importance Of Specific Wording

    Alexander Bandza

    The New York Supreme Court's decision in National v. TransCanada last month held that coverage under an "all-risks" policy extended to losses resulting from a precipitating cause that occurred prior to the policy period. This case underscores that the specific wording of an insurance policy can be outcome-determinative, say Jan Larson and Alexander Bandza of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • Why You Should Consider Hyperlinking Your Next Brief

    Christine Falcicchio

    The shift to electronic filing has somewhat eased the task of reviewing briefs and their supporting files. An e-brief takes e-filing to the next level, says Christine Falcicchio, a principal at Strut Legal Inc.

  • Series

    What I Learned In My 1st Year: Listen Carefully, Speak Up

    Marcy Rothman

    When I graduated from law school, I landed at an old-line firm in the Golden Triangle of Texas. Two significant things happened to me around that time. One pertained to learning to listen, and the other pertained to refusing to participate in what I heard, says Marcy Rothman of Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC.