• June 16, 2017

    Aviation Gas Cleanup Costs Wrongly Assigned, Fed. Circ. Told

    The federal government told the Federal Circuit on Thursday that a lower court had improperly imposed almost $100 million in damages in connection with contracts to supply high-octane aviation gasoline during World War II, arguing that the order ignored evidence and a preceding decision.

  • June 15, 2017

    Dakota Access Ruling Boosts Tribes Seeking Enviro Justice

    A D.C. federal court decision forcing the government to re-examine its final approval of the Dakota Access pipeline granted in the first month of the Trump administration gives new legal ammunition to tribes who argue they must be treated fairly when agencies assess the environmental damage a project might cause, attorneys say.

  • June 15, 2017

    Nixed Enhancements Cut 20 Mos. From Fraudster's Sentence

    An oil and mining investment fraudster who was granted a resentencing by the Second Circuit because of incorrectly applied enhancements had 20 months shaved off his 10-year sentence by a New York federal judge on Thursday.

  • June 15, 2017

    Feds' New Settlement Policy May Imperil Restoration Projects

    The U.S. Department of Justice's recent prohibition on letting polluters make donations to third-party environmental groups as part of federal enforcement settlements will cut off a vital source of funding for environmental cleanup and restoration projects, experts say.

  • June 15, 2017

    Rep Slams Puerto Rico Fiscal Board For Delay On Utility Deal

    The head of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources sent a letter Thursday dressing down the board overseeing Puerto Rico's troubled finances for delaying approval of a $9 billion restructuring deal between the territory's power utility and its bondholders that Congress has already blessed.

  • June 15, 2017

    House Bill Would Reverse Land Swap For Mining Co. Project

    The ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee floated a bill Thursday that would undo Congress’ approval of a land swap meant to help a copper mining company co-owned by Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Billiton PLC subsidiaries build a proposed copper mine on land in Arizona that is sacred to Native Americans.

  • June 15, 2017

    Former Ariz. Enviro Dept. Director Headed To EPA Post

    The chief operations officer in Arizona’s governor’s office, who has experience leading the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, has been selected to serve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as its chief of operations, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s office announced Wednesday.

  • June 15, 2017

    Mesa Power Can't Get $584M Claim Against Canada Revived

    A D.C. federal court on Thursday shot down Mesa Power Group LLC's bid to revive its CA$775 million ($584 million) claim against Canada over the Ontario government's allegedly unfair renewable energy regulatory process, citing a federal court’s limited ability to review the substance of arbitration awards.

  • June 15, 2017

    Adomani Is 2nd Reg A+ Issuer To List On Major Exchange

    Zero-emissions technology provider Adomani Inc. listed Thursday on the Nasdaq after it raised $9.2 million through a so-called Reg A+ offering, a newly created, leaner version of an initial public offering aimed at smaller issuers, becoming the second such company to list on a major exchange.

  • June 15, 2017

    Investors Get Class Cert. In Angola Oil Bribe Suit

    A Texas federal judge granted class certification Thursday to hundreds of investors suing Cobalt International Energy Inc. for allegedly bribing government officials in Angola to get oil-drilling permits and then making misrepresentations to stock and bond investors that led to billions in losses.

  • June 15, 2017

    Ukraine Oil JV Must Pay $147M Award, Court Told

    A U.S.-based Kuwait Energy subsidiary doubled down on its efforts to confirm a $146.9 million arbitration award against a former Ukrainian oil field joint venture partner, telling a Texas federal court Wednesday that its former partner has failed to find a narrow exception under an international enforcement agreement.

  • June 15, 2017

    Broker Denied New Trial In $22M Oil Investment Fraud Case

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday denied a broker’s attempt to get a new trial in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s case accusing him of selling $22 million in unregistered investment vehicles that were disguised as partnerships in oil and gas drilling.

  • June 15, 2017

    Oracle Objects To SunEdison's Service Transfer Plan

    Oracle America Inc. objected Thursday to a proposed transition services agreement between bankrupt SunEdison Inc. and its yieldcos, saying the deal may impact Oracle’s intellectual property.

  • June 15, 2017

    Judge Says No Sanctions For Pipeline Co. In Tribal Land Row

    An Oklahoma federal judge on Thursday denied a bid from a group of tribal landowners to sanction Enable Midstream Partners LP for allegedly refusing to respond to discovery requests in a suit challenging the company’s ongoing use of a gas pipeline on the landowners' property, finding some of the company's objections justified.

  • June 15, 2017

    EPA Wants Toxic Air Rulemaking To Take 7 years, Not 2

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not dispute that it was required to update air emissions requirements for nine categories of allegedly toxic air pollutants, but it told a D.C. federal court Thursday the timeline laid out by environmental groups was unrealistic.

  • June 15, 2017

    Pruitt Offers Lukewarm Defense Of Trump’s EPA Budget Cuts

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday gave lawmakers a lukewarm endorsement of a White House budget proposal that would slash the EPA’s funding by nearly 30 percent, but was reassured by Republicans that any funding cuts will likely be much smaller.

  • June 15, 2017

    Mo. Appeals Court Revives Gas Co.’s $1M Tax Challenge

    A Missouri Court of Appeals panel has revived a natural gas distribution company’s challenge to a $1 million property tax bill, ruling Tuesday that a local court incorrectly found the company needed to exhaust its administrative remedies before suing and that the business undermined its case by paying the levy under protest.

  • June 15, 2017

    Enviro Group Says No Error In $20M Penalty Against Exxon

    Environmental groups on Wednesday said that a Texas federal court was correct to impose a nearly $20 million civil penalty on Exxon Mobil Corp. over allegations that it improperly emitted millions of pounds of air pollution from a complex in Texas, arguing that Exxon’s objections are either meritless or overdue.

  • June 15, 2017

    NY AG Says Exxon 'Effectively Admitted' Misleading Investors

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday told a state court that Exxon Mobil Corp. has "effectively admitted" that it misled investors over the climate change risks of its business activities in responding to his office’s documents detailing the factual basis for its subpoenas.

  • June 15, 2017

    Dakota Access Pipeline To Get Deeper Enviro Review

    A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s environmental review of Energy Transfer Partners unit Dakota Access LLC’s controversial crude oil pipeline was not entirely up to snuff, but did not yet decide whether to halt the pipeline’s operation as the agency works to fix the deficiencies.

Expert Analysis

  • '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.

  • How Brexit May Harm The US Nuclear Industry

    John Matthews

    As it exits the European Union, the United Kingdom will also withdraw from Euratom — the European Atomic Energy Community. But U.S.-U.K. trade in nuclear materials is authorized through the U.S.-Euratom agreement. So unless swift action is taken to execute a new bilateral agreement, U.S.-U.K. nuclear trade may grind to a halt in 2019, says John Matthews of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.