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  • June 12, 2018

    DC Circ. Backs FERC Changes To PJM Grid Payment Plan

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday affirmed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders modifying how regional grid operator PJM Interconnection pays participants in its wholesale electricity markets for helping relieve congestion on the grid, rebuffing pleas from challengers including state utility regulators from New Jersey and Delaware to second-guess FERC's reasoning.

  • June 12, 2018

    FERC Commissioners Deny Necessity Of Coal, Nuke Bailout

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members said Tuesday that there are no current national security-related grid threats that warrant propping up struggling coal and nuclear power plants, a position that puts them at odds with the Trump administration and its calls for such a bailout.

  • June 12, 2018

    Antero Gets W.Va. Royalty Owners' Payment Row Trimmed

    A West Virginia federal judge on Monday trimmed now-consolidated suits brought by a coalition of oil and gas royalty owners who allege Antero Resources Corp. and related entities improperly reduced their payments, keeping only a breach of contract claim against a single defendant.

  • June 12, 2018

    Bill To Pay Landowners For Fracking Ban Heads To Pa. Senate

    A Pennsylvania Senate committee gave its approval on Tuesday to a bill that would treat a proposed permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River basin as an act of eminent domain entitling landowners to compensation for lost opportunities to lease their properties for drilling.

  • June 12, 2018

    InterOil Insider Traded On Merger Info, SEC Says In Suit

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched a lawsuit in New Jersey federal court Tuesday against a onetime personal assistant to an InterOil Corp. board member for allegedly engaging in insider trading based on confidential information about Oil Search Ltd.'s proposed acquisition of the energy company.

  • June 11, 2018

    11th Circ. Revives Expropriation Suit Against Venezeula

    The Eleventh Circuit reversed the dismissal of a suit brought by a mother and son claiming Venezuela expropriated their petrochemical company in violation of international law, remanding the case to Florida federal district court in light of a recent high court decision.

  • June 11, 2018

    FirstEnergy Excludes Unions From Bonuses, Workers Say

    A collection of unions representing employees at FirstEnergy Corp.'s bankrupt nuclear generation unit filed court papers Friday complaining that the company is seeking to pay nearly all but its unionized workers an aggregate of $100 million in bonuses for staying on the job as operations wind down.

  • June 11, 2018

    Greenberg Traurig Adds Appellate Pro To Austin Office

    Greenberg Traurig LLP announced Monday that it has bolstered its appellate practice with the addition of Charles "Skip" Watson — a member of the Texas Supreme Court's Rules Advisory Committee — who has joined the firm's Austin office as a shareholder.

  • June 11, 2018

    2nd Circ. Urged To Seek Texas Justices' View On Sabine Case

    Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering LLC urged the Second Circuit on Monday to reconsider its ruling that Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. could reject gas-gathering contracts after filing for bankruptcy, arguing the Texas Supreme Court must first decide whether such contracts are linked with drilling lands under state law.

  • June 11, 2018

    Chesapeake Can't Dump 'Sham' Claims In Barnett Shale MDL

    A Texas judge has rejected an attempt by subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy Corp. to eliminate from multidistrict litigation claims it used “sham transactions” to lower the royalties it owed to Barnett Shale mineral interest owners.

  • June 11, 2018

    DOI Solicitor Pulls Back Ruling On ND Tribal Mineral Rights

    The office of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s solicitor said Friday that it was temporarily taking back and suspending part of an Obama-era ruling by the same office that backed the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation’s claims against the state of North Dakota to certain mineral rights on the tribe’s reservation.

  • June 11, 2018

    Deals Rumor Mill: TPG, Stryker, Fortum

    TPG reportedly wants $1.5 billion for a fund aimed at betting on technology companies putting off going public, Stryker Corp. offered to take over Boston Scientific, and the European Commision is set to approve Fortum’s bid to buy a 46.65 percent stake in Uniper

  • June 11, 2018

    Mass. Power Plant Owner Back In Ch. 11 With $700M Of Debt

    A Massachusetts natural-gas power plant owner sought bankruptcy protection Monday in Delaware, listing more than $700 million in secured debt as it pursues confirmation of a prepackaged Chapter 11 plan on a five-week timeline, just four years after a previous in-court reorganization.

  • June 11, 2018

    S. African Miner Asks Watchdog To Step In To Merger Row

    Engineering and mining contractor Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd. has asked a South African competition tribunal to intervene in the shareholder vote for an alternative to Aton GmbH's $400 million takeover bid, the German investment company said Friday.

  • June 11, 2018

    Oil Rig Co. Rips Chevron Underwriters' Suit At 5th Circ.

    A company that engineered part of a faulty oil rig for Chevron told the Fifth Circuit Friday to uphold the dismissal of a suit brought by Chevron's insurance underwriters, saying the underwriters waived their arbitration rights and that it is shielded from subrogation claims regardless.

  • June 11, 2018

    Ex-Penn West Execs Can't Dodge SEC Accounting Fraud Suit

    Two former executives for Penn West Petroleum Ltd., now Obsidian Energy Ltd., can’t duck the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's suit alleging they fudged the oil and gas producer’s accounting records, a New York federal judge has said, finding there was an adequate showing of intent against them.

  • June 11, 2018

    Army Corps Says Dakota Access Decision Ready By Aug. 10

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday told a Washington, D.C., federal judge that by Aug. 10 it expects to complete its review and make a decision on issues that were remanded to it in legal challenges from Native American tribes over the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • June 11, 2018

    Cyberscammer Duped Mass. Clean Energy Center, Audit Finds

    Not only did a cyberscammer trick a Massachusetts clean energy agency into wiring public funds, but the agency also botched the reporting of the crime to its board of directors and to authorities, according to a state audit released Monday.

  • June 11, 2018

    Fengate Reaches $100M Solar Co-Development Deal

    Fengate Real Asset Investments on Monday said it has agreed to a $100 million equity commitment and co-development partnership with Texas-based solar power development company PowerFin Partners LLC that includes the acquisition of a portfolio of solar projects.

  • June 11, 2018

    Duke Energy Pays $3.5M To End Flawed Merger Info Claims

    Duke Energy Corp. will pay $3.5 million to settle allegations the utility giant relied on faulty transmission study data used to support its $26 billion merger with Progress Energy Inc. in 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Friday.

Expert Analysis

  • Tax Law Challenges For The Regulated Power Sector

    Raoul Nowitz

    The new corporate tax rate has thrilled companies in almost every sector due to a lower tax rate naturally benefiting companies with increased earnings and cash flow, leading to an increase in investor confidence and higher stock prices. The challenge for utility companies, though, is that these same benefits may not directly translate to their business, say Raoul Nowitz and George Koutsonicolis of Solic Capital Advisors LLC.

  • Is A FERC Pipeline Policy Reset Coming?

    Cynthia Taub

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently initiated a review of its 1999 certificate policy statement, which many landowners, environmentalists and others have argued excessively favors approval of natural gas infrastructure. However, a review does not necessarily signal a preference by the commission to change its existing policy, say attorneys with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • Time To Express Interest In Federal Water Infrastructure Loans

    Alison Torbitt

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued its notice of funding availability for 2018 projects under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. Attorneys with Nixon Peabody LLP discuss the types of projects most likely to get funded and steps to increase the likelihood of selection.

  • Oil States Won't End Constitutional Challenges To IPR

    Brian Murphy

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week in Oil States v. Greene’s settles only the Article III constitutional challenge to inter partes reviews, and one particular paragraph in the majority opinion reads like an invitation for future petitions, say attorneys with Haug Partners LLP.

  • Momentum Builds For US Offshore Wind Energy

    Raya Treiser

    The first quarter of 2018 has left little doubt that the momentum for U.S. offshore wind projects is increasing. The combination of federal and state policy support, and the Trump administration's commitment to streamlined federal permitting, presents an important opportunity for offshore wind developers, say members of WilmerHale.

  • The Carbon Tax Could Come Soon To A State Near You

    Ryan Maness

    Despite recent setbacks in state legislatures, this year's carbon tax push has been the most successful in American history, demonstrating that the idea has carved a place in our political landscape, says Ryan Maness, tax counsel at government relations services firm MultiState Associates Inc.

  • What’s Next For GHG And Fuel Economy Regulation?

    Jackie Glassman

    While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent announcement that it will reconsider Obama-era automobile greenhouse gas emissions standards is generating controversy, it was not unexpected, say Jackie Glassman and Rachel Tennis of King & Spalding LLP.

  • State Electric Generator Subsidies Challenge FERC Markets

    Richard Drom

    In recent weeks, regional transmission organizations have attempted to amend their Federal Energy Regulatory Commission tariffs to protect their energy and capacity markets from state subsidies for certain types of power generation. Such subsidies challenge FERC’s authority to effectively operate competitive wholesale markets, says Richard Drom of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • What To Expect From High Court Patent Damages Ruling

    Jerry Selinger

    In WesternGeco v. Ion, the government and WesternGeco argued that proximate cause and foreseeability should determine the limits of recoverable patent damages, based on congressional intent and statutory language. Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court will likely apply the extraterritoriality framework set forth in the 2016 RJR decision, say Jerry Selinger and Grant Davis of Patterson & Sheridan LLP.

  • Big Changes Ahead For Renewable Fuel Standard

    Joel Beauvais

    The Renewable Fuel Standard has been the center of sustained policy discussion and resulting uncertainty during the first year of the Trump administration. Joel Beauvais and Steven Croley of Latham & Watkins LLP analyze recent developments with a focus on the legal framework and implications for the RFS program.