Energy

  • October 08, 2019

    Australian Steel Exec Charged With Obstructing Cartel Probe

    A former manager at Australian steel producer BlueScope has been charged with two counts of obstructing a federal cartel investigation, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission announced Tuesday.

  • October 08, 2019

    Chevron, BP Ask Justices To Halt Yet Another Climate Suit

    Chevron Corp., BP PLC and other energy giants are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to delay remanding to state court Rhode Island's lawsuit alleging the energy companies are responsible for climate change-related infrastructure damage.

  • October 08, 2019

    EPA Asks 1st Circ. To Uphold Policy Restricting Advisers

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked the First Circuit to affirm the dismissal of a Massachusetts lawsuit filed by scientists who are challenging the agency's decision to bar advisory committee members from receiving EPA grants.

  • October 08, 2019

    1st Circ. Questions Fukushima Victims' Need To Sue GE

    The First Circuit on Tuesday questioned why Japanese residents seeking compensation from General Electric for losses tied to the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant would need to do so in Boston court, rather than in Japan, the venue suggested by the federal judge who dismissed their suit.

  • October 08, 2019

    Rising Star: Norton Rose's Becky Diffen

    Norton Rose Fulbright’s Becky Diffen has made a career in renewable energy, helping to facilitate the financing of a 200 MW wind farm in the Texas Panhandle and assisting Duke Energy’s effort to build an energy storage project at a time when the technology was especially new, earning her a place among five energy attorneys honored by Law360 as Rising Stars.

  • October 08, 2019

    Yukos Unit Loses $40M Suit Over Auction Rigging Plot

    A Yukos subsidiary lost its bid on Tuesday to recoup $40 million from five men accused of rigging a Russian government auction of the defunct oil producer, as a London judge said there was no "smoking gun" to prove that the high-profile finance consortium took part in a conspiracy.

  • October 07, 2019

    Wildfire Victims Say PG&E’s Ch. 11 Plan Won't Cut It

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s Chapter 11 reorganization plan won't make Northern California wildfire victims whole again, their attorneys told a U.S. bankruptcy judge Monday, urging him to terminate PG&E's exclusivity period to allow them to move ahead with an alternative plan that caps liabilities $6 billion higher than PG&E's proposal.

  • October 07, 2019

    Texas High Court To Hear 'Anti-Washout' Lease Fight

    The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to hear a test of the power of "anti-washout" clauses, which are intended to protect oil and gas ownership royalty interests from lapsing, in a Texas Panhandle lease fight involving Apache Corp.

  • October 07, 2019

    Chancery Retains Part Of Boardwalk Pipeline Class Suit

    A Delaware vice chancellor on Monday refused to toss three of six counts in a proposed class challenge to Boardwalk Pipeline LP's $1.5 billion public unit buyout in 2018, ruling the class has shown it is “reasonably conceivable” the deal was unfair to minority unitholders.

  • October 07, 2019

    Montana Wants In On New Keystone XL Pipeline Suit

    Montana's attorney general on Monday said millions of dollars in state tax revenue is at risk because of an environmental group's challenge to a permit allowing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and asked to intervene in the case.

  • October 07, 2019

    EPA Emissions Policy Change Faces Skeptical DC Circ.

    Two D.C. Circuit judges appeared concerned Monday that a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulation would make it easier for polluters to violate national air quality standards, saying it offers little or no guidance to ensure new or modified projects that emit air pollution are properly screened before receiving permits.

  • October 07, 2019

    Drexel Univ. To Pay Gov't $189K Over Prof's Strip Club Visits

    Philadelphia's Drexel University has agreed to shell out more than $189,000 to resolve potential False Claims Act liabilities over a former professor's use of federal grant money at strip clubs and sports bars throughout the city, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

  • October 07, 2019

    ​​​​​​1st Circ. Clears Way For Climate Change Suit's Remand To RI

    A suit brought by the state of Rhode Island against a slew of energy companies over climate change-related costs is set to return to state court later this week after the First Circuit rejected a request by BP PLC on Monday to block a lower court’s remand order.

  • October 07, 2019

    Ecuador Wants $448M Oil Profits Award Axed

    Ecuador has asked the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes to annul a $448.82 million arbitration award issued recently to a Bahamas-incorporated oil company in a dispute over the allocation of profits from two oil blocks in the Amazon.

  • October 07, 2019

    Blackhawk's Follow-Up $35M DIP Loan Gets Lenders' OK

    Kentucky-based coal mining operation Blackhawk Mining LLC received interim approval Monday in Delaware to tap a portion of a $35 million debtor-in-possession loan that will help bridge gaps in the company's receipts after its Chapter 11 plan was confirmed in August.

  • October 07, 2019

    Pa. Atty Fights Landowners' DQ Bid In Gas Royalties Suit

    An attorney accused of filing fraudulent bills while representing a class of landowners who claim Range Resources Corp. shortchanged them on natural gas royalties has pushed back against a suit filed in Pennsylvania federal court by a dissident group of plaintiffs who want the lawyer disqualified.

  • October 07, 2019

    Refiner Says 'False' Price-Fixing Claims Warrant Sanctions

    Alon USA Energy Inc. has urged a California federal judge to jettison it from parallel, proposed price-fixing class actions against BP, Exxon and other oil companies, arguing it's still in the case because fuel buyers have repeated "false allegations" about the closure of one of its refineries — falsities that warrant sanctions.

  • October 07, 2019

    Westinghouse Wants $1.3M Refund For Faulty Backup Servers

    Westinghouse Electric Co. Inc. wants a full $1.3 million refund and more after a company allegedly failed to deliver on its promise of a reliable, secure data storage system for two data centers outside Pittsburgh, according to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania state court Monday.

  • October 07, 2019

    Enviros Want DC Review Of 'Once In, Always In' Panel Ruling

    Environmentalists and California have asked the D.C. Circuit to reconsider a split panel ruling that courts can't review a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency memorandum rescinding its "once in, always in" air pollution permitting policy.

  • October 07, 2019

    Frac Sand Shipper Defends $49M Win Over Alleged Copycat

    An attempt to undo a $49 million judgment after a jury found a container manufacturer had stolen proprietary designs for frac sand shipping containers amounts to "a remarkable exercise in willful ignorance," an oil industry shipper told a Texas appellate court.

  • October 07, 2019

    High Court Won't Review Pipeline Land Grab Challenge

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a landowner's challenge of a ruling that allows Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC to quickly condemn land so it can begin construction on its $5 billion gas pipeline.

  • October 07, 2019

    3 Firms Weld $751M Deal For PE-Backed Canadian Mining Co.

    South African metals refiner Impala Platinum has agreed to buy private equity-backed Canadian mining company North American Palladium for total consideration of roughly CA$1 billion ($751 million), the companies said Monday, in a deal guided by Stikeman Elliott LLP, Webber Wentzel and Baker McKenzie.

  • October 07, 2019

    High Court Passes Over Sunoco $306M Tax Refund Fight

    Sunoco won't get a $306 million tax refund, as the U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear its arguments that it should be able to deduct costs that were offset by green fuel tax credits.

  • October 07, 2019

    Calif. Utility Loses Bid For High Court Review Of Liability Law

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a California utility's constitutional challenge to a state inverse condemnation law that holds utilities liable for wildfire damage caused by their equipment, regardless of any actual negligence.

  • October 07, 2019

    Rising Star: Earthjustice's Kim Smaczniak

    Earthjustice's Kim Smaczniak helped engineer a successful pushback to a Trump administration plan to bail out struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants as she built out a federal clean energy focus for the group, earning her a spot among the energy attorneys under age 40 honored by Law360 as Rising Stars.

Expert Analysis

  • What EPA Plan To Count Emission Decreases Means For Cos.

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a rule explicitly allowing consideration of emissions decreases from a project in determining whether the project causes a significant emissions increase from an existing source. This makes it more likely that state regulators will follow the same approach, says Andrew Sawula of Schiff Hardin.

  • House And Senate Pipeline Bills: Ships Passing In The Night

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    The Pipeline Safety Act is up for reauthorization this year, and both the Democratic House and Republican Senate have produced draft legislation. But it is unlikely that Congress will meet the reauthorization deadline of Sept. 30, because the bills have almost no common ground, say attorneys at Troutman Sanders.

  • 2 Insurance Coverage Issues Raised By Cyber Warfare

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    As politics and cyberrisks become increasingly intertwined, policyholders and insurers alike would benefit from more certainty in relation to the cyber insurance war exclusion, and from more options in the market that would cover a cyberattack on the U.S. power grid, says Thomas Hunt of Robert M. Currey & Associates.

  • Opinion

    New Ohio Energy Law Impairs Competition, Reverses History

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    Ohio’s governor recently signed legislation that will subsidize four uncompetitive electricity-producing nuclear and coal plants, remove financial incentives to build more renewable energy projects and curtail energy efficiency programs. The law turns back the clock at the expense of ratepayers, says Richard Drom of Eckert Seamans.

  • How Electric Power Group Case Is Affecting Software Patents

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    The Federal Circuit's 2016 Electric Power Group v. Alstom decision, more frequently applied of late, and its progeny pose a serious risk to software inventions. As a result, knowing how to avoid Section 101 invalidity risk is critical when drafting software patents, says Michael Kiklis of Bass Berry.

  • Crisis Messaging To Protect Law Firm Brand And Bottom Line

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    When crises occur, such as data security incidents or gender bias suits, a well-prepared law firm has a thoroughly tested communications plan at the ready, which ensures the firm is the most proactive news source, prevents the crisis from escalating and notifies stakeholders about mitigation efforts, says Zach Olsen at Infinite Global.

  • The Escalating Sanctions Against Venezuela, Russia And Iran

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    The past few weeks saw a flurry of activity demonstrating that imposition and enforcement of economic sanctions against Venezuela, Russia and Iran — and by extension China — continues to be a key driver for the Trump administration in confronting foreign policy challenges, say attorneys at Kirkland.

  • State Net

    Calif. Emissions Agreement A Model For State-Industry Deals

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    Bypassing the Trump administration, California recently reached a deal with four automakers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The agreement could set a precedent for how state governments and industry can work together to address major issues, says Lou Cannon of State Net Capitol Journal.

  • How New Bill Boosts Renewable Projects On Federal Lands

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    If passed by Congress, a new bipartisan bill is expected to slash permitting delays for renewable energy projects across the U.S. The resulting regulatory certainty would be a win both for industry and for the growing group of states that have set ambitious climate change mitigation goals, say Ed Hild and Robert Burns of Buchanan Ingersoll.

  • Perspectives

    What You Should Know About Courtroom Closures

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    At attorney Greg Craig’s trial in D.C. federal court this week, the courtroom was cleared so prospective jurors could answer sensitive questions. Even seasoned litigators were left wondering about the nature of this subtle, yet significant, issue involving Sixth Amendment public trial rights, says Luke Cass at Quarles & Brady.

  • FERC Rate Reforms Mean More Data Collection For Cos.

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's revised regulations for selling energy services at market-based rates likely will streamline rate applications and related compliance filings, but they could create a significant initial burden for some companies, say Adam Wenner and Cory Lankford of Orrick.

  • The Groundwater Circuit Split High Court Will Untangle

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    Cases in which plaintiffs have argued for Clean Water Act jurisdiction over discharges that flow through groundwater have been brought in the Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Circuits. An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on this debate will have important implications for groundwater regulation, say Bradley Ennis and Susan Scaggs of Balch & Bingham.

  • NY’s Landmark Climate Bill: Big Opportunities But Few Details

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    New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, recently signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is an ambitious statewide climate change agenda that promotes significant investment opportunities for industry. But the bulk of it reads like a series of homework assignments for a group project, say attorneys with Schiff Hardin.

  • Series

    Why I Became A Lawyer: A Seaweed Scientist's Odyssey

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    In the early 1980s, I was working on my Ph.D. in marine biology and ecology. As part of an international team of scientists studying oil spill impacts on marine ecosystems, I saw a niche opportunity to combine science and law, says Andrew Davis of Shipman & Goodwin.

  • Renewable Projects Must Keep Up With FERC Filings

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    Recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders remind industry participants that even small renewable energy projects create the potential for regulatory challenges, particularly if required notices and rate schedules are not submitted to FERC on a timely basis, say Seth Lucia and Catherine McCarthy of Bracewell.

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