Energy

  • October 03, 2019

    Pa. Township Erred With Gas Drilling 'Overlay,' Panel Told

    A Pennsylvania community didn’t fully weigh the potential effects of drilling and hydraulically fracturing for gas in the Marcellus Shale when it created a “mineral extraction overlay” district that covered half the town, an environmental group told a Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania panel Thursday in Pittsburgh.

  • October 03, 2019

    Halliburton, Ex-Employee Reach Settlement In Wage Suit

    Halliburton Energy Services Inc. has settled a suit from a former truck driver who claimed the energy giant flouted California state law by allegedly shorting workers on wages and not properly paying them overtime.

  • October 03, 2019

    Blackhawk Seeks $35M Boost For Confirmed Del. Ch. 11 Plan

    Citing revenue shortfalls, weakened coal markets and a longer-than-expected bankruptcy stay, Blackhawk Mining LLC sought an extra $35 million in post-petition borrowing Wednesday for its already confirmed Delaware Chapter 11.

  • October 03, 2019

    Recom AG Must Pay Up On $1.8M Arbitration Award

    Recom AG must make good on a $1.8 million judgment to a construction company alleging it failed to deliver solar panels for a project, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Thursday, despite the supplier’s legal counsel woes.

  • October 03, 2019

    Bayou Steel Plans Quick Asset Sale In Ch. 11 Case

    Louisiana steel mill operator Bayou Steel BD Holdings LLC told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Thursday that a rapid sale process is critical to its Chapter 11 case as it is facing serious liquidity challenges.

  • October 03, 2019

    DOJ Wants In On 8th Circ. Oral Arguments In Minn. Grid Fight

    The U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has asked the Eighth Circuit to let it participate in oral arguments in a case challenging a Minnesota law that gives in-state utilities a right of first refusal before out-of-state companies can build new transmission lines.

  • October 03, 2019

    Texas Utility Board Can't Be Deposed In Wrongful Death Suit

    The board of directors of a Texas electric cooperative will not have to sit for depositions in a lawsuit alleging the company caused the death of a man who required an oxygen concentrator machine when it shut off his electricity, a Texas appellate court held Thursday.

  • October 03, 2019

    DC Circ. Told To Deny Ukraine Bid To Pause $112M Award Suit

    A Russian energy company urged the D.C. Circuit to deny Ukraine's bid to put a hold on a ruling that found the country waived its sovereign immunity defense in litigation to enforce a $112 million arbitral award, pending possible U.S. Supreme Court review of the decision.

  • October 03, 2019

    Pa. To Join Cap-And-Trade Program To Curb Emissions

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the state to join the multistate Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and its cap-and-trade program designed to slash power-sector carbon emissions Thursday — a major move from a state that generates more than half its electricity from coal and natural gas.

  • October 03, 2019

    New EU Tax Commissioner Pledges Carbon Border Tax

    The European Union's new commissioner for the economy and taxation, while being grilled by European Parliament members at his swearing-in Thursday, said the bloc will start work quickly on a new carbon border tax.

  • October 02, 2019

    Broker Files DQ Bid In 'Man Camp' Securities Fraud Case

    A Singaporean sales agent accused of participating in a $62 million Ponzi scheme has moved to disqualify one of the attorneys handling the case against him, saying the attorney committed "shocking" ethical violations by pursuing the suit even though he once advised the sales agent about related matters.

  • October 02, 2019

    Gov. Can't Break Up, Shake BLM Sage-Grouse Suit

    An Idaho federal court on Wednesday blocked the Trump administration's attempt to break up a lawsuit challenging its sage-grouse protection policies and scatter them to separate courts, siding with environmental groups who argued the conservation plans for eight Western states should be considered together.

  • October 02, 2019

    Protests Pose Threat To Natural Gas Golden Age, Panel Says

    The golden age of natural gas is here, but how long it will last depends largely on how the industry responds to headwinds coming from the growing number of climate change activists, experts said Wednesday during a Houston energy panel.

  • October 02, 2019

    Calif. Appeals Court Finds City Fuel Storage Tax Improper

    A California city’s tax on liquid fuel storage facilities wasn’t a business license tax but an improper real property tax, a state appeals court said Wednesday, reversing a lower court decision.

  • October 02, 2019

    Gov't Says No Need To Revisit FCA Dismissal Authority

    The federal government urged an Idaho federal court on Tuesday to block a whistleblower from appealing the dismissal of his False Claims Act suit involving a U.S. Department of Energy funding agreement, saying its FCA dismissal authority is a settled issue in the Ninth Circuit.

  • October 02, 2019

    PG&E Case Attys Blast Fee Application Protocol

    Counsel for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the utility’s board of directors and the unsecured creditors in its bankruptcy case have jointly claimed the court-appointed fee examiner is seeking to impose excessively strict caps and unnecessary barriers to their fee applications.

  • October 02, 2019

    Perenco Seeks OK Of $411M Award Against Ecuador

    A Bahamas-incorporated oil company asked a D.C. federal court on Tuesday to confirm a $411 million arbitration award issued recently against Ecuador in a long-running dispute over the allocation of profits from two oil blocks in the Amazon.

  • October 02, 2019

    4th Circ. Revives Chesapeake Lease Suit Over Undrilled Wells

    A Chesapeake Energy Co. unit may have violated the terms of a West Virginia drilling lease by consolidating the property into a larger parcel and using wells drilled elsewhere to satisfy its obligations to a landowner, the Fourth Circuit has ruled.

  • October 02, 2019

    Three Crowns Expands Into Middle East With Bahrain Office

    Three Crowns opened a new office in Bahrain on Tuesday, marking the specialist international arbitration law firm's first expansion since it was launched with offices in London, Paris and Washington, D.C., more than five years ago.

  • October 02, 2019

    Chevron, BP Ask High Court To Block Baltimore Climate Suit

    Energy giants including Chevron Corp. and BP PLC on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Baltimore's lawsuit seeking to hold the companies liable for climate change-related infrastructure damage from proceeding in state court.

  • October 02, 2019

    DC Circ. Delays $1B Pipeline Fight After 3rd Circ. Ruling

    The D.C. Circuit put on hold oral arguments scheduled for this week in a challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the $1 billion PennEast gas pipeline, to allow appeals to play out from a Third Circuit decision that developers can't seize state-owned land for the project.

  • October 02, 2019

    Sidley Advises Kimmeridge In $800M Energy Fund Close

    Energy-focused private equity firm Kimmeridge Energy Management, represented by Sidley Austin LLP, said Wednesday that it closed its fifth fund with $800 million in commitments that will be used to invest in oil and gas assets.

  • October 01, 2019

    Tubbs Fire Victims Litigating Through Press, PG&E Complains

    Attorneys representing bankrupt Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in an upcoming trial over the massive 2017 Tubbs fire urged a California judge Tuesday to admonish plaintiffs and their lawyers from litigating through the media — a request that the judge described as "essentially asking for a gag order."

  • October 01, 2019

    DC Circ. Throws Out EPA's Ozone Pollution Rule

    The D.C. Circuit said Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to protect states that sit downwind from other ozone-polluting states, siding with several East Coast attorneys general who said the agency needed to set stricter emission standards.

  • October 01, 2019

    Ex-Nuke Site Worker Gets $1.5M After Rehire Was Denied

    A federal jury in South Carolina has awarded $1.5 million to a veteran employee of a decades-long nuclear cleanup project, agreeing she was punished for alerting managers about racism in the workplace.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Clients Benefit From Law Firm Expense Growth

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    Although there continue to be corporate clients who are seduced by the idea that cheapest is always best when it comes to outside counsel, there are many negative implications on service delivery that result from myopically focusing only on cost reduction at the expense of quality and innovation, says Keith Maziarek at Katten Muchin.

  • How New Executive Order Strengthens Venezuela Sanctions

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    Tuesday’s executive order extending economic sanctions against Venezuela by prohibiting transactions with the Venezuelan government will be, in its practical application, very similar to the complete embargoes the U.S. maintains against entire countries such as Cuba, Iran, Syria and North Korea, says Grant Leach and Cortney Morgan of Husch Blackwell.

  • EPA-State Partnership Memo Signals Focused Enforcement

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a memorandum on its enforcement and compliance work with states. While the memo has been touted as providing a greater role for the states, it could actually result in more active EPA input on state-led enforcement matters, says Bernard Hawkins of Nelson Mullins.

  • Opinion

    Changing Ethics Rules Is Key To Law Firm Innovation

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    As demonstrated by the California bar proposal to allow nonlawyers to invest in law firms, we can change the legal ethics rules in a way that protects clients while permitting firms to innovate and serve clients better, say Todd Richheimer of ​​​​​​​Lawfty and Peter Joy of Washington University Law School.

  • Retroactive NY Tax Ruling Urges Transactional Caution

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    The retroactive application of a New York tax statute in the matter of Franklin Lewis reinforces the need for parties to a transaction to be especially vigilant when relying on decisions that overturn long-standing Department of Revenue tax policy, say Michael Hilkin and Justin Stone of Eversheds Sutherland.

  • National Coordinating Counsel: Key To Virtual Mass Tort Team

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    The national coordinating counsel is at the helm of both the design and execution of the virtual law team, providing case leadership and subject matter expertise, and ensuring consistency and efficiency throughout a mass tort litigation, say attorneys at Sidley Austin and FaegreBD.

  • 3rd Circ. Continues Momentive Trend For Secured Creditors

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    Senior secured creditors should heed the lessons offered by the Third Circuit's recent Energy Future Holdings decision — and Momentive before it — and push for an expansive definition of the assets that are subject to subordination when negotiating lien subordination agreements, say Adam Shiff and Shai Schmidt of Kasowitz Benson.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Castillo Reviews 'Raising The Bar'

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    A timely new book, “Raising the Bar: Diversifying Big Law," is one of the first honest assessments of the challenging battleground for people of color at large law firms, and I hope that firm management committee members read it, says U.S. District Judge Rubén Castillo of the Northern District of Illinois.

  • Opinion

    A Welcome Turning Of The Tide On State Preemption Of Cities

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    The troubling trend of state preemption of local authority across a wide array of policy areas seemed only to be growing until this spring’s legislative season, which saw states reconsidering and even beginning to unwind a legacy of interference, says Nestor Davidson, a professor at Fordham Law School.

  • FERC 'Single Entity' Ruling Increases Successor Liability Risk

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled recently that a power marketer is effectively the same entity as a bankrupt company with the same contacts and administrators, and thus is liable for the bankrupt company's debts. This theory could affect every holding company of utilities, generators or other FERC-regulated entities, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Debunking 3 Myths About Contract Attorneys

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    Although contract attorneys represent a quality source of legal work, inaccurate assumptions cause many legal departments and law firms to hesitate when considering them, say Matthew Weaver and Shannon Murphy of Major Lindsey.

  • Opinion

    FERC Not Obliged To Vet Pipeline Downstream Climate Impact

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    In Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017, and again in Birckhead v. FERC in June, the D.C. Circuit directed FERC to evaluate climate change effects when issuing pipeline certificates. But FERC lacks the authority to deny certificates based on such concerns, says James Costan of Dentons.

  • Gas Pipeline Group's Meeting Signals Stricter Safety Rules

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    At its recent meeting, the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee recommended that the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration largely move forward with new pipeline safety rules laid out by the Obama administration. The GPAC’s recommendation could represent a dramatic turning point for the industry, says Keith Coyle of Babst Calland.

  • Workplace Safety's Little-Known Hammer: The Clean Air Act

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    Although the Trump administration recently proposed to repeal some of the Clean Air Act's workplace safety requirements, it will likely not decrease the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ongoing enforcement trend for these CAA provisions, which has largely gone unnoticed, say Randy Brogdon and Richard Pepper at Troutman Sanders.

  • Persuasive Use Of Financial Models In Utility Ratemaking

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently closed the comment period for its examination of whether, and if so, how, to revise its public utility ratemaking procedures. Parties to ratemaking decisions should take heed of FERC's endorsement of using multiple financial models when setting rates, say Jimmie Zhang and Brien Sheahan of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

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