Energy

  • August 12, 2020

    7th Circ. Lets Power Cos. Fight Enviro Suit Over $500M Project

    The Seventh Circuit ruled Tuesday that Wisconsin power utility and supply companies can join a challenge to the permits they received to build a $500 million transmission line, overturning a lower court's decision to exclude them.

  • August 12, 2020

    Mayer Brown Nabs Bracewell Atty To Lead Upstream Group

    Mayer Brown LLP has hired a Bracewell LLP partner experienced in upstream oil and gas mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions to lead the firm's U.S. upstream oil and gas group in Houston.

  • August 12, 2020

    Ex-Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Sued Over $6.45M Loan Default

    A Houston lender is demanding former Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst repay more than $6 million for a loan given to his energy investment company in 2018 that it has since defaulted on, according to a petition filed Tuesday in state court.

  • August 12, 2020

    Upstream Battles Sink Permit For $468M Gas Pipeline Add-On

    North Carolina regulators denied a water permit for a planned $468 million extension of the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, finding its purpose is "inextricably linked to, and dependent upon" the future of a contested pipeline segment further north.

  • August 12, 2020

    Exxon Wants Shareholder's Climate Change Suit Dismissed

    Exxon Mobil Corp. and some of its executives are asking a Texas federal judge to dismiss a consolidated derivative shareholder suit alleging the company misrepresented climate change-related business projections, arguing that its board already looked into the allegations and concluded they were "entirely without merit."

  • August 12, 2020

    Willkie Snags Restructuring Atty From MoFo In London

    Law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has brought on a new finance expert from Morrison & Foerster LLP to join the firm's London office as a restructuring partner.

  • August 12, 2020

    Pandemic-Crushed Oil Prices Drive Offshore Driller To Ch. 11

    Oil drilling company Hermitage Offshore Services Ltd. said Wednesday it hit Chapter 11 in New York with plans to continue operations as it restructures debt that ballooned to more than $100 million in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • August 11, 2020

    Feds' Weakening Of Migratory Bird Protections Vacated

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's recent move to loosen restrictions on the incidental killing of migratory birds illegally departed from decades of established practice and runs counter to the intent of a law designed to protect the creatures, a New York federal judge said Tuesday.

  • August 11, 2020

    Insurer Off The Hook For $1.7M Faulty Oil Well Design Suit

    A Texas federal judge has ruled that Kinsale Insurance Co. has no duty to cover a $1.7 million suit against an oil consultant for designing and constructing a faulty oil well, saying an exclusion in its policy bars coverage for property damage arising from its operations.

  • August 11, 2020

    Dems Call For Criminal Probe Into Top DOI Attorney

    Top Democrats are calling for a criminal investigation into the U.S. Department of the Interior's top lawyer after an inspector general report concluded political appointees withheld documents related to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt during his confirmation hearings last year.

  • August 11, 2020

    Colombia Can't Get Jurisdiction Up First In $83M Mining Claim

    Colombia has lost its bid to try to quickly nix on jurisdictional grounds an $82.6 million claim asserted by a Canadian precious metals company over a mining ban, after an international tribunal concluded that Bogotá hadn't backed up its argument the company is owned by non-Canadians.

  • August 11, 2020

    Steel Prep Co. Can't Duck NLRB's Pension Ruling At 9th Circ.

    A divided Ninth Circuit on Tuesday backed the National Labor Relations Board's finding that a Bay Area steel preservation company committed an unfair labor practice when it slashed contributions to a union pension fund without first bargaining with its workers' union.

  • August 11, 2020

    House Panel Wants Probe Of Agencies' Pebble Mine Review

    Democratic leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform have asked federal inspectors general to look into agencies' environmental review of the Pebble Mine project in Alaska, saying the process was too hasty and may have put political concerns ahead of science.

  • August 11, 2020

    Feds Must Give Court Dakota Access Update By End Of Month

    A D.C. federal judge has ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to explain what the future holds for the Dakota Access pipeline after the D.C. Circuit undid an order to temporarily shut down and drain the project of oil.

  • August 11, 2020

    5th Circ. Keeps La. Coastal Drilling Suits In State Court

    The Fifth Circuit on Monday kept in Louisiana state court lawsuits alleging oil and gas companies unlawfully drilled along the state's coast for decades, rebuffing the companies' latest bid to remove to federal court the suits lodged by Louisiana parishes.

  • August 11, 2020

    Metals Investor Seeks To Ax Award In Mexican Gold Mine Fight

    A precious metals investor asked the Tenth Circuit to vacate a $400,000 award in its long-running dispute with Canada's Goldgroup Mining Inc. over a Mexican gold mine, saying a Colorado federal court wrongly confirmed the award this spring.

  • August 11, 2020

    Tesla Directors Still Back SolarCity Deal Despite Settlement

    Despite agreeing to settle a Tesla stockholder merger challenge for $60 million, six directors named in a Delaware Chancery Court suit say they still plan to testify in support of the company's allegedly conflicted, $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity if the trial against Elon Musk goes ahead.

  • August 11, 2020

    DOJ Says Administrative Procedure Act Is Behind The Times

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday urged lawmakers to update a law that governs procedures for federal rulemakings, saying that in its current form, it fails to adequately promote accountability, transparency and public participation and isn't sufficient to deal with modern regulation.

  • August 11, 2020

    PE Firm Urges 5th Circ. To Nix $36M Damages In Contract Row

    A Dallas-based private equity company on Monday told the Fifth Circuit it shouldn't owe $35.5 million in damages following a contract dispute over offshore oil and gas exploration, saying the money was never sought and the award was based on testimony excluded by the court.

  • August 11, 2020

    FERC Says Energy Storage Facilities Can Get Grid Treatment

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a Midwestern grid operator's proposal to treat energy storage facilities as transmission assets to address grid expansion issues, but one commissioner warned the agency is wrongly blurring the line between electricity generation and transmission.

  • August 11, 2020

    FERC Asks DC Circ. To Back Its Call On Texas Gas Project

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it made the right call when it greenlighted the construction of a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Texas, and it wants the D.C. Circuit to shoot down a challenge that argues otherwise.

  • August 11, 2020

    Trade Court Finds Report Doesn't Support Duties On Flanges

    The U.S. Court of International Trade again rejected the Commerce Department's decision to hit Chinese iron flanges with anti-dumping duties, finding Tuesday that the U.S. International Trade Commission report Commerce cited doesn't actually support the conclusion the products are subject to the fees.

  • August 11, 2020

    Supplier Wants Claim Axed From EQT's $18M Faulty Valve Suit

    A drilling industry supplier urged a Pennsylvania federal judge Monday to throw out what it said were duplicative claims over alleged breaches of contract and warranty in an $18 million suit over purportedly faulty gas well valves sold to EQT Corp.

  • August 11, 2020

    Energizer Wants False Ad Suit To Keep Going And Going

    Energizer Brands LLC is pushing a New York federal court to keep alive its suit alleging that Duracell U.S. Operations Inc. falsely claims its premium batteries perform better than all others, saying Duracell's bid for an early win is a straw man argument that misconstrues Energizer's complaint.

  • August 10, 2020

    Shareholders Ask Judge To Sink Ultra Petroleum Ch. 11 Plan

    Natural gas producer Ultra Petroleum told a Texas bankruptcy judge Monday it had settled creditor objections to its Chapter 11 plan, while equity holders urged him to reject the plan as unnecessary and flawed.

Expert Analysis

  • COVID-19 Is Straining Compact Between Utilities, Regulators

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    The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission recently barred utilities from collecting late fees as COVID-19 strains their finances, but reducing previously approved sources of revenue to meet the utility's authorized revenue requirement may run afoul of the regulatory compact between utilities and their regulators, say Dane McKaughan and Todd Kimbrough at Holland & Knight.

  • New IT Restrictions For Gov't Contractors Bring M&A Hurdles

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    Prohibitions taking effect next week on the use of certain Chinese telecommunications technology by government contractors will have an immediate impact on M&A involving companies that do business with the federal government, and will require prospective buyers' careful consideration in four areas, say attorneys at Covington.

  • What Firms Should Ask Before Hiring Attorneys From Gov't

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    In the final year of any presidential administration, there is an undeniable appetite on the part of large law firms for government-savvy legal talent, but firms need to first consider how they will actually utilize their new star hire, says Michael Ellenhorn at Decipher.

  • The Ethics Of Using Chatbots For Legal Services

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    Delegating legal work to robots involves several risks, including running afoul of statutes dictating unauthorized practice of law, but with the right precautions, law firms can lawfully employ artificially intelligent chatbots that can imitate human conversations, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • Tax Court Ruling Highlights Importance Of Formula Clauses

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    The recent Tax Court decision in Nelson v. Commissioner — a case involving transfer of interests in a family business — reflects that the intent of donors is only as strong as the precise language in the formula clause, say Carsten Hoffmann and John Ashbrook at Stout Risius and Eric Bardwell at Jeffer Mangels.

  • Mitigating Joint Infringement Liability After Del. Patent Ruling

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    The recent Delaware federal court ruling in Midwest Energy Emissions v. Vistra Energy demonstrates that carefully structuring enterprise agreements to avoid satisfying the joint-enterprise patent infringement theory's equal-right requirement can help potential infringers avoid liability, says Alex Englehart at Oblon McClelland.

  • Opinion

    ABA Must Seize Opportunity To Respond To Bar Exam Chaos

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    The challenges of administering bar exams this year have put the future of the profession in jeopardy, but the American Bar Association at its ongoing annual meeting can adopt a resolution that would urge jurisdictions to take emergency actions with respect to licensure of new attorneys, says Nicholas Allard, former president of Brooklyn Law School.

  • How Pandemic Is Affecting The Pace Of Judicial Opinions

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way judges work, but how has it impacted the volume of work product they generate? Ben Strawn and Omeed Azmoudeh at Davis Graham investigate using data from the PACER federal courts registry.

  • DC Circ. Ruling Boosts FERC's Authority On Energy Storage

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    The D.C. Circuit's recent ruling in National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sends an important signal to the electric power industry that FERC has broad powers to promote the participation of energy storage resources in wholesale electricity markets, say attorneys at Greenberg Traurig.

  • How Key US States Are Responding To The Oil Price Collapse

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    Leading oil and gas producing jurisdictions across the U.S. have responded to collapsing oil prices in various ways, but companies should note even the most proactive states have not mandated production cuts or provided tax relief for operators, say Denmon Sigler and Scott Shelton at Baker McKenzie.

  • 6 Steps For Law Firms Looking To Improve Their Culture

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    The COVID-19 crisis represents an inflection point for law firm culture, and smart firm leaders will take advantage of this moment to build innovation-welcoming environments that support partners, associates, business services teams and clients alike, say Jennifer Johnson at Calibrate Legal and Kathleen Pearson at Pillsbury.

  • FERC Reg Changes Create New Hurdles For Renewables

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recently approved revisions to its regulations implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act will likely have negative impacts on small-scale renewable energy facilities, making such projects less appealing to prospective lenders, say Michael Yuffee and Ryan Norfolk at Winston & Strawn.

  • Virtual Courts Amplify Lawyers' Corporate Spokesperson Role

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    Greater access to virtual court proceedings during the pandemic means an increased likelihood that legal arguments will jump from the courtroom to the court of public opinion, so counsel must tailor statements with the client's reputation in mind, says Mike Dolan at Finsbury.

  • 4 Tax Questions To Ask Before Signing An Enviro Settlement

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    In light of recently proposed IRS regulations, companies facing government environmental enforcement actions that want to deduct related payments must ask several key questions before finalizing any settlement agreement or court order, say Monty Cooper and Teresa Abney at Crowell & Moring.

  • Law Firms Must Note Pandemic's Outsize Impact On Women

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    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, gender roles in many families have reverted to scenes from the 1960s, and law firms have a huge opportunity — indeed a business imperative — to avoid the mistakes of the past, say Roberta Liebenberg at Fine Kaplan and Stephanie Scharf at Scharf Banks.

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