Energy

  • January 12, 2022

    Biden Admin. Sets Date For NY, NJ Offshore Wind Lease Sale

    The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Wednesday that a much-anticipated auction to lease out 480,000 acres off the New York and New Jersey coasts for wind energy development will be held next month.

  • January 12, 2022

    3 Firms Guide $1.9B Merger Of Oil Cos.

    Oil and gas extraction and royalties companies Desert Peak Minerals and Falcon Minerals Corp. said Wednesday they will merge to create an entity worth $1.9 billion in a deal guided by Vinson & Elkins LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP and White & Case LLP.

  • January 12, 2022

    Sens. Push Strict Trade Deal Enforcement For Energy, Biotech

    Senate Finance Committee leaders urged the U.S. Trade Representative to wield the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement's enforcement tools more aggressively, saying Wednesday that the tools could combat Mexican infractions related to energy and biotechnology.

  • January 12, 2022

    Texas Justices Doubt Breadth Of TCEQ's Permitting Power

    The Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday challenged the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's claim it has the authority to grant an underground injection well permit after state regulators expressed concerns over the project, with one justice suggesting the act could be categorized as an abuse of discretion.

  • January 12, 2022

    Power Co. Pans Construction Halt On Geothermal Power Plant

    The developer of a Nevada geothermal power plant says a 90-day preliminary injunction on construction would make it "virtually impossible" to complete the project by a key contractual deadline and would cost the company $30 million.

  • January 12, 2022

    US, States Oppose Effort To Leave Trump Water Rule Intact

    The federal government and a group of blue states Tuesday asked the Ninth Circuit not to block a California federal judge's ruling that struck down a Trump-era water rule that restricted state and tribal authority to deny permits under the Clean Water Act.

  • January 12, 2022

    Kirkland Adds McKool Smith Litigator To Austin IP Practice

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP expanded its intellectual property practice group in Austin, Texas, with the hiring of a former McKool Smith Hennigan PC attorney who has worked alongside U.S. District Judge Alan Albright.

  • January 12, 2022

    Energy Co. Wants Supreme Court To Nix Rig Worker's OT Pay

    An offshore energy company urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reevaluate a Fifth Circuit ruling that determined a highly paid ex-rig worker is entitled to overtime compensation, saying the decision creates a conflict the justices need to resolve.

  • January 12, 2022

    FirstEnergy Unit Reaches Deal To End Coal Ash Pollution Suit

    A Pennsylvania subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. has agreed to pay a $610,000 penalty to state and federal environmental regulators to end claims it violated its permits by allowing excessive levels of a pollutant to be discharged from two coal ash impoundment landfills in the state.

  • January 11, 2022

    EPA Moves To Protect Groundwater From Coal Ash Pollution

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday rejected deadline extension applications for coal plants to comply with coal ash pond cleanup rules, signaling the Biden administration's renewed interest in enforcement that could force some plants to close prematurely.

  • January 11, 2022

    How 3 States Are Leading The Way On Environmental Justice

    Through efforts like strengthening permitting processes and increasing public participation in development decisions, three states in particular have been leaders in addressing the concerns of environmental justice communities, potentially serving as models to other states and the federal government.

  • January 11, 2022

    Oil Cos. Must Pay $50M WWII Site Cleanup Bill, 9th Circ. Told

    The federal government urged the Ninth Circuit to affirm a lower court's decision that found Union Oil Co. of California, Texaco Inc. and ARCO liable for cleanup costs of a California site polluted by aviation fuel byproducts during World War II.

  • January 11, 2022

    Prosecutor's Bid To Tap Pipeline-Funded Account Questioned

    As hundreds of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline protesters fight criminal charges in Minnesota state courts, at least one county prosecutor has attempted to seek reimbursement for his efforts from a controversial public safety fund bankrolled by the pipeline company itself, an advocacy group found.

  • January 11, 2022

    US Warns Of Russian Cyberattacks On Critical Infrastructure

    U.S. cybersecurity officials on Tuesday warned critical infrastructure operators to watch out for cyberattacks from Russian state-sponsored hackers, a day after U.S. and Russian leaders met to discuss Russia's buildup of troops near Ukraine.

  • January 11, 2022

    PDVSA Lines Up Appeal Over $166M Debt Ruling

    Venezuela's state-owned oil company is appealing a New York federal court's order forcing it to pay $166 million to U.S. manufacturer Dresser-Rand over missed loan payments, which the company previously said were impossible to make due to Trump-era sanctions.

  • January 11, 2022

    Seadrill Finance Co. Seeking Quick OK For Ch. 11 Refinance

    The finance subsidiary of offshore drilling firm Seadrill Ltd. on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 in Texas, saying it is seeking immediate signoff of a pre-approved plan to refinance nearly $623 million in debt and conclude the reorganization of the Seadrill Group.

  • January 11, 2022

    Limetree Bay Bidder's Ch. 11 Sale Stay Nixed In Texas

    A frustrated bidder in the Chapter 11 case of oil refinery owner Limetree Bay lost Tuesday in its effort to stall the closing of the debtor's asset sale when a Texas bankruptcy judge said it likely would not succeed in its appeal of his November decision to allow reopening of an auction.

  • January 11, 2022

    Texas Justices Mull Duty To Warn In Electric Shock Suit

    An energy production company told the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday that a lower court's decision to allow a contractor's personal injury lawsuit to proceed against it created a new duty that doesn't exist under Texas law.

  • January 11, 2022

    Calif. Gov. Seeks More Climate Funding In Budget Proposal

    California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara praised Gov. Gavin Newsom's budget proposal for what Lara called its investments in fighting climate change.

  • January 11, 2022

    Biden Admin. Backs Trump-Era Powder River Basin Coal Plan

    The federal government defended its revisions to coal leasing and land development plans in the Powder River Basin mining region, rebutting claims from environmental groups that the changes still do not comply with a 2018 court order and environmental regulations.

  • January 10, 2022

    Ex-LA City Attorney To Plead Guilty To Role In DWP Scandal

    A former senior official at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting an extortion plot that aimed to prevent exposure of the city's collusion in litigation over its faulty water-and-power billing system, the Justice Department announced Monday.

  • January 10, 2022

    Limetree Says Appeal Of Sale Is No Reason To Delay Closing

    The owner of the environmentally troubled Limetree Bay Refinery told a Texas bankruptcy judge on Monday that there was nothing to a failed bidder's appeal of his decision to reopen the auction for the U.S. Virgin Islands facility that would warrant delaying the closure of the sale.

  • January 10, 2022

    Enviros Say FERC 'Blindly' Ignoring Facts In Pipeline Dispute

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is "blindly" relying on outdated information to keep a $6 billion Appalachian pipeline alive, environmentalists told the D.C. Circuit in an attempt to have the court toss approvals for the project.

  • January 10, 2022

    Zimbabwe Must Pay $50M Award In Mining Fight, Suit Says

    Zimbabwe still hasn't paid a $50 million arbitral award owed to two companies it partnered with to mine for nickel after their plans soured more than a decade ago amid allegations of corruption, according to documents filed in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

  • January 10, 2022

    Cos. Can't Beat Worker's Suit Over Faulty Fracking Parts

    A West Virginia federal judge has refused to let two companies that manufacture tools and parts used in fossil fuel drilling escape a lawsuit claiming they are partially responsible for an explosion that caused the amputation of a fracking worker's lower left leg.

Expert Analysis

  • Despite DOL Proposed Rule, ESG Investing Faces Barriers

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    While a recently proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor would make it easier to consider environmental, social and governance factors in retirement plan investment decisions, fiduciaries may tread carefully in the face of extensive litigation against defined contribution plans, says William Pollak at O'Melveny.

  • Key Commodities Trends To Watch In 2022

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    Despite continuing worldwide economic turmoil, the commodities realm can look forward to many opportunities in the coming year, including growing activity in renewables, advances in carbon capture and carbon credit generation, and important developments at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, say Michael Mapp and Deanna Reitman at DLA Piper.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Synchrony Counsel Talk Role Of Legal Teams

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    Jonathan Mothner and Danielle Do at Synchrony Financial discuss legal departments' essential role in their firms' environmental, social and governance programs, and how legal leaders can leverage their teams and internal relationships to advance ESG efforts.

  • For Junior Lawyers, Authenticity And A Solid Pitch Are Key

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    With strong lateral partner hiring and other pandemic-era trends making it harder for newly minted attorneys to progress in their careers, junior lawyers should take steps to perfect their elevator pitch and remain true to who they are, as a big part of their success will depend on how well they sell themselves to clients and how genuine they appear, says Emily Weber at Foley & Lardner.

  • Opinion

    US Shouldn't Abandon Phase 1 Agreement With China

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    Diplomatic efforts to extend the Phase One U.S.-China trade deal past its Dec. 31 expiration should continue, because despite China’s failure to hit promised targets, the deal was largely successful, and both countries would benefit from continued ad hoc exemptions from harmful tariffs and trade practices, says Bashar Malkawi at the University of Arizona.

  • Key Considerations For Accessing Infrastructure Act Funding

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    With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act set to inject $1.2 trillion into the U.S. economy over five years, states, municipalities, tribes and companies who are seeking support for specific projects must understand how to access the funds, says James Voyles at Lewis Roca.

  • Texas Tax Talk: Exemption Win Signals Taxpayer Opportunity

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    A Texas appellate court’s recent ruling in Hegar v. Texas Westmoreland Coal, holding that mineral extraction equipment qualifies for the Texas sales tax manufacturing exemption, may yield opportunities for taxpayers in other industries to push back on comptroller exemption denials, say attorneys at Baker Botts.

  • A Compliance Primer For Attorneys Outsourcing Legal Work

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    Growing numbers of law firms and corporations outsource legal work for cost savings, so lawyers must firmly understand their related obligations set forth by bar associations across the country — from obtaining client consent to using accepted billing methods, say Melissa Khalil at Nora.Legal, Jeremy Babener at Structured Consulting and Patrice Asimakis at LegalEase Solutions.

  • When And How To Depose Fact Witnesses Remotely In 2022

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    Tim Tryniecki and Thomas Mudd at MG+M offer a series of practice tips for successfully conducting remote depositions of often-inexperienced fact witnesses, as the virtual court proceedings sparked by COVID-19 look set to become a part of the legal landscape next year.

  • EU, US Carbon Import Tax Proposals: What Cos. Must Know

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    With the European Union working on a carbon border adjustment mechanism, and congressional Democrats formulating their own carbon import tax plans, U.S. businesses — especially those in emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industry sectors — could face adverse trade effects, supply chain problems and increased transactional costs, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: PayPal CLO Talks Gauging Impact And Intent

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    For legal teams, the corporate evolution toward more intentional post-COVID-19 environmental, social and governance strategies means deeper integration across business functions, seeking counsel on emerging issues affecting stakeholders, adapting initiatives around changing policies and regulations, and advancing ESG reports to better measure impact, says Louise Pentland at PayPal.

  • How To Fix Discrimination Issues In SE Power Market Plan

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    While the Southeast Energy Exchange Market recently received regulatory approval to proceed, concerns remain about discriminatory transmission access — but measures can be taken to promote balanced representation and independent oversight, say Carolyn Berry and Galen Erickson at Bates White.

  • Investors May Reconsider Arbitration Seats After ECJ Ruling

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    The European Court of Justice's recent Moldova v. Komstroy decision undermines the attractiveness of European Union-seated investment arbitration as it highlights to investors that such proceedings can be subject to interference from EU courts, says Tomas Vail of Vail Dispute Resolution.

  • Opinion

    Climate Change Lawsuits Are Not 'The New Tobacco'

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    Plaintiffs filing suits against energy companies over climate change are hoping for a reprise of the tobacco litigation of two decades ago, but recent decisions in opioid cases that repudiated expansive use of public nuisance theories spell trouble for similar climate claims, says Donald Kochan at George Mason University Law School.

  • The Implications Of COP26 For Legal Practitioners

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    Developments at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference will create both opportunities and risks for lawyers — with many new laws, regulations and industry best practices to track, and a growing pipeline of new energy and infrastructure projects to facilitate, say Caroline May and Charles Winch at Norton Rose.

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