Energy

  • September 12, 2019

    Gas Industry Drivers Get Partial Cert. In Pa. FLSA Case

    A Pittsburgh federal judge partly granted collective certification to a group of drilling-industry drivers for an Oakdale, Pennsylvania-based logistics company who claimed they were wrongfully classified as contractors and denied overtime, but declined to expand the class nationwide in her ruling Thursday.

  • September 12, 2019

    11th Circ. Says EPA-Alabama Water Partnership Can Stand

    The Eleventh Circuit said Thursday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not have to withdraw from a partnership with Alabama that allows the state to issue permits under the Clean Water Act even though environmental groups said Alabama’s program has sometimes strayed from federal law.

  • September 12, 2019

    EU's Energy Tax Rules Lagging Climate Goals, Report Says

    The European Union's energy tax framework hasn't kept pace with modern climate initiatives, in part because the rules don't contain an updated carbon element and give considerable flexibility to member states, according to a report released Thursday.

  • September 12, 2019

    Data Prep Software Co. Inks $100M In Google-Backed Funding

    Trifacta said Thursday it scored $100 million from Google, BMW i Ventures and other investors that will aid the San Francisco-based software company's operations in the banking, energy, telecommunications and automotive industries.

  • September 12, 2019

    Alta Mesa Files For Bankruptcy Amid SEC Probe

    Oil and gas company Alta Mesa Resources Inc. has filed for bankruptcy roughly two years after it was created in a $3.8 billion private-equity-backed deal, as shareholders and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission continue to investigate its subsequent stock price plunge.

  • September 12, 2019

    House Passes 3 Bills Banning Offshore, Alaska Drilling

    The U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban oil drilling off vast sections of the nation's coasts and in an environmentally sensitive part of Alaska, passing a trio of bills Wednesday and Thursday in a swipe at President Donald Trump's push to expand fossil fuel production.

  • September 12, 2019

    New Mexico City Says Solar Boosters Can't Fight Utility Fees

    A New Mexico city on Wednesday urged a federal judge to dump the bulk of a lawsuit accusing its utility of imposing unlawful and discriminatory monthly fees on rooftop solar owners, saying most of the challengers don't have standing to pursue claims that the utility is violating the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act.

  • September 12, 2019

    Fracking Trespass Claims Will Ruin Industry, Pa. Justices Told

    An attorney for a Southwestern Energy Corp. unit told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday that the state’s booming energy industry would be decimated if drillers were forced to face trespassing claims when a hydraulically fractured well on one property taps into natural gas trapped beneath a neighboring property.

  • September 12, 2019

    EPA, Corps Officially Sink Controversial Obama Water Rule

    The Trump administration on Thursday officially rolled back the Obama administration's effort to clarify federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, a move that will eliminate a regulatory patchwork and trigger vigorous litigation.

  • September 11, 2019

    9th Circ. Shoots Down City's Challenge To Calif. Grid Project

    The city of San Juan Capistrano lacks standing to challenge the California Public Utility Commission’s approval of an electrical grid project on constitutional grounds in federal court, the Ninth Circuit held Wednesday, affirming a district court’s 2017 dismissal of the suit.

  • September 11, 2019

    Atty Slams Bid To Remove Judge From BP Oil Spill MDL

    A Louisiana federal court should deny a Florida attorney's motion for a judge to recuse himself from sprawling multidistrict litigation over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill as the alleged conflicts are minimal at best, irrelevant to present matters and have since been mitigated, a Louisiana lawyer has argued.

  • September 11, 2019

    3rd Circ. Gives States Extra Weapon To Fight Gas Pipelines

    As the Trump administration moves to limit states' ability to review and potentially block interstate gas pipelines, the Third Circuit gave states a powerful backup option to veto projects in a ruling that pipeline developers can't seize state-owned land via eminent domain.

  • September 11, 2019

    Tucker Arensberg Ripped For Lawyer's Lost, Locked Texts

    A partner at Tucker Arensberg PC allegedly threw out his old firm-owned cellphone and all the text messages on it, and "forgot" the password for his new phone just as it was being sought in discovery, according to a scathing memo filed in a Pennsylvania federal court Wednesday seeking to compel the texts' turnover for a fraud lawsuit.

  • September 11, 2019

    Norton Rose Prevails, Again, Over PE Firm's Fraud Claims

    A Connecticut private equity firm that lost a legal malpractice suit against Norton Rose Fulbright last year was handed another defeat Wednesday when a New York state judge threw out its fraud suit against the law firm and a group of companies that allegedly cheated the PE firm in a power plant deal.

  • September 11, 2019

    Veolia Wins $2M Tax Refund At Mass. High Court

    Veolia Energy Inc. will be refunded $1.96 million in personal property taxes paid to the city of Boston, the highest court in Massachusetts said Wednesday, concluding its system of underground steam pipes was considered machinery and exempt from taxation.

  • September 11, 2019

    WTO Set For Collision Course Over US Metal Tariffs Next Year

    A day after the World Trade Organization said it will rule on the Trump administration’s national security tariffs on steel and aluminum next fall, the trade body on Wednesday said it also expects to issue a decision on the retaliatory tariffs imposed by other countries around the same time.

  • September 11, 2019

    Weatherford Cuts $400M In Debts From Ch. 11 Plan

    Oil field services company Weatherford International is asking a Texas bankruptcy court to sign off on a revised Chapter 11 plan it says trims $400 million in post-bankruptcy debt from the prepackaged plan it first submitted to the court in July.

  • September 11, 2019

    Oil Co. Seeks Arbitration Against Russian Bank, Refinery

    A Swiss oil company said Wednesday that it is seeking arbitration in London to resolve a dispute worth several hundred million dollars against a Russian-owned bank and a Russian oil refinery it once worked with over their "damaging" actions.

  • September 11, 2019

    Phillips 66 Loses Fight Over Wash. Paid Leave Law

    Phillips 66 must grant workers paid leave to care for ailing family members now that a Seattle federal judge has thrown out the company’s lawsuit challenging its need to comply with the Washington Family Care Act.

  • September 10, 2019

    Girardi Can't Transfer Settlement Fees Case To Retired Judge

    A California judge Tuesday denied law firm Girardi Keese's bid to throw out a lawsuit seeking an accounting of $120 million in settlements from an oil contamination case, saying it hadn't cited any authority for its request to order the matter decided in private by a retired judge.

  • September 10, 2019

    Kazakhstan Urges DC Circ. To Revive $506M Arb. Fight

    Kazakhstan asked the D.C. Circuit to revive its attempt to escape a $506 million arbitration award, arguing that the lower court applied a “non-existent” exception in tossing the Asian country’s case.

  • September 10, 2019

    GE Must Refer Disputes In $2.6B Deal To Experts, Suit Says

    A Swiss electrical equipment manufacturer has sued General Electric, asking a New York federal court to force GE to refer a $36 million dispute to independent experts stemming from their $2.6 billion deal for GE's electrical parts company.

  • September 10, 2019

    Ex-FEMA Official Arrested In Hurricane Maria Bribe Scheme

    A high-ranking former Federal Emergency Management Agency official was arrested Tuesday on charges that she took bribes from the president of a company responsible for $1.8 billion worth of repair work for Puerto Rico's electricity grid after Hurricane Maria.

  • September 10, 2019

    Judge Vows Not To Stiff Anyone In Gauging PG&E Liabilities

    A day after Pacific Gas and Electric submitted a Chapter 11 reorganization plan offering $16.9 billion for Northern California wildfire victims, a California federal judge tasked with estimating its liabilities told victims seeking $40 billion Tuesday that his estimate would be based on benchmarks and that nobody would be "stiffed."

  • September 10, 2019

    Shipper Asks Justices To Back $100M Judgment Against Citgo

    Frescati Shipping Co. Ltd. on Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to reverse a $100 million-plus judgment against three Citgo units over a 2004 oil spill in Delaware, saying the contract for the shipment required Citgo to ensure that Frescati's ship was pulling into a safe harbor.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Why 9th Circ. Affirmed Renewable Developers’ PURPA Rights

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    Last week, the Ninth Circuit affirmed that the California Public Utilities Commission had not provided proper contracting opportunities to a renewable generation developer under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. The decision is a victory for renewable developers, but highlights the limits of states’ flexibility, says Todd Brecher of Akin Gump.

  • 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.

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