Energy

  • September 16, 2019

    Vistra Agrees To $8.6M Deal To Close Ill. Coal Power Plant

    Vistra Energy Corp. has struck a deal to close an Illinois coal-fired power plant that environmental groups say violates air quality standards and will contribute $8.6 million for community projects including job training, environmental projects and health initiatives, according to the groups.

  • September 16, 2019

    No 'Politicization' Of DOJ Probes, Antitrust Chief Says

    The head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division seemed to defend an ongoing investigation into four automakers that struck an emissions standards deal with California regulators, saying without naming any particular probe that the DOJ has not been politicized.

  • September 16, 2019

    US Says World Bank Unit Can't Be Sued Over India Coal Plant

    The United States has told a D.C. federal court that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act blocks a lawsuit by fishermen and other locals in India who accuse a World Bank Group unit of helping to finance an allegedly environmentally disastrous coal power plant nearby.

  • September 16, 2019

    Latham, Kirkland Lead Energy Transfer’s $5B SemGroup Buy

    Energy Transfer, guided by Latham, unveiled plans Monday to scoop up Kirkland-led SemGroup for roughly $5.1 billion, including debt, as it looks to expand its crude oil and natural gas liquids transportation business. 

  • September 13, 2019

    Asset Managers, Ex-Official Charged In PDVSA Case

    Two Swiss asset managers and a former Venezuelan minister have been charged in a U.S. case alleging contractors paid bribes for business with state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, according to an indictment made public on Friday.

  • September 13, 2019

    Bankrupt Philadelphia Refinery Gets $50M Insurance Advance

    The bankrupt owner of a Philadelphia-area refinery told the Delaware bankruptcy court Thursday that a group of insurers are set to make a $50 million advance in business interruption insurance funds in its Chapter 11 following a June blaze that forced the plant’s closure.

  • September 13, 2019

    PG&E Pledge Won't End FERC-Bankruptcy Court Tug Of War

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s pledge to honor its power purchase agreements as it moves through Chapter 11 may ease the minds of the utility's contracted electricity suppliers, but it won't douse the simmering legal fight over whether bankruptcy courts or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission get to determine the fate of such contracts.

  • September 13, 2019

    Traders Ask 2nd Circ. To Revisit Energy Co. Antitrust Suit

    Derivatives traders that accused BP PLC and other energy companies of manipulating overseas oil prices asked the Second Circuit to revisit its decision to throw out their claims, arguing that the court made a factual mistake and that the Commodity Exchange Act allegations were wrongly dismissed.

  • September 13, 2019

    Morgan Lewis Gains McDermott Arbitration Pro In Frankfurt

    Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP has gained a former McDermott Will & Emery LLP international arbitration partner who has extensive experience handling both investor-state and commercial arbitration proceedings and has served as an arbitrator on various tribunals.

  • September 13, 2019

    FTC Clears $160M Pipeline Deal After Noncompete Nixed

    The Federal Trade Commission has withdrawn its challenge to Nexus Gas Transmission’s plan to pick up an Ohio pipeline for $160 million after the company agreed to drop a noncompete clause from the deal, the agency said Friday.

  • September 13, 2019

    FCC Queries Carriers On Wildfire Response

    Due to several years of destructive wildfires in California that have caused severe damage across the state, the Federal Communications Commission has sent letters to major wireless carriers asking how they will mitigate risks from power shut-offs that are planned to limit the wildfires.

  • September 13, 2019

    DOI Clears Way For Energy Development In Arctic Refuge

    The U.S. Department of the Interior has moved forward on a plan for oil and gas development in Alaska, clearing a hurdle that was condemned by environmentalists and Native groups and praised by oil groups and Republican politicians.

  • September 13, 2019

    PG&E, Insurers Cut $11B Deal Over Calif. Wildfires

    A group of insurance companies with claims against Pacific Gas and Electric for payouts they made to victims of California's 2017 and 2018 wildfires announced Friday that it has agreed to settle with the bankrupt utility for $11 billion.

  • September 13, 2019

    Deals Rumor Mill: Inpex, Avaya, KKR

    Inpex Corp. is looking to expand in Australia, Avaya is discussing a deal to establish a joint venture with RingCentral, and KKR could sell its electric locomotives leasing unit ELL.

  • September 13, 2019

    DC Circ. Says EPA Must Set Cross-State Emission Deadlines

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should have imposed ozone emission reduction deadlines on states whose pollution makes it harder for states that lie downwind to comply with limits imposed by the Clean Air Act.

  • September 13, 2019

    French Minister Urges Carbon Tax Accord, Voting Changes

    The French finance minister on Friday urged his European counterparts to show citizens that politicians can act on a key issue by making progress on carbon taxation and further stressed the importance of adopting qualified majority voting for tax changes.

  • September 13, 2019

    States Forge Ahead On Renewables, With Or Without The Feds

    Energy officials from California, Massachusetts and New York on Friday said the Trump administration has stifled progress in the renewable energy sector, but touted their own programs as models for other states and cities that want to move in that direction.

  • September 13, 2019

    Weatherford's Revised Ch. 11 Plan To Cut $5.8B In Debt OK'd

    A Texas bankruptcy judge has confirmed oil field services company Weatherford International LLC's revised Chapter 11 plan to slash $5.8 billion of the company's debt.

  • September 12, 2019

    200 Affected In Gold King Spill May Get To Jump Line In MDL

    Individual plaintiffs from New Mexico who have waited years to bring their damages claims against polluters in multidistrict litigation over Colorado's Gold King Mine spill may get their shot at a trial in August 2021, according to a recommendation filed Wednesday.

  • September 12, 2019

    Battle Over $160M Claim Could Stall Elk Petroleum’s Ch. 11

    A battle between creditors posturing for position in Elk Petroleum Inc.’s Chapter 11 continues, as an equityholder committee on Thursday asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge to disallow an estimated $160 million claim by Elk’s largest secured creditor.

  • September 12, 2019

    Energy Finance Atty Joins Ex-Pillsbury Partners At Bracewell

    Bracewell LLP has snagged yet another partner from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP with the addition of veteran energy finance attorney Todd W. Eckland to its New York office, the firm announced Thursday.

  • September 12, 2019

    Enviros Say Costs Of Uranium Mine Not Properly Evaluated

    A coalition of environmental groups has told an Arizona federal court that the U.S. Forest Service failed to sufficiently analyze the cost of a uranium mining project it approved near the Grand Canyon, saying certain key expenses were not considered when the agency found the project would be profitable.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • 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.

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