Energy

  • September 14, 2020

    9th Circ. Says Billing BP For $111M Cleanup Tab Premature

    The Ninth Circuit affirmed Monday that a BP America subsidiary owes a mining firm a quarter of the costs for arsenic cleanup at a Montana Superfund site, but the panel said the amount should not necessarily be based on the firm's entire $111.4 million settlement with the EPA.

  • September 14, 2020

    EPA's Guidance Rule Improves Access But Creates Questions

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new rule aimed at making its guidance easier to track is being praised for improving transparency, though experts say more public and judicial scrutiny of future agency guidance could make it harder to get clarity from the EPA.

  • September 14, 2020

    Judge Won't Block NEPA Overhaul During Litigation

    A Virginia federal judge let Trump administration revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act take effect Monday, declining to enjoin the rule's overhaul in one of several pending challenges to the revisions.

  • September 14, 2020

    EPA Rejects Renewable Fuel Waivers For Past Years

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday rejected dozens of requests by small refineries to fill gaps in their exemptions from having to blend renewable fuels into their products, which the companies had requested after the Tenth Circuit threw out some exemptions.

  • September 14, 2020

    EPA Can't Justify Year-Round Ethanol Fuel Use, DC Circ. Told

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency flouted the clear language and intent of the Clean Air Act with its move to allow year-round sales of gasoline made with 15% ethanol, challengers told the D.C. Circuit on Friday.

  • September 14, 2020

    Fieldwood Energy Gets Judge's Final OK For $100M DIP

    Gulf of Mexico oil and gas exploration company Fieldwood Energy LLC on Monday got the go-ahead to tap into $100 million in debtor-in-possession financing after telling a Texas bankruptcy judge it had resolved objections to the proposal.

  • September 14, 2020

    Conn. Latest State To Target Exxon With Climate Fraud Claims

    Connecticut on Monday became the latest state to hit ExxonMobil Corp. with a state court suit alleging the oil giant undertook a multidecade campaign to mislead the public and conceal climate change risks posed by the production and use of fossil fuels.

  • September 14, 2020

    States Tell DC Circ. EPA Unlawfully Rescinded Methane Regs

    New York and California, joined by more than 20 other state and local governments, launched a challenge at the D.C. Circuit on Monday to the Trump administration's gutting of Obama-era regulations that clamped down on methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas infrastructure.

  • September 14, 2020

    2020's Turmoil Reinvigorates Fight For Environmental Justice

    Defined by the relentless COVID-19 pandemic and a reckoning with race relations, the summer of 2020 has pointed a spotlight at the country’s environmental hardships that advocates say illuminates a rare opportunity for progress toward environmental justice. This is the second story in a three-part series running this week on the fight for environmental justice in 2020.

  • September 14, 2020

    10th Circ. Told 'Diesel Brothers' Must Pay For Air Law Offense

    Public health advocates have told the Tenth Circuit that a lower court was right to impose roughly $850,000 in fines against the hosts of Discovery Channel's "Diesel Brothers," arguing they made money by altering vehicles to increase their emissions in violation of the Clean Air Act.

  • September 14, 2020

    Green Groups Say BLM Shouldn't Have OK'd New Mexico Mine

    The Bureau of Land Management approved mining exploration and development in a New Mexico mountain range without a clear idea of the environmental impacts or extent of the project's impacts on a nearby community, conservation groups have told a federal court.

  • September 11, 2020

    OxyChem Liable For NJ River Cleanup, But Amount Is Unclear

    Occidental Chemical Corp. can't escape at least partial liability for costs related to cleaning up a heavily polluted New Jersey river that could run more than $1.3 billion, but the question of how much responsibility other parties bear will be answered later, a federal judge said Friday.

  • September 11, 2020

    DC Man Touted Diamond Biz In Ponzi Scheme, Feds Say

    Florida prosecutors on Thursday accused a self-styled lapidary of conning individuals into investing in his purported diamond business, then giving them Ponzi payments while spending their money on himself.

  • September 11, 2020

    Sunoco Ordered To Reroute Mariner East Pipeline Section

    Pennsylvania regulators ordered Sunoco to reroute a segment of its controversial $3 billion Mariner East natural gas pipeline system on Friday, after a drilling mud spill along the line's route last month forced a lake in one of the state's most popular parks to be partially shut down.

  • September 11, 2020

    Oil Co. Seeks Insurance Coverage Of $1M Spill At 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit should force Bitco General Insurance Corp. to cover $1 million in cleanup costs for an oil spill under an umbrella policy that doesn't exclude pollution, a Montana oil and gas company argued.

  • September 11, 2020

    Commerce Sets New Monitoring Rules For Steel Importers

    The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday unveiled new reporting requirements for importers that will help the agency monitor steel imports, continuing the Trump administration's effort to keep a close watch on the nation's foreign steel dependency.

  • September 11, 2020

    5th Circ. Won't Revisit $12.7M Judgment Against Total E&P

    The Fifth Circuit announced Friday it will not reconsider its decision to reverse a $12.7 million lower court judgment against Total E&P USA Inc. for decommissioning costs of a pipeline system associated with abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • September 11, 2020

    Texas Gas Driller Approved For $115M Ch. 11 Asset Sale

    Six months after a deal to sell its assets for $192 million fell apart due to the cratering of energy commodity prices, Texas gas driller Approach Resources Inc. received tentative court approval Friday for a $115 million transaction with a new buyer.

  • September 11, 2020

    Steel Mill Claims Texas Pipeline Will Pollute Wetlands

    A Texas steel mill wants to stop the construction of a natural gas pipeline on its property, claiming that the permitting process used by the Army Corps of Engineers to clear the project was inadequate and unlawful.

  • September 11, 2020

    Minn. Fights To Move Climate Fraud Suit Back To State Court

    Minnesota accused Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday of twisting the state's suit accusing industry players of deceiving consumers about climate-change-related risks into "something unrecognizable" in an attempt to force the litigation to play out in federal court.

  • September 11, 2020

    Bondholder Says Venezuela Oil Co. Can't Escape $40M Ruling

    A Portuguese company that says it's owed some $40 million on a defaulted Venezuelan bond is urging a New York federal judge not to give the country's national oil company more time to shore up its defenses, pushing back against claims that it's been unable to access important underlying documents.

  • September 11, 2020

    Workers Say Natural Gas Co. Stiffed Them On OT

    A Wyoming natural gas service misclassified its oilfield workers in order to deny them overtime pay they earned working on the company's gas wells, according to a proposed class and collective action filed in Pennsylvania federal court.

  • September 11, 2020

    Tech, Sustainability Blank-Check Cos. Net $825M In Debuts

    A blank-check company backed by private equity firm True Wind and a sustainability-focused blank-check vehicle began trading Friday after raising a combined $825 million in initial public offerings guided by Ellenoff Grossman, Vinson & Elkins and Maples and Calder.

  • September 11, 2020

    EPA Struggles To Put Environmental Justice Vows Into Action

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set clear environmental justice goals it wanted to meet by 2020. The Trump administration says it’s achieving those aims and keeping environmental justice at the forefront, but advocates say the White House is undermining those goals with a deregulatory agenda that hurts minority communities. This is the first story in a three-part series running this week on the fight for environmental justice in 2020.

  • September 11, 2020

    Iowa Sens. Want Steel Duties Lifted To Aid Storm Relief

    Iowa senators asked the Trump administration to remove national security tariffs on steel needed to rebuild the state after a severe storm in August, saying that exorbitant steel prices will cost farmers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Expert Analysis

  • Safeguards Against Legal Malpractice Liability As Claims Rise

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    History suggests that the COVID-19 crisis will lead to a surge in legal malpractice claims, but proper documentation, regular conflict checks and a few other steps can help minimize exposure, say attorneys at Munger Tolles.

  • Trump Nationwide Permit Move Could Interrupt Pipeline Suit

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    The Trump administration's proposal to revamp the nationwide permit program well ahead of schedule is clearly a response to recent litigation over the Keystone XL pipeline, and could moot those proceedings and force litigants to restart them, says Yvonne Hennessey at Barclay Damon.

  • 3 Ways Law Firms Can Guard Diversity Gains During Crisis

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    Law firm managing partners must institute comprehensive, firmwide policies to ensure tenuous progress made in recruiting and retaining more women and attorneys of color is not lost due to pandemic-related layoffs and budget cuts, says Debra Pickett at Page 2 Communications.

  • Structuring LBO Payments After NY Ch. 11 Ruling

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    A New York Bankruptcy Court's recent decision in Boston Generating, holding that the Bankruptcy Code preempts state law intentional fraudulent transfer claims, may make it possible to structure securities payments to protect equity holders in leveraged buyouts, say Charles Oellermann and Mark Douglas at Jones Day.

  • Making And Keeping Corporate Climate Commitments: Part 2

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    Carbon offsets — purchased to compensate for carbon dioxide emissions — are an increasingly popular tool for companies seeking to achieve their climate goals, but increasing public scrutiny and evolving standards mean legal and compliance teams must stay on top of changing regulatory requirements, say attorneys at Kirkland.

  • What I Learned As A Virtual Summer Associate

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    It is necessary in a virtual law firm summer program to think twice about asking questions you may be able to answer on your own, but this independence and other aspects of a remote internship may help to instill habits that would be useful for future full-time associates, says law student Kelley Sheehan, who interned at Patterson & Sheridan this summer.

  • Making And Keeping Corporate Climate Commitments: Part 1

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    As pressure mounts on companies to commit to climate change initiatives, in-house compliance and legal teams have key roles in ensuring that climate goals are achievable and appropriately messaged, and that governance programs are in place to support their fulfillment and minimize risk, say attorneys at Kirkland.

  • Lesser-Known Litigation Funding Best Practices For Attorneys

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    Following the American Bar Association's recent publication of third-party litigation funding guidance, Jiamie Chen and Dai Wai Chin Feman at Parabellum Capital outline some additional considerations, including the ethical limitations on single-case funding and the futility of economic prenegotiations between attorneys and their clients.

  • Canadian Tax Ruling Boosts Cross-Border Deal Confidence

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    The Queen v. Cameco Corp., a recent Canadian appellate decision and the first case to test Canada's transfer pricing recharacterization rules, has significant implications for cross-border intragroup transactions and the intersection of Canadian tax law with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s guidance, says Matt Billings at Duff & Phelps.

  • Key Points For Lenders Taking Control Of Oil And Gas Assets

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    As oil and gas producers' revenues fall, and their creditors see the value of their reserve-based collateral plummet, some lenders may want to protect their interests by taking temporary ownership of the assets through foreclosure, credit bid or other remedy, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • Opinion

    ADA Protects Lawyers With Disabilities, But We Must Do More

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    As an attorney with cerebral palsy, Danielle Liebl at Reed Smith says that while the 30-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act has protected her against discrimination, the legal industry must do more to accommodate lawyers with disabilities and make them more comfortable in self-identifying.

  • Perspectives

    Legal Deserts Threaten Justice In Rural America

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    Many small towns and rural counties have few lawyers or none at all, which threatens the notion of justice for all Americans and demands creative solutions from legislators, bar associations and law schools, says Patricia Refo, president of the American Bar Association.

  • Analyzing Upward And Downward Trends In Legal Tech

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    Advances in legal technology are often accompanied by bombastic overstatements, but it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff by looking at where various technologies stand on the hype curve, says Lance Eliot at Stanford Law School.

  • How Congress May Bail Out FERC On Tolling Orders

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    The D.C. Circuit's recent ruling in Allegheny Defense Project v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission deals a major blow to FERC's use of tolling orders to forestall judicial rehearings, but Congress may soon come to the agency's aid, say Sandra Rizzo and David Skillman at Arnold & Porter.

  • Climate Change Litigation Looms Over Trump Enviro Overhaul

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    Updated regulations from the White House Council on Environmental Quality likely preclude government agencies from considering climate change in most National Environmental Policy Act analyses, making litigation over the revisions all but certain, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

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