Energy

  • August 03, 2020

    5th Circ. Backs $21.6M Jury Verdict Against Total E&P

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday affirmed a $21.6 million jury verdict against Total E&P USA Inc. stemming from an offshore oil and gas well decommissioning fight with a former business partner, saying the company failed to show it wasn't responsible for decommissioning costs.

  • August 03, 2020

    Appeals Court Backs Arbitration Funding Block In Mining Suit

    A Court of Appeal majority refused Friday to toss an injunction a Turkish mining company secured preventing its English subsidiary and that company's sole director from using £3 million of assets to fund an arbitration claim against the Turkish government.

  • August 03, 2020

    Trump Limits Federal Contractors' Use Of Foreign Labor

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday requiring federal agencies to prioritize Americans for contractor roles, while announcing that he fired two board members from a federally owned utility planning on outsourcing technology jobs to overseas companies.

  • August 02, 2020

    Wachtell, Akin Gump Drive $21B Speedway Sale To 7-Eleven

    Marathon Petroleum will sell convenience store and gas station chain Speedway to 7-Eleven for $21 billion, the companies said Sunday, in a transaction that is guided by Wachtell Lipton and Akin Gump and represents the second-largest M&A deal announced this year.

  • July 31, 2020

    Trump Administration Floats New Rule For Species Habitat

    The federal government on Friday proposed a new standard for what is considered "habitat" under the Endangered Species Act, a move that met with immediate condemnation from green groups that said it would be harder to protect plants and animals from extinction.

  • July 31, 2020

    Claims Against Law Firm Trimmed In $80M Fraud Scheme

    A Texas federal judge on Friday trimmed allegations that law firm Scheef & Stone was integral in Christopher Faulkner's alleged $80 million securities fraud scheme and gave the purported scheme's receiver who brought the suit leave to amend the complaint.

  • July 31, 2020

    RI Says Shell Can't Stop Suit Over Fuel Terminal Vulnerability

    Shell Oil Co. cannot halt an environmental group's suit seeking to hold the company accountable for failing to protect a fuel terminal in Providence, Rhode Island, from the effects of climate change, the state's government told a federal court in an amicus brief filed Thursday.

  • July 31, 2020

    The Week In Bankruptcy: Energy Drags, Retail Catches Breaks

    The prolonged depression in energy commodity prices continued to plague the exploration and production sector last week as new insolvency cases opened in various jurisdictions. Retail's woes dragged on as well, yet some shops were able to catch breaks on lease obligations while others moved forward with asset sales.

  • July 31, 2020

    DC Circ. Backs FERC's Pipeline Tax Policy Shift

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday backed a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission policy that eliminates an income tax allowance for pipeline master limited partnerships, saying the agency properly used it to strip the tax perk from a Kinder Morgan pipeline MLP.

  • July 31, 2020

    Bankrupt Solar Project Owner Hopes For Year-End Restart

    The owner of a federally funded $1 billion solar project in Nevada told a Delaware judge Friday it hopes to quickly move along the Chapter 11 restructuring of its roughly $430 million debt and have the plant operating once again by the end of the year.

  • July 31, 2020

    NJ Agency Must Face Energy Co.'s Suit Over $26M Tax Credit

    A New Jersey state judge on Friday kept alive an energy equipment manufacturer's suit against the state Economic Development Authority for withholding a $26 million tax break, saying the business could pursue claims that the agency has taken too long to render a decision.

  • July 31, 2020

    Taxation With Representation: Davis, Baker Botts, Kirkland

    In this week's Taxation With Representation, analytics company Clarivate agrees to a $6.8 billion merger, NRG Energy acquires Centrica's North American unit, and sports betting business Rush Street Interactive goes public in a $1.8 billion merger deal.

  • July 31, 2020

    Texas Court Told $2.2B Pipeline Will Ruin Endangered Habitats

    The Sierra Club told a Texas federal judge during a hearing Friday it's not too late to halt construction of a $2.2 billion natural gas pipeline, arguing there are tangible injuries its members will suffer without court intervention.

  • July 31, 2020

    Calif. Judge Says DOI's Delay On Royalty Rule OK For Now

    A California federal court won't force the U.S. Department of the Interior to immediately enforce an Obama-era rule tweaking royalty calculations for oil, gas and coal extracted from federal and tribal lands, saying the request is beyond the court's power.

  • July 31, 2020

    5th Circ. Won't Disturb Texas Air Permits For LNG Project

    Fishing and community groups can't challenge Texas environmental regulators' air permit approval for a proposed liquefied natural gas export project on the Gulf Coast based on hypothetical injuries the groups' members might incur, the Fifth Circuit ruled Friday.

  • July 31, 2020

    ITC Clears Path For New Duties On Wind Tower Imports

    The U.S. International Trade Commission has greenlighted duties on wind tower imports from Canada, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam, finding the foreign renewable energy generators harm domestic manufacturers.

  • July 31, 2020

    Green Groups' Suit Over Mine Expansion Dodges Transfer Bid

    A federal magistrate judge has refused to transfer environmental groups' challenge to a Montana mine expansion to Washington, D.C., saying the mining company failed to demonstrate such a move is necessary under the first-to-file rule.

  • July 31, 2020

    Wachtell Guides NJ Utility In Fossil, Solar Power Sale

    Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz LLP is advising Public Service Enterprise Group in the potential sale of its fossil fuel and solar power business, a move the New Jersey electric and gas company said Friday will advance its clean energy goals as the company evolves into a primarily regulated utility.

  • July 31, 2020

    Chevron Defeats Bias Suit Marred By Butt-Shaking Allegation

    Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. has notched a victory in an employment discrimination case that raised eyebrows when a former BakerHostetler partner who represented Chevron was accused of verbally taunting and shaking his butt at opposing counsel during a mediation session. 

  • July 31, 2020

    Noble Corp. Hits Ch. 11 With Deal To Cut $3.4B In Debt

    The COVID-19 pandemic claimed another energy sector victim Friday as offshore oil drilling contractor Noble Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Texas court with an equity swap agreement to cut $3.4 billion in debt.

  • July 31, 2020

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    The past week in London has seen the Solicitors Regulation Authority file a claim against HSBC, insurers AXA and Allianz sue Swiss insurance giant Zurich, and Cantor Fitzgerald appeal a case involving a rival broker not long after a judge said their poaching dispute belongs in the U.K. Here, Law360 looks at those and other new claims in the U.K.

  • July 31, 2020

    Major Merger Review Moments From The 1st Half Of 2020

    The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many aspects of life and livelihood, but merger reviews were surprisingly unaffected during the first half of the year. Here, Law360 looks at some major merger review developments since the start of 2020.

  • July 30, 2020

    Ex-Ga. Rep. To Settle SEC's $23M Securities Fraud Claims

    A businessman and former Georgia legislator has agreed to settle the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's claim that he conned investors out of $23 million for a bogus clean energy project, court records filed Thursday show.

  • July 30, 2020

    Climate Change Will Impact Your Legal Practice, Panel Says

    If climate change is not already impacting an attorney's legal practice it will inevitably do so in the future, affecting a wide range of legal areas from corporate disclosures to litigation over natural disasters and supply-chain disruption, a panel of experts said Thursday.

  • July 30, 2020

    PG&E Names Old Legal Hand To Take Over As GC

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has appointed a former interim CEO as its new top lawyer as part of its latest management shakeup, which came about a month after the utility emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and pled guilty to starting a wildfire in California that killed 84 people.

Expert Analysis

  • French Force Majeure Case Holds COVID-19 Lessons For Cos.

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    A French court's recent ruling in a dispute between two energy companies may represent the first commercial case law recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic as a force majeure event — and the court's close analysis of the parties' contract is relevant to companies in other jurisdictions, say attorneys at Signature Litigation.

  • Enviro Settlements Offer Solution To Growing Citizen Suit Risk

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    Declining federal environmental enforcement may spur more lawsuits by citizens groups — making it more important than ever for companies to seek early resolutions through negotiated settlement framework agreements, say Heidi Friedman and Joel Eagle at Thompson Hine.

  • How To Handle Congressional Queries On COVID-19 Relief

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    Despite their informal nature, congressional inquiries regarding CARES Act implementation should not be taken lightly as these requests may be precursors to more formal and invasive investigations, say attorneys at Baker Donelson.

  • The Privilege Implications Of Using Online Collaboration Tools

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    While few courts have addressed the attorney-client privilege or work-product doctrine in the context of online collaboration tools, existing case law supports five best practices as organizations increasingly use these tools in the COVID-19 era, say Christopher Campbell and Marcus Sandifer at DLA Piper.

  • Do Climate Change Nuisance Suits Belong In Federal Court?

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    Lawsuits brought by cities, counties and states against fossil fuel companies in state courts over the effects of climate change are becoming more common, but splits among federal circuits on whether such litigation belongs in federal courts will need to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • Confronting Mental Distress In The Legal Profession

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    Even before the pandemic, troubling data about mental distress among lawyers pointed to a profession in crisis, but addressing the challenge requires a better understanding of the causes, says Jonathan Prokup at Cigna Corp.

  • Transactional Tax Risks In Renewable Energy Investment

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    Adverse holdings in the recent federal court cases Bishop Hill, California Ridge and Alta Wind have left the renewable energy industry with many unanswered questions about how to structure tax equity transactions to secure step-ups in tax basis, says Jordan Tamchin at CAC Specialty.

  • Justices' Cert Snub Perpetuates Commodities Act Uncertainty

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to review Atlantic Trading v. BP means that we will have to wait for another matter to address the Second Circuit's interpretation of tests designed to determine when a Commodity Exchange Act trade occurred domestically, says Katherine Cooper at Murphy & McGonigle.

  • NY Needs Policy Alignment To Meet Energy Storage Goals

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    New York can't realize its ambitious plan to create a zero-carbon emission electrical system by 2040 without a major increase in energy storage capacity, which will be difficult without harmonizing state and federal laws and regulations, say attorneys at Barclay Damon.

  • Opinion

    Litigation Finance Investments Are Not Risk-Free Loans

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    The Ninth Circuit's certification order last week in Fast Trak v. Sax presents an important opportunity for the New York high court to affirm the consensus among courts — litigation finance transactions are not loans subject to usury laws, say Wendie Childress and William Marra at Validity Finance.

  • Opinion

    How White Privilege Helped Me Succeed In BigLaw

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    The white, male power structure has eased the path for lawyers like me for far too long, and we should now be responsible for dismantling this systemic bias within the legal industry, says Scott McLaughlin at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • Net Metering Challenge Could Harm Small-Scale Solar Power

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    If granted, the New England Ratepayers Association's recent petition to have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reverse its disclaimer of jurisdiction over net metering could slow the expansion of small-scale solar energy, and slash the value of previous solar investments made by homeowners and businesses, says Porter Wiseman at Akin Gump.

  • Opinion

    Congress Must Create More Private Rights Of Action

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    In light of the Trump administration's efforts to limit the enforcement of regulations during the pandemic and beyond, and the U.S. Supreme Court's severe limitations on private rights of action, Congress must take swift action, says attorney Todd Phillips.

  • Keys To A Thriving Biz Development Culture At Your Law Firm

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    As law firms continue to experience the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever that they reduce reliance on just a few rainmakers and foster a culture that makes business development a way of life for everyone — from junior associates to senior partners, says Elise Holtzman at The Lawyer's Edge.

  • A Guide To Proposed Carbon Capture Tax Credit Regs: Part 2

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    The IRS' recently proposed regulations for carbon sequestration tax credits provide helpful guidance on transfer elections, the lookback period for credit recapture and other issues, creating more certainty for the carbon capture industry, say attorneys at Steptoe & Johnson.

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