Energy

  • 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.

  • July 30, 2020

    Nuke Modernization's $15B Price Hike Risks Defense Cuts

    The National Nuclear Security Administration estimates it would need $81 billion over the next five years to continue modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, a budget increase that threatens other defense spending, a government watchdog said Thursday.  

  • July 30, 2020

    Donziger Seeks To Delay Contempt Case Due To Pandemic

    New York environmental attorney Steven Donziger on Wednesday asked the federal judge overseeing his criminal contempt case stemming from a yearslong saga with Chevron Corp. over pollution in Ecuador to delay his upcoming trial in light of logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • July 30, 2020

    Chicago Aldermen Scold ComEd In Wake Of Bribery Scandal

    Chicago aldermen on Thursday took executives from Commonwealth Edison Co. to task over the company's admission that former employees took part in a bribery scheme to garner support for favorable regulatory changes, as the city weighs whether to sign a new franchise agreement with the utility.

  • July 30, 2020

    Venezuelan Law Expert's Name In Bond Case Will Stay Secret

    The holders of some $1.68 billion in Venezuelan bonds won't have to unmask an expert who argues that the bonds comply with Venezuelan law after a New York judge concluded that the person could face retaliation as a result of his involvement in the case, which raises complicated political issues in the country.

  • July 30, 2020

    2nd Circ. Says Boat Owners Can't Avoid NY Oil Spill Suit

    The Second Circuit said Thursday that the corporate owners of ships that dropped anchor in the Long Island Sound and ruptured an underwater power transmission cable can't escape a suit brought by state utilities claiming violations of federal and state oil laws.

  • July 30, 2020

    Coronavirus Litigation: The Week In Review

    The Trump administration can't launch its controversial immigrant wealth test while the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP hit its New York office landlord with an $8 million suit demanding a rent abatement due to COVID-19, and a Los Angeles health food store agreed to pay $20,000 to resolve claims it peddled radish paste as a product that protects against coronavirus.

  • July 30, 2020

    Skadden-Led Electric SUV Maker Leads 2 IPOs Totaling $1.3B

    A Chinese electric SUV maker and a biotechnology company targeting viral diseases priced initial public offerings that exceeded $1.3 billion combined Thursday under the guidance of four law firms, exceeding their initial fundraising estimates and adding to a robust IPO market.

  • July 30, 2020

    5th Circ. Says $20M Exxon Pollution Verdict Needs 2nd Look

    Environmental groups saw their $20 million judgment against Exxon Mobil Corp. for air pollution violations at a Texas facility thrown into question Wednesday as the Fifth Circuit said a district court judge must more closely examine their claims.

  • July 30, 2020

    Biggest Native American Rulings From The 1st Half Of 2020

    The Muscogee (Creek) Nation scored a landmark victory with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that the tribe's Oklahoma reservation endures, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others earned an order to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline, and a Washington tribe beat BNSF in a Ninth Circuit oil shipping dispute.

  • July 30, 2020

    Court Rejects BSG Exec's 'All Bad' Bid Not To Testify For Vale

    A director with Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz's BSG Resources Ltd. will have to testify in court as Brazilian mining company Vale seeks to enforce a $2.2 billion arbitral award in London, stemming from a botched Guinean iron ore mining project. 

  • July 30, 2020

    FERC Ignored LNG Projects' Community Harm, DC Circ. Told

    Community and environmental groups have urged the D.C. Circuit to vacate the approval of two liquefied natural gas projects on the Texas Gulf Coast, claiming federal regulators ignored the combined pollution impacts on nearby and largely low-income Hispanic and Latino communities.

  • July 30, 2020

    Chemical Trader Owes $3.6M For Botched Deal, Judge Says

    A New York federal judge has approved a nearly $3.6 million judgment against a chemicals trader for a botched deal it made with an Australian energy company to ship petrochemical byproducts from Saudi Arabia to India.

  • July 30, 2020

    Exxon Unit Says Bid For Win In Drilling Suit Is Premature

    An Exxon Mobil Corp. unit and other drilling companies have urged an Ohio federal court to throw out a bid for a quick win by mineral rights owners alleging the companies drilled deeper than they should have, saying it's too early in the proposed class litigation to decide the case on its merits.

  • July 30, 2020

    7th Circ. Won't Hand Off FERC Clean Energy Order Fight

    The Seventh Circuit has declined to let the D.C. Circuit take over challenges to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order restricting the presence of state electricity programs in wholesale electricity auctions run by the country's biggest regional grid operator.

  • July 30, 2020

    Ex-Ohio Speaker, Lobbyists Indicted In Energy Corruption Suit

    Former Ohio Speaker Larry Householder and four others were indicted on charges of taking more than $59 million in bribes from an energy company, prosecutors revealed Wednesday, the same day the House of Representatives stripped Householder of his title.

  • July 30, 2020

    Owner Of Troubled $1B Solar Project Hits Ch. 11 In Del.

    The owner of a federally funded, nonoperational $1 billion solar energy project in Nevada that has been beset with operational problems hit Chapter 11 in Delaware on Thursday, saying roughly $430 million in secured debt is owed to the federal government.

  • July 29, 2020

    OIG Criticizes Oversight Of $1B In Puerto Rico Power Deals

    The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and FEMA failed to properly oversee more than $1 billion in contentious contracts to restore power to the island, meaning PREPA may have overspent on the deals, according to a watchdog report.

  • July 29, 2020

    Commerce To Weigh New Duties On Steel Pipe Imports

    The U.S. Department of Commerce on Wednesday announced a probe that could result in new duties on imported steel pipes as the agency examines claims that foreign sellers gained an unfair competitive advantage over struggling domestic companies by underselling the products to the states.

  • July 29, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Won't Add To $4.4M Atty Fee In IP Suit Gov't Lost

    The Federal Circuit on Wednesday refused to tack supplemental attorney fees onto a $4.4 million fee award and a $200,000 judgment against the government in a patent case out of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, ruling that only the claims court has the authority to grant such fee requests.

  • July 29, 2020

    Feds Say Recusal Bid 'Grossly Distorts' Judge's Statements

    Federal prosecutors in New York on Tuesday said a Turkish bank accused of facilitating sanctions evasion "grossly" distorted the statements of the judge handling its case in service of its request for the judge's recusal.

  • July 29, 2020

    Kinder Morgan Defends $2.15B Texas Pipeline Approval

    Kinder Morgan Inc. shot back against claims its planned $2.15 billion Permian Highway Pipeline didn't go through the proper environmental reviews, telling a Texas federal court it lawfully secured an exemption to some demands of the approval process.

Expert Analysis

  • A Guide To Proposed Carbon Capture Tax Credit Regs: Part 1

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    The Internal Revenue Service's recently proposed regulations on tax credits for carbon oxide sequestration provide helpful guidance for industry, but questions remain regarding chains of contractual assurance, shared ownership of carbon capture equipment, and other issues, say attorneys at Steptoe & Johnson.

  • How Video Mediation Can Help Us Serve Clients Better

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    Mediation in recent years has largely devolved into a kind of arbitration without due process — where a mediator reads briefs, decides where the case should settle, and drives parties toward that single-minded result — but online mediation can be steered in a different direction, says mediator Jeff Kichaven.

  • Mental Health Efforts Will Support Diversity In Legal Industry

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    The stigma of discussing mental health struggles during these tough times is especially profound for attorneys of racial and ethnic minorities, but law firms and in-house departments can change the narrative, says Patricia Silva at Lathrop.

  • State Of Enviro Enforcement After Trump's Deregulatory Order

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    Attorneys at Sidley outline the interplay between President Donald Trump's recent executive order on deregulation during the pandemic and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's COVID-19-related guidance, and offer practical considerations for enforcement actions proceeding against the new backdrop.

  • Valuing Firms In A World Of Pandemic-Induced Bankruptcies

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    A firm's ability to negotiate a quick restructuring depends critically on its estimated value, so it is crucial to identify the valuation questions that will loom large in a COVID-19 world and examine how they will vary based on a company's preexisting weaknesses, say consultants at Analysis Group.

  • Civility Could Be Litigators' New Normal Even Post-Pandemic

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    The past few months of lockdown have given rise to some profound patterns — litigators are more cooperative and less adversarial — and as the activities of courts and tribunals resume, lawyers should consider continuing to devote more time and resources to resolving disputes instead of fighting them out, says Matthew Vafidis at Holland & Knight.

  • Law Firms Must Beware Risks In Nontraditional Financing

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    Law firms in today's financial crisis may be looking at nontraditional arrangements such as portfolio funding or factoring to provide liquidity and cash support, but firms must first consider lawsuits brought against Pierce Bainbridge and other recent developments, says Katherine Toomey at Lewis Baach.

  • Calif. Vapor Intrusion Guidance Promises More Consistency

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    The draft guidance on vapor intrusion released recently by a group of California environmental agencies should help address confusion resulting from varying approaches to vapor investigation and remediation used by different state regulators, says Laurie Berger at Environmental General Counsel.

  • Ruling Loosens Regs On Pa. Renewable Customer-Generators

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    The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court's recent ruling in Hommrich v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission may narrow the regulator's role in overseeing interconnection and net metering of renewable energy customer-generators, and loosen customer-generator eligibility standards, say John Povilaitis and Alan Seltzer at Buchanan Ingersoll.

  • 2 Tested Alternatives To Unavoidable Court Delays

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    Those seeking resolution in commercial disputes that are stuck in an unavoidable but lengthy court backlog due to the pandemic must consider the advantages of arbitration and mediation over court proceedings, says former U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin now at Stroock.

  • Opinion

    Minn. Ruling Represents Sensible Stance On Legal Finance

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    The Minnesota Supreme Court's Maslowski v. Prospect Funding Partners decision this week reaffirms that the doctrine of champerty is archaic, impedes important litigation finance activity, and should be abolished in the handful of states where it remains alive, says Andrew Cohen at Burford Capital.

  • Best Practices For A Paperless Law Practice

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    A significant challenge in practicing law remotely is the use and handling of documents without paper, because common digital tools such as email or even secure file transfer applications are problematic, say attorneys at Baker McKenzie.

  • FERC's New Return On Equity Formulas Are Out Of Sync

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent orders revising its methods to estimate electric, natural gas and oil utilities' returns on equity lay out significantly different approaches for electric utilities and pipelines, raising questions as to whether such deviations are actually supported by each industry's risks, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.

  • In GE, Supreme Court Extends Reach Of Int'l Arbitration In US

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in GE Energy v. Outokumpu Stainless broadens the reach of international arbitration as a viable dispute resolution mechanism under U.S. law, but leaves unanswered a number of important questions regarding the application of the nonsignatory doctrine, say attorneys at Paul Hastings.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Must Address Racial Injustice With Radical Candor

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    The legal industry is uniquely positioned, and indeed obligated, to respond to the racial disparities made clear by the recent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, but lawyers must be willing to be uncomfortable, says Tiffani Lee at Holland & Knight.

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