Energy

  • December 21, 2021

    Biden Admin. Gives Green Light To Major Calif. Solar Projects

    The Biden administration said Tuesday that it had approved a pair of significant solar projects in California, moving forward with renewable energy efforts just days after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he wouldn't be supporting the administration's Build Back Better Act.

  • December 21, 2021

    In Rare Move, Albright Stays 5 Cases For PTAB Reviews

    U.S. District Judge Alan Albright, who oversees the nation's busiest patent docket, has granted five requests to pause infringement litigation while the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reviews an oil drilling patent that DynaEnergetics has asserted in all five cases.

  • December 21, 2021

    St. Croix Refinery's Reopened Ch. 11 Sale OK'd In Texas

    A second-chance, $62 million bidder for the bankrupt and environmentally troubled Limetree Bay Refinery on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands secured Bankruptcy Court approval for the deal in Texas late Tuesday after a daylong emergency sale hearing contested by the originally named winner. 

  • December 21, 2021

    Ukraine Urges DC Circ. To Keep $112M Discovery Appeal Alive

    The country of Ukraine urged the D.C. Circuit to keep alive its challenge to "sweeping" discovery in a $112 million dispute with a Russian oil company, saying it will lose any chance of appellate review if the appeals court doesn't immediately review the discovery order.

  • December 21, 2021

    Vitol, Trader Can't Shake FERC Market Manipulation Case

    A federal judge on Monday kept alive the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's pursuit of approximately $3.55 million in market manipulation penalties against Vitol Inc. and one of its traders, rejecting arguments that FERC's case was time-barred and meritless.

  • December 21, 2021

    Wash. Tribe, Green Groups Want LNG Plant Permits Tossed

    A Native American tribe and community groups say Washington state's air permit approvals for a $310 million liquified natural gas refinery in Tacoma were based on a flawed environmental analysis, and want a state court to toss them.

  • December 21, 2021

    Feds Defend Duty Calculations For Bosnian Silicon Metal

    The federal government told a trade court that the U.S. Department of Commerce properly adjusted anti-dumping duties on silicon metal from Bosnia and Herzegovina when the sole mandatory respondent went silent, rebuffing domestic producers' attempts to raise the tariffs.

  • December 21, 2021

    EU Finalizes State Aid Guidelines Focused On Climate Change

    European Union competition officials announced on Tuesday the formal adoption of guidelines governing the financial support and other aid that member countries give to climate, environmental and energy projects.

  • December 21, 2021

    Minn. Agency Stands By Air Permit Issued To Metals Mine

    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has stood by its decision to issue an air quality permit for a copper-nickel-platinum mine in the northeast of the state, saying the company didn't mislead regulators and that the potential for a future expansion doesn't cost the mine its air permit.

  • December 21, 2021

    Italy Still Can't Escape Claim Over Offshore Oil Project

    An international tribunal has again rejected Italy's bid to nix a high-profile arbitration over the country's decision to ban oil and gas projects off its coastline, this time on the basis of a September decision in Europe striking down the arbitration provision in an underlying treaty for intra-EU disputes.

  • December 21, 2021

    FTC Demands Divestment Before Blessing Gas Station Deal

    Global Partners will ditch seven Connecticut gas stations in order to escape Federal Trade Commission claims that its proposed pickup of 27 Wheels-brand stations would be bad for competition in the state, the agency revealed Monday.

  • December 21, 2021

    Republicans Urge Justices Against EPA Power Sector Shift

    Nearly 100 congressional Republicans have asked the country's highest court to rule that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to carry out a transformation of the U.S. power sector from coal to renewable energy.

  • December 21, 2021

    Ohio Utility Gets Investor Suit Over $60M Bribery Plot Tossed

    An Ohio federal judge permanently threw out a proposed class action suit against American Electric Power Co. Inc. accusing it of misleading its shareholders about its alleged involvement in a $60 million corruption plot tied to a former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.

  • December 21, 2021

    JPMorgan, Traders Finally Get OK On $60M Spoofing Deal

    A New York federal judge gave the first green light to a $60 million settlement between JPMorgan and a class of traders who alleged they were harmed by a yearslong scheme to manipulate precious metals futures.

  • December 21, 2021

    Centrist Dems Want Security-Based Levies Peeled Back

    Fourteen Democratic lawmakers called on the Biden administration to walk back Trump-era national security tariffs Tuesday, arguing the levies imposed against close allies are undermining the White House's goal of tackling Chinese-driven overcapacity.

  • December 21, 2021

    Biggest Environmental Policy Actions Of 2021

    The Biden administration began 2021 with big policy ambitions around climate change and environmental justice, and the White House and federal agencies spent the rest of the year issuing rollbacks of Trump-era regulations they saw as too weak and laying the groundwork for strengthening standards in several areas.

  • December 21, 2021

    Aker BP Buys Lundin's Norwegian Unit To Create $20.4B Biz

    Aker BP ASA has agreed to buy the Norwegian oil and gas unit of Sweden's Lundin Energy AB, in a deal that will result in a single entity with a market capitalization of about $20.4 billion, the companies said Tuesday.

  • December 21, 2021

    Electric Truck Co. Nikola To Pay $125M To End SEC Probe

    Nikola Corp. has reached a $125 million agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve allegations that its embattled former CEO deceived investors about the SPAC-born company's ability to build electric- and hydrogen-powered trucks.

  • December 20, 2021

    ERCOT Objection Delays Energy Co.'s Ch. 11 Confirmation

    Entrust Energy Inc. was forced to delay confirmation of its Chapter 11 plan Monday after failing to resolve an objection to the plan from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state's electric grid operator.

  • December 20, 2021

    WTO Dispute Roundup: US Stands Down In Olive Duty Fight

    In Law360's latest glimpse of the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body, the U.S. delegation opts not to fight a decision against its duties on Spanish olives, while disputes over government procurement and steel bars move to a more contentious stage.

  • December 20, 2021

    Losing Bidder Says Limetree Reopened Sale On False Premise

    The stalking horse bidder for Limetree Bay Services' Caribbean oil refinery has asked a Texas bankruptcy judge to reject what Limetree says was the top offer for the facility, arguing that the auction had been reopened on false premises and that it actually had made the best bid.

  • December 20, 2021

    DC Circ. Sides With FERC Over Nonprofit's FOIA Suit

    The D.C. Circuit has said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission need not provide more than the initials and street names of property owners potentially impacted by a now-discontinued pipeline project, rejecting a nonprofit's claims that full names were necessary.

  • December 20, 2021

    EPA To Finalize Stricter Auto Emissions Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it is finalizing bulked-up auto emission standards, touting the new rule as the "most ambitious federal greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks ever."

  • December 20, 2021

    10th Circ. Urged To Revive BLM Fracking Permit Challenge

    Environmental groups have urged the Tenth Circuit to bring back their bid to block fracking near archeological and cultural sites in the Mancos Shale, saying the Bureau of Land Management had already decided it would approve hundreds of drilling permits before conducting an environmental review.

  • December 20, 2021

    Enviros Fight Mine Operator's Sanctions Bid In Pollution Row

    Environmentalists suing a Colorado mining company for allegedly polluting a river in the state without a required permit rebutted the company's call for the court to impose sanctions against them, calling the move an "extraordinary" and "premature" maneuver.

Expert Analysis

  • Texas Tax Talk: Alarming Redefinition Of Nontaxable Services

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    In a concerning trend following two rulings from the Texas Comptroller, taxpayers in a variety of industries are facing audits that attempt to reclassify traditionally nontaxable service agreements as taxable equipment rentals, thereby unexpectedly increasing businesses' sales tax exposure, say attorneys at Baker Botts.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: HPE Counsel Talk Effective Board Oversight

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    Governance teams can more effectively shape board oversight of environmental, social and governance issues by ensuring organizationwide agreement on the most relevant issues, building a materiality framework that reflects stakeholder input, and monitoring the integration of ESG into operations, say Rishi Varma and Derek Windham at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

  • Bankruptcy Courts' Equitable Discretion May Be In Danger

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    The Eighth Circuit’s recent equitable discretion decision in VeroBlue sends a warning to practitioners and the bench that courts' overuse of this bankruptcy doctrine in dismissing post-plan confirmation appeals may result in elimination of the useful tool altogether, say Brian Shaw and Mark Radtke at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Opinion

    Justice Gap Demands Look At New Legal Service Models

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    Current restrictions on how lawyers structure their businesses stand in the way of meaningful access to justice for many Americans, so states should follow the lead of Utah and Florida and test out innovative law firm business models through regulatory sandboxes, says Zachariah DeMeola at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

  • Despite Risks, Venezuela May Rekindle Investor Interest

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    Even in the face of stringent international sanctions against Venezuela, and the country's withdrawal from an investor-state dispute convention, hints of thawing relations between the Maduro regime and the U.S. offer hope for investors with a high risk tolerance, say Stephanie Limaco and Leigh Crestohl at Zaiwalla & Co.

  • How SPAC Investors Might Rethink Material Adverse Effect

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    Buyers in special purpose acquisition company transactions involving early-stage technology companies should consider allocating key business risks in an acquisition agreement outside the construct of material adverse effect, due to the difficulty of proving a material adverse effect on a pre-revenue target company in Delaware court, say attorneys at White & Case.

  • Biden Climate Push Means Fossil Fuel Cos. Must Innovate

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    The Biden administration's strong focus on climate change puts unprecedented pressure on oil, gas and coal companies to strategically embrace new clean and low-emission technologies, predict and minimize environmental impacts, and prioritize innovation in order to sustain long-term viability, say attorneys at Akin Gump.

  • EPA, Army Corps Guidance Walks Back Regulatory Certainty

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    Recent guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the 2020 water quality certification rule suggests a return to ill-defined project review timelines that give flexibility to authorities at the expense of transparency and regulatory certainty, say Anna Wildeman and Dave Ross at Troutman Pepper.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Leidos GC Talks Social Responsibility

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    Recent criticisms of corporate commitments to stakeholders such as employees and communities — implicitly opposing environmental, social and governance initiatives — are fundamentally flawed and display a serious misunderstanding of contemporary investor priorities and dynamics, says Jerald Howe at Leidos.

  • How Environmental Litigation Can Block Renewable Projects

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    While renewable energy projects can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they are not immune from environmental challenges filed by citizens groups, conservation organizations and even competitors — so project developers must plan their environmental and permitting reviews carefully, say Jonathan Brightbill and Madalyn Brown at Winston & Strawn.

  • Vehicle Service Contracts Present Opportunities For EV Cos.

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    As the electric vehicle market grows faster than ever, manufacturers, dealers and even aftermarket participants can use vehicle service contracts to open up new revenue streams and maintain a touchpoint with customers — but contract providers must be aware of applicable laws and regulations, says Matthew R. Wagner at Frost Brown.

  • Lessons In Crisis Lawyering 20 Years After 9/11

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    Dianne Phillips at Holland & Knight recounts her experiences as in-house counsel at a liquefied natural gas company in the tumultuous aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and details the lessons she learned about lawyering in a crisis, including the importance of careful forethought and having trusted advisers on speed dial.

  • Key Anti-Corruption Tips For Green Energy And Tech Cos.

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    With investments in renewable energy and low carbon technologies growing at unprecedented levels globally, companies in these sectors are rapidly expanding into countries that pose high risks under global anti-corruption laws, so executives must plan to carefully vet risky counterparties, contracts and transactions, says Ryan Hartman at Arnold & Porter.

  • What Patent Applications Signal About Green Energy Trends

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    Steadily increasing patent activity related to clean energy technologies suggests that the proportion of energy derived from green sources will also continue to grow — but smaller companies could be locked out of the patent race, even as sustainability becomes an inescapable business imperative, says Greg Sharp at Haseltine Lake.

  • Gulf Coast Offshore Wind: Opportunities And Challenges

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    A recent announcement from the U.S. Department of the Interior signals opportunities for clean energy developers on the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf, but offshore wind projects in the region will still face many environmental and technical hurdles, say attorneys at Shearman.

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