Environmental

  • September 13, 2019

    DOJ Auto Antitrust Probe May Target Emission Rules: Harris

    U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked the U.S. Department of Justice's watchdog Friday to look into whether the agency's apparent antitrust investigation into four carmakers that recently struck a deal on emissions standards with the state of California is an attempt to coerce the companies to quit that deal.

  • September 13, 2019

    VW, Bosch To Face Opt-Outs In 'Clean Diesel' Bellwether Trials

    A bellwether trial for vehicle owners who opted out of a $10 billion settlement in multidistrict litigation over Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” emissions scandal will be held in February 2020 followed by another of an alleged co-conspirator, auto-parts supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, a California federal judge said Friday.

  • September 13, 2019

    Enviros Lose Bid To Halt Border Wall In Ariz. Wilderness Areas

    A Washington, D.C., federal judge dismissed three environmental groups' bid to halt construction of the Trump administration's border wall in federally protected Arizona wilderness areas, a week after ruling that Congress has significantly limited federal court's jurisdiction on the matter. 

  • 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

    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

    Rising Star: WilmerHale's Bonnie Heiple

    WilmerHale’s Bonnie Heiple successfully guided Vermont through the thorny, yearslong process of shutting down a nuclear power plant and helped Vail Resorts navigate the environmental implications of buying a host of ski resorts across the country, making her one of five environmental attorneys under 40 selected for Law360’s Rising Stars.

  • 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 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

    Gov't Slams Tetra Tech's Bid To Escape Navy Cleanup Suit

    The U.S. government urged a California federal court not to free Tetra Tech from its lawsuit over falsified soil samples, arguing that the company improperly used an internal investigation to discredit its false claims allegations.

  • 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

    CBD Cos. Fall Short On Testing And Labeling, Watchdog Says

    Nearly half the 40 cannabidiol companies surveyed by the nonprofit Center for Food Safety received failing or near-failing grades for contaminant testing and labeling, a finding that the watchdog group says underscores the lax oversight of the rapidly growing industry.

  • September 12, 2019

    Sick Child, Elderly Woman Fight For Expedited Roundup Trials

    The parents of a 13-year-old girl with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and an 87-year-old woman urged a California judge Thursday to expedite trials over their separate claims that Monsanto's popular Roundup weedkiller caused their cancers, with the girl's parents asking for a Jan. 15 trial date.

  • 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.

  • September 12, 2019

    Rising Star: Vinson & Elkins' Margaret Peloso

    Over the past year, Vinson & Elkins LLP's Margaret Peloso has led a team helping Citigroup draft a climate disclosure report, defended a coal plant in a $1 billion property damage lawsuit and helped turn back proposed financial assurance regulations for the hardrock mining industry, earning her a spot as one of five environmental law practitioners under age 40 honored by Law360 as Rising Stars.

  • September 12, 2019

    House Passes 3 Bills Banning Offshore, Alaska Drilling

    The U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban oil drilling off vast sections of the nation's coasts and in an environmentally sensitive part of Alaska, passing a trio of bills Wednesday and Thursday in a swipe at President Donald Trump's push to expand fossil fuel production.

  • September 12, 2019

    New Mexico City Says Solar Boosters Can't Fight Utility Fees

    A New Mexico city on Wednesday urged a federal judge to dump the bulk of a lawsuit accusing its utility of imposing unlawful and discriminatory monthly fees on rooftop solar owners, saying most of the challengers don't have standing to pursue claims that the utility is violating the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act.

  • September 12, 2019

    EPA, Corps Officially Sink Controversial Obama Water Rule

    The Trump administration on Thursday officially rolled back the Obama administration's effort to clarify federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, a move that will eliminate a regulatory patchwork and trigger vigorous litigation.

  • September 11, 2019

    Atty Slams Bid To Remove Judge From BP Oil Spill MDL

    A Louisiana federal court should deny a Florida attorney's motion for a judge to recuse himself from sprawling multidistrict litigation over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill as the alleged conflicts are minimal at best, irrelevant to present matters and have since been mitigated, a Louisiana lawyer has argued.

  • September 11, 2019

    Enviros Slam Developers' Move To End Condor Habitat Suit

    Two environmental groups pushed back on developers' bid to dismiss the groups' suit over a resort project's alleged threat to endangered California condors, saying the suit was filed on time and that they have standing to pursue their claims.

  • September 11, 2019

    3rd Circ. Gives States Extra Weapon To Fight Gas Pipelines

    As the Trump administration moves to limit states' ability to review and potentially block interstate gas pipelines, the Third Circuit gave states a powerful backup option to veto projects in a ruling that pipeline developers can't seize state-owned land via eminent domain.

  • September 11, 2019

    Enviros Target Minn. Mine's Impact On Wetlands In Suit

    Environmental groups have challenged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to give a Clean Water Act permit to a planned open-pit copper sulfide mine and plant in Minnesota, arguing efforts to protect wetlands were improperly changed at the last minute.

Expert Analysis

  • To Defer Or Not To Defer: Kisor's Impact On Tax Controversies

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    Three recent federal tax cases show how the U.S. Supreme Court's June decision in Kisor v. Wilkie, substantially restricting agency deference, is affecting interpretation of the many regulations and guidance issued post-tax reform, say Andrew Roberson and Kevin Spencer at McDermott.

  • 3 Lessons For Calif. Insureds From Late-Notice Rule Decision

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    The California Supreme Court's recent decision in Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor establishes that the notice-prejudice rule may protect California policyholders even if a contractual choice-of-law provision selects less favorable law, but such protection is not guaranteed, especially in the case of third-party policies, say Nathan Anderson and Tyler Gerking of Farella Braun.

  • Opinion

    Utilities Need Timely Project Review For Reliable Service

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    National Parks Conservation Association v. Semonite, in which a Virginia utility faces possibly having to dismantle a previously approved transmission line due to drawn-out litigation, points to the need for time limits on court review of infrastructure projects, say Alan Seltzer and John Povilaitis of Buchanan Ingersoll.

  • The Factors Courts Consider In Deposition Location Disputes

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    In the absence of a federal rule governing deposition location, federal courts are frequently called on to resolve objections to out-of-state deposition notices. Recent decisions reveal what information is crucial to courts in making the determination, says Kevin O’Brien at Porter Wright.

  • Calif. Utility Regulator Focusing On Companies' Safety Culture

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    The California Public Utilities Commission's recent investigations of Southern California Gas and Pacific Gas & Electric show a shift from reactive, incident-specific regulatory enforcement to a focus on utilities' corporate safety culture in connection with potential misconduct, say Tara Kaushik and Kevin Ashe of Holland & Knight.

  • What To Consider Before Filing For A Rule 57 Speedy Hearing

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    Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 57 and its state counterparts provide a method for expediting claims for declaratory judgment that warrants closer attention than it has historically received from litigants and courts, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • Creative Ways To Challenge Master Complaints In MDLs

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    By laying the appropriate groundwork, defendants can increase their likelihood of successfully challenging multidistrict litigation master complaints in early motion practice, and significantly affect the course of the litigation, says Jessica Wilson of DLA Piper.

  • Congress' Clean Energy Plans Carry Major Market Implications

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    A number of bills recently introduced in Congress seek to expand market penetration of renewable energy resources. This will mean significant changes to regulatory structures and the operation of wholesale electricity markets, and will require forward planning by all industry participants, say George Cannon and Andrew Phillips of Akin Gump.

  • Opinion

    Stakeholders Matter By Definition In Corporate Governance

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    The Business Roundtable's new corporate governance philosophy may seem like a novel paradigm asking companies to serve stakeholders at the expense of their shareholders, but successful companies thrive and earn long-term returns for their shareholders precisely because of these stakeholder investments, says Alex Dimitrief, former general counsel of GE.

  • Series

    Why I Became A Lawyer: Expanding The Meaning Of Diversity

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    My conservative, Catholic parents never skipped a beat when accepting that I was gay, and encouraged me to follow my dreams wherever they might lead. But I did not expect they would lead to the law, until I met an inspiring college professor, says James Holmes of Clyde & Co.

  • Legal Options For Pipeline Companies Stymied By Tree-Sitters

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    While a Virginia federal judge recently rejected efforts by Mountain Valley Pipeline to join two unnamed tree-sitters as defendants in a Natural Gas Act eminent domain action, the court's opinion points toward other remedies available to pipeline companies facing tree-sitter obstruction, says Arthur Schmalz of Hunton.

  • Discovery Counsel Vital In All Phases Of Mass Tort Litigation

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    Experienced discovery counsel helps the virtual law team shape case strategy and provides necessary advocacy, consistency and efficiency, plus cost savings, from the beginning of a case through trial, say attorneys at Nelson Mullins and FaegreBD.

  • How The Wayback Machine Can Strengthen Your Case

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    The Wayback Machine, which archives screenshots of websites at particular points in time, can be an invaluable tool in litigation, but attorneys need to follow a few simple steps early in the discovery process to increase the odds of being able to use materials obtained from the archive, says Timothy Freeman of Tanenbaum Keale.

  • Opinion

    Electric Vehicle Rollout Calls For Public-Private Partnerships

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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is to be commended for his recently announced plan to install electric vehicle charging stations along the state's turnpike — but bolder plans are needed to achieve a full transition to EVs, and public-private partnerships will be key to delivering them, says Robert Alfert of Nelson Mullins.

  • Opinion

    Draft Civil Procedure Jurisdictional Rule Needs A Tweak

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    The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee’s proposed addition to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1 needs to be amended slightly to prevent late-stage jurisdictional confusion in cases where the parties do not have attributed citizenship, says GianCarlo Canaparo at The Heritage Foundation.