• March 9, 2018

    EPA Fines Kinder Morgan Entities Over Clean Air Regs

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday fined two Kinder Morgan entities $179,000 over their lack of proper documentation and other Clean Air Act violations the agency found at the company's gas processing facilities in Utah and Wyoming, requiring it to invest in upgrades.

  • March 9, 2018

    Oyster Hatchery Needs Permit For Discharges, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday upheld a lower court’s ruling that a Washington state oyster farming operation must face a Clean Water Act lawsuit filed by environmentalists, because the facility’s pipes, ditches and channels are “point sources” under the act and require a permit.

  • March 9, 2018

    Trump Tariffs Will Squeeze US Energy Project Work

    The steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump will hike the price of virtually every energy development project, experts say, from oil and gas pipelines to offshore wind and utility-scale solar farms.

  • March 9, 2018

    Water Groups Criticize CWA Ruling, Ask 9th Circ. To Revisit

    A coalition of water regulators and governmental associations on Thursday backed a Hawaii county's request that the full Ninth Circuit revisit a panel ruling that made a type of wastewater injection pollution subject to Clean Water Act permitting requirements, arguing the standard was unnecessary and infeasible.

  • March 9, 2018

    Mass. Gov's $610M Bill Extends Fantasy Sports Gaming

    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker released a new economic development framework and legislation Friday that commits $610 million to various infrastructure projects and will allow fantasy sports gaming to continue in the state through the July deadline.

  • March 9, 2018

    Hudson River Views Can't Halt MTA Tower, FCC Says

    An upstate New York village may not ask for additional reviews of a planned Metropolitan Transit Authority communications tower, the Federal Communications Commission said Friday, squashing residents’ concerns that the tower will interfere with their views of the Hudson River.

  • March 9, 2018

    NJ Utility Didn't Prove Need For $111M Project, Judge Says

    A New Jersey administrative law judge on Thursday found that a FirstEnergy Corp. unit had not proven the need for a proposed $111 million, 10-mile transmission line, saying many alternative routes the company explored were “straw men set up to fail” and that nontransmission solutions were ignored entirely.

  • March 9, 2018

    NY AG Rips 'Senseless And Dangerous' Offshore Drilling Plan

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Friday assailed the U.S. Department of the Interior's proposed five-year plan extending oil and gas leasing to nearly all the nation’s coastal waters, saying the "senseless and dangerous" program could have devastating effects on the state’s economy.

  • March 9, 2018

    Houston Mayor Says Private Partnerships Crucial To Recovery

    Six months after Hurricane Harvey dropped more than 30 trillion tons of water on the greater Houston area, the city's Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner told attendees at a major energy conference on Friday that government-private sector partnerships are crucial to getting the city running again.

  • March 8, 2018

    Enviro Justice Council Tells EPA To Focus On Water Access

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needs to do a better job of helping to ensure access to safe drinking water and appropriate wastewater treatment and disposal systems, the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council said Thursday.

  • March 8, 2018

    Calif. Farmers Say Water Flow Order Is Unnecessary

    Farms and ranches that use water from a source in northern California and southern Oregon asked a California federal judge Wednesday to modify a water flow order meant to protect salmon populations, arguing that new evidence showed the measures are unnecessary in 2018.

  • March 8, 2018

    9th Circ. Won't Revive Tesla Solar Unit Investor Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday backed a lower court's dismissal of a proposed shareholder class action against Tesla Inc.'s rooftop solar unit, saying investors hadn't done enough to show the company intentionally overstated its profits by $23 million in 2012.

  • March 8, 2018

    Home Depot Settles $28M Suit Over Hazardous Waste Disposal

    Home Depot USA Inc. has agreed to a $27.84 million settlement with the state of California after investigations found that stores had illegally disposed of waste batteries, aerosol cans, paints and electronic devices, in violation of the state’s Hazardous Waste Control Law, the state attorney general’s office announced Thursday.

  • March 8, 2018

    Coal Industry Leaders Say There's Reason For Optimism

    Despite barriers like decreased access to capital markets and changing public opinion, coal industry leaders told those gathered at a major energy conference in Houston on Thursday that there was still reason to be optimistic about the future of coal.

  • March 8, 2018

    Wind Farm Cos. Urge Justices To Hear Osage Lease Case

    Oklahoma wind farm developers have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their bid to overturn a Tenth Circuit decision that they needed a mineral lease from the Osage Nation and federal approval for surface construction on their project, saying the ruling wrongly favored the tribe’s financial interests over the property rights of individual Indians and their successors.

  • March 8, 2018

    No Delay Of Block On La. Pipeline Project Amid Appeal

    A Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday refused to shelve her block on construction of a crude oil pipeline connected to the controversial Dakota Access pipeline while it is appealed to the Fifth Circuit, saying the project's developers are essentially asking her to reverse her ruling.

  • March 8, 2018

    EPA Wants Suit Over Clean Water Rule Delay Moved To Texas

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday asked a New York federal judge to send a lawsuit by a coalition of states challenging the suspension of the Clean Water Rule to Texas — over their objections — arguing that the case is intertwined with other claims in that venue.

  • March 8, 2018

    Wyo. Judge Lifts Stay Of Challenge To BLM's Methane Rule

    A Wyoming federal judge on Wednesday granted bids by states and industry groups to restart a court challenge to an Obama-era rule limiting methane venting and flaring from natural gas wells on public and tribal lands.

  • March 8, 2018

    Sinkholes Prompt Pa. To Halt Sunoco Pipeline Operations

    The discovery of sinkholes along the route of a Sunoco Inc. unit's gas pipeline outside of Philadelphia prompted the state's Public Utility Commission on Wednesday to suspend service on the line for an immediate inspection.

  • March 8, 2018

    Exxon, Site Owner Settle Ky. Superfund Cleanup Suit

    A Kentucky federal judge Wednesday ended a property owner's suit seeking to force an ExxonMobil unit to pay cleanup costs at a Superfund site in Louisville eyed for redevelopment after the parties brokered a settlement for an unknown amount.

Expert Analysis

  • Addressing Human Rights Issues In The Extractive Sector

    Viren Mascarenhas

    As extractive industries face increasing scrutiny over their human rights practices, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the Due Process of Law Foundation have issued guidance on how governments should address human rights issues related to the extractive sector. Extractive companies should also take note, say Viren Mascarenhas and Kayla Winarsky Green of King & Spalding LLP.

  • The Art Of The Litigation Funding Deal

    Julia Gewolb

    As litigation funding becomes more widespread, greater complexity and variability in funding deals are to be expected. All claimants should consider certain key questions on the economics of single-case funding when considering or comparing funding terms, says Julia Gewolb of Bentham IMF.

  • Smart Contracts Need Smart Corporate Lawyers

    Matthew O’Toole

    Given the operational and security risks involved, and the substantial digital asset values transacted, the rise of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts will create new opportunities and responsibilities for transactional lawyers, say attorneys with Potter Anderson Corroon LLP.

  • How California Energy Laws Changed In 2017: Part 2

    Ella Foley Gannon

    The laws relating to energy that were enacted during the 2017 California state legislative session will bring a host of changes to existing state programs and policies. Interested stakeholders must familiarize themselves with the state's new policies on solar consumer protection, emerging technologies, zero-emission vehicles and retail utilities, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Witness Preparation Also Requires Witness Training

    Ric Dexter

    A witness who has been told what to do and what not to do will be ineffective at best. Instead, witnesses must be taught how to handle the process, and how to approach the answer to every question that they encounter. These are new skills, and they must be practiced in order to be learned, says Ric Dexter, an independent litigation consultant.

  • How To Fix Your Broken Client Teams

    Mike O'Horo

    Law firms claim they create client teams to improve service. Clients aren’t fooled, describing these initiatives as “thinly veiled sales campaigns.” Until firms and client teams begin to apply a number of principles consistently, they will continue to fail and further erode clients’ trust, says legal industry coach Mike O’Horo.

  • How California Energy Laws Changed In 2017: Part 1

    Ella Foley Gannon

    For energy industry observers, the 2017 California state legislative session produced a few significant bills along with a host of more minor bills. While protecting the environment, the Legislature also sought environmental justice, with new legislation relating to the state's cap-and-trade program, air quality and distributed energy resources, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Understanding FERC's Natural Gas Certificate Policy Review

    Cynthia Taub

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced in December that it will review its 1999 certificate policy statement for deciding when a proposed natural gas project is required by the public convenience and necessity. Based on comments from the commissioners, this review may include potential changes to the commission’s environmental review process, say Cynthia Taub and Monique Watson of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • A Lower Bar For Calif. Agencies In Hazardous Waste Cases

    Ria Rana

    If the California Court of Appeal's latest decision in City of Modesto v. The Dow Chemical Company continues to stand, it will have broad implications for chemical and equipment manufacturers and distributors who may find they are subjected to liability under the Polanco and Gatto Acts more frequently, say Ria Rana and John Parker of Goldberg Segalla.

  • 9th Circ. Decision Could Be Game-Changer For Investors

    Carol Villegas

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday issued an important decision in Mineworkers' Pension Scheme v. First Solar that serves to protect investor rights in securities class actions and will prevent companies that commit fraud from evading liability, say Carol Villegas and James Christie of Labaton Sucharow LLP.