Environmental

  • December 6, 2017

    Zinke Advises Trump To Shrink Some Nat'l Monuments

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday released the recommendations he gave the White House that said past administrations had abused their power to designate national monuments and advised shrinking some of them, publishing the advice a day after President Donald Trump slashed the size of two monuments in Utah.

  • December 6, 2017

    Tax Plans, Tariffs Cast Late Pall On Energy Finance In 2017

    Energy developers and investors found new types of projects to fund as well as new ways to fund them in 2017, but the recent prospect of major U.S. tax law changes and tariffs on imported solar panels has injected fresh uncertainty into project development. Here, attorneys identify five energy project finance trends that stood out this year.

  • December 6, 2017

    K&L Gates Nabs Energy Pro From Eversheds Sutherland

    A seasoned energy attorney who spent much of his career as in-house counsel for companies like Shell Oil and ExxonMobil has made the jump from Eversheds Sutherland LLP to K&L Gates LLP, bringing his extensive corporate counsel and private practice experience to the firm's energy, infrastructure and resources group in Houston.

  • December 6, 2017

    Shell Unit Broke Pact To Take Oil After Spill, Suit Says

    A Royal Dutch Shell PLC affiliate was hit with a lawsuit in Texas court Tuesday accusing it of breaching an agreement to accept crude oil deliveries from an All American Oil & Gas Inc. subsidiary following a pipeline rupture that spilled about 20,000 gallons of oil in California.

  • December 6, 2017

    VW Exec Gets 7 Years In Jail For Role In Emissions Scandal

    Former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt, who has pled guilty to criminal charges that he conspired to cover up the automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison by a Michigan federal judge.

  • December 5, 2017

    AGs Lob Latest Suit Accusing EPA Of Missing Smog Deadline

    A coalition of 15 attorneys general from states including New York, California and Massachusetts sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its leader on Tuesday, alleging the agency has missed a deadline to identify the areas of the U.S. that are subject to smog reduction requirements.

  • December 5, 2017

    Conservationists Sue Over Trump’s Move To Slash Monument

    The Conservation Lands Foundation and two other groups added their lawsuit on Monday to a growing list of challenges to President Donald Trump’s decision to slash the size of two Utah national monuments, arguing that federal law prevents the president from reducing the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

  • December 5, 2017

    Mass. AG Lacks Authority To Probe Exxon, State Justices Told

    An attorney for Exxon Mobil Corp. argued Tuesday at Massachusetts' top court that the company is safely outside the purview of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and should escape her investigation into allegations that executives formerly misrepresented the tie between fossil fuels and climate change.

  • December 5, 2017

    2nd Circ. Poised To Rule Quickly On NY-FERC Pipeline Spat

    A Second Circuit panel on Tuesday didn't rule on New York's bid to block a Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC project, but appeared willing to speed up the state's challenge of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's determination that the state had waived its permitting authority for the project.

  • December 5, 2017

    Faulty EIRs Can Be Dealt With Piecemeal, Calif. Court Says

    A California state appeals court on Monday said that even though two parts of an environmental impact report for a major development were faulty, a lower court was right to separate out those elements instead of granting a request by environmental groups to fault the entire report.

  • December 5, 2017

    BLM Will Fight Methane Enforcement Ruling At 9th Circ.

    The Bureau of Land Management on Monday said that it will appeal to the Ninth Circuit an October ruling from a California federal magistrate judge that reactivated Obama-era regulations limiting methane gas emissions on public lands.

  • December 5, 2017

    Landry's Finds Flaws In ESA Lawsuit Over Tigers' Treatment

    The Houston Aquarium restaurant and its parent company, Landry's Inc., urged a Texas federal judge on Monday to throw out an Endangered Species Act lawsuit over the treatment of four tigers on display at the downtown restaurant, saying the Aquarium is a highly regulated facility that provides humane care for its animals.

  • December 5, 2017

    9th Circ. Gives Navajo Partial Win In Waters Rights Suit

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Monday gave the Navajo Nation a partial win in its water rights suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, ruling that a district court’s dismissal of its breach of trust claim was not warranted, and sent the claim back to the lower court to consider it on its merits.

  • December 5, 2017

    ITC Clears Path For New Biodiesel Tariffs

    The U.S. International Trade Commission greenlit new tariffs on shipments of biodiesel fuel from Argentina and Indonesia on Tuesday after determining that the imports are posing a threat to domestic producers.

  • December 4, 2017

    Tribe, Enviros Take Aim At BLM For Mine Project Approvals

    An Alaskan tribe and three conservation groups on Monday launched a federal court challenge to U.S. Bureau of Land Management decisions that have allowed a mining exploration in a watershed in the southeast part of the state to proceed, saying the agency hasn't appropriately considered the environmental impacts.

  • December 4, 2017

    Enviros Sue EPA To Administer Smog Reduction Rules

    A group of health and environmental organizations filed suit Monday in California federal court, seeking an order requiring Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt to designate areas of the U.S. subject to smog reduction requirements under 2015 regulations issued by the agency.

  • December 4, 2017

    NY Solar Co. Hits Bankruptcy After Abrupt Layoffs

    Level Solar Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on Monday with plans to investigate its former CEO, a little more than two months after the residential solar panel installer was accused of abruptly closing its doors and terminating all employees without legally required advanced warning.

  • December 4, 2017

    Enviro Group Sues EPA For 'Stonewalling' On Pruitt Speeches

    An environmental group filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday accusing it of breaching a deadline to hand over copies of speeches given by Administrator Scott Pruitt, arguing that the government’s inaction violated public records law.

  • December 4, 2017

    Renewable Cos. Eye Damage Control As Tax Plan Advances

    The tax bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday ratchets up anxieties for a renewable energy sector already concerned by the tax legislation that cleared the House last month, setting the stage for clean energy advocates to push for major rewrites during the reconciliation process. Here's a review of the energy impacts of both bills, as well as a preview of what the biggest energy-related fights will be as lawmakers attempt to craft unified legislation.

  • December 4, 2017

    First Nations, Enviros Prevail In Yukon Watershed Plan Fight

    The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday ruled that the Yukon government didn’t “have the authority” to make the substantial changes that it did to a land use plan for the Peel watershed, handing a win to First Nations and environmental groups.

Expert Analysis

  • Federal Claims Must Meet Diversity Jurisdiction Burden

    Jeffrey Odom

    The Third Circuit recently dismissed a plaintiff’s fear of cancer claims arising from a chemical spill, and found the diversity jurisdiction burden was not met. Defendants should look beyond the sensational facts of toxic tort claims and challenge the evidence presented at filing to determine whether jurisdiction is proper, says Jeffrey Odom of Lane Powell PC.

  • Adapting To The New TSCA Regulatory Structure

    Judah Prero

    California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 into law. It will require online ingredient listing and on-package disclosure of ingredients by manufacturers of cleaning products. This new law is just one of the latest actions taken by a state to somehow regulate the use of chemicals, says Judah Prero of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • How IT And Procurement Pros Can Inform Law Firm Budgeting

    Steve Falkin

    As law firms begin preparing for their annual budget review, Steve Falkin and Lee Garbowitz of HBR Consulting discuss why firm leaders should give their internal information technology and procurement teams a seat at the table.

  • Getting Real About Artificial Intelligence At Law Firms

    Mark Williamson

    Artificial intelligence needs to be legally defensible in order to be useful to law firms. There are requirements for making this happen, says Mark Williamson, co-founder and chief technology officer of Hanzo Archives Ltd.

  • Perception Vs. Reality At Trial

    Martha Luring

    The long litigation life cycle for large, complex civil lawsuits provides ample time for clients and counsel to form strong opinions — often negative when based on adversarial exchanges — about the opposing trial team, their witnesses and their experts. Martha Luring of Salmons Consulting shares some common perceptions not always shared by jurors.

  • Countering Statutes Of Limitations With Equitable Estoppel

    David Newman

    There are only a few situations in which a New York plaintiff can avail itself of the discovery rule to delay the accrual of a cause of action. However, New York does offer parties a way to avail themselves of discovery-rule-like protections — the doctrine of equitable estoppel, say David Newman and Matthew Lippert of Sills Cummis & Gross PC.

  • How Mass. Can Prepare For Cannabis Industry Energy Use

    Caitlin Beresin

    Massachusetts' legalization of recreational marijuana is creating a new industry, but given the amounts of energy and water needed to cultivate the crop, significant environmental impacts are anticipated. The state's new Cannabis Control Commission would be wise to take note of the practices adopted in pioneering states such as Colorado and Oregon, say consultants with ML Strategies LLC.

  • A New Approach To Climate Analysis Under NEPA?

    Avi Garbow

    The D.C. Circuit's recent decision in Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and FERC’s response, point to the National Environmental Policy Act as possibly the next legal battleground over how federal agencies consider climate change, say attorneys with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Proportionality, Not Perfection, Is What Matters

    John Rosenthal

    A few jurists and commentators have recently caused a stir in the e-discovery community by arguing that litigants should avoid using keyword searches to filter or cull a document population before using predictive coding. This “no-cull” rationale undermines the principle of proportionality at the heart of the recent changes to Federal Rule 26, say John Rosenthal and Jason Moore of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • DOE Proposal Offers Blatant Subsidies For Coal Industry

    Emma Hand

    The U.S. Department of Energy recently proposed that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission effectively allow coal-fired power plants to charge higher prices based on their contribution to grid "resilience." It is remarkable to see oil and gas associations, utilities, consumer groups and renewable energy associations united in opposition to the proposal's accelerated timeline, say Emma Hand and Adam Brown of Dentons.