The U.S. Justice Department joined Chevron, BP, Exxon Mobil and other oil companies Thursday in attacking suits by San Francisco and Oakland seeking damages for climate change-related infrastructure needs, arguing before a California federal judge that the litigation would flout congressional intent, muddle international policy and outlaw energy production.
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TOP NEWS

Global Warming Fight Heats Up As Big Oil, Cities Face Off

The U.S. Justice Department joined Chevron, BP, Exxon Mobil and other oil companies Thursday in attacking suits by San Francisco and Oakland seeking damages for climate change-related infrastructure needs, arguing before a California federal judge that the litigation would flout congressional intent, muddle international policy and outlaw energy production. Read more »

Chevron Escapes $9.5B Ecuadorean Award Bid In Canada

Ontario's top court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that Ecuadorean citizens can't enforce an Ecuadorean court’s $9.5 billion oil pollution judgment against Chevron Corp. through its Canadian subsidiary, saying it's a separate corporate entity whose assets can't be seized to satisfy a judgment against the parent company. Read more »

Power Cos. Press FERC To Nix Mass. Gas Plant Rescue Bid

A coalition of New England power producers on Wednesday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject regional grid operator ISO New England's bid to keep an Exelon Corp. gas-fired plant near Boston open, claiming among other things that it would suppress electricity auction prices by as much as $642 million. Read more »

EPA Extends Comment Period On Scientific Review Revamp

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday that it is extending the public comment period on a controversial proposal to require the publication of data underlying scientific studies that are considered when promulgating regulations, and will also hold a public hearing on the matter. Read more »

NATURAL GAS

Pa. PUC Judge Orders Shutdown Of Sunoco Pipelines

An administrative law judge for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has ordered Sunoco LP to shut down operations at a natural gas pipeline in the state and halt construction on two others, siding with a Pennsylvania state senator who claimed the projects were fraught with environmental and safety issues. Read more »

EU Hits Gazprom With Antitrust Conditions

The European Union's antitrust enforcer said Thursday that after a six-year investigation it has imposed various conditions on Gazprom over concerns the Russian state-owned gas giant abused its dominance of central and eastern European gas markets. Read more »

PETROLEUM

India Wants $3.8B From Reliance, Shell Unit In Royalty Row

India has demanded that a consortium that includes energy giant Reliance Industries Ltd. and a Royal Dutch Shell PLC subsidiary pay $3.8 billion in oil and gas royalties allegedly owed under an arbitral award that was remanded last month by an English court, Reliance said on Thursday. Read more »

UTILITIES & POWER

Conservationists Lose Suits Over Dominion Va. Power Line

A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday nixed suits by conservation groups challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' allowing a Dominion Energy Inc. electricity transmission project to cross the James River in Virginia, saying the Corps' review and approval of the project was by the book. Read more »

RENEWABLES

Fla. Power Buyers Say FPL Can't Recoup $1B For Solar Builds

The Florida Industrial Power Users Group told the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday that Florida Power & Light Co. should not be allowed to recover nearly $1 billion in capital costs to build solar energy projects that the group said are not needed or cost-effective. Read more »

China's Ganfeng Plans IPO Amid Carmakers' Hunt For Lithium

As electric vehicles continue to infiltrate the market, China’s largest producer of battery raw material, Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., announced Thursday it is filing for an initial public offering. Read more »

COAL

Exelon Takes $500M Tax Hit Over Coal Plant Sale To 7th Circ.

Exelon Corp. asked the Seventh Circuit to reverse a U.S. Tax Court judgment hitting it with more than $500 million in tax deficiencies and penalties on Thursday, arguing the company’s efforts to defer income tax on the sale of its Illinois coal plants were aboveboard. Read more »

Enviros Ask 9th Circ. To Make EPA Act On Coal Plant Permit

A coalition of environmental groups on Wednesday petitioned the Ninth Circuit to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue a renewed water discharge permit for a coal-fired power plant located on Navajo Nation land, saying a more than decadelong delay has hurt fish species and water quality. Read more »

EXPERT ANALYSIS

When Defendants Invoke ‘Necessity’ In Pipeline Sabotage

In recent years, a number of anti-pipeline protests involving trespass and vandalism have been prosecuted as criminal acts. Some defendants have raised a “necessity defense” for their actions, and two courts have now allowed that defense to proceed. But these actions themselves present significant risks to human life and health and the environment, say attorneys with Troutman Sanders LLP. Read more »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

Proskauer Says Partner Behind Pay Bias Suit Made Bank

Proskauer Rose LLP on Wednesday disputed claims it unfairly paid a female partner less than men in similar positions, saying in an answer to her recently revised suit that she earned a bigger share of firm profits in one of the years covered by the case than all but three men in the firm’s employment practice. Read more »

Trump Picks For 5th Circ., Texas Seats Advance

Controversial nominations for the Fifth Circuit and judicial posts in Texas and Louisiana advanced to the full Senate on Thursday, over objections from Democrats over their records on environmental rules, abortion rights and past statements. Read more »

Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

High court heavyweight Paul Clement of Kirkland & Ellis LLP is this week's top legal lion with a U.S. Supreme Court decision preserving employers' use of class action waivers, while Womble Bond Dickinson LLP and Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP ended up legal lambs after a jury slammed their tobacco company clients with a $21 million verdict in a smoker's lung cancer case. Read more »

3rd For-Profit Law School Sues ABA Over Enforcement Action

Arizona Summit Law School filed suit Thursday against the American Bar Association, which has kept the school on probation since March 2017 and last month determined it was still failing to meet ABA standards, saying the association’s action against Arizona Summit is "arbitrary and capricious." Read more »

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LAW FIRMS

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King & Spalding

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Manko Gold

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Meyer Glitzenstein

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Sanford Heisler

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Shook Hardy

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Winston & Strawn

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