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Project Finance

  • July 20, 2018

    DC Circ. Finds EPA's Exceptional Events Rule Can Stand

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule for so-called “exceptional events,” like wildfires and volcanic eruptions, rejecting environmental advocates’ contention that the rule would let the agency write off human-caused pollution as natural activity.

  • July 20, 2018

    NEPA-Deficient Uranium Mine License Wrongly Kept: DC Circ.

    The D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrongly allowed Powertech to keep a uranium mining license after failing to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act over objections from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, holding that such a decision “vitiates” the environmental law’s requirements.

  • July 20, 2018

    House Panel Wants To Grill Puerto Rico Gov. On PREPA Crisis

    The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources asked the governor of Puerto Rico on Thursday to send an administration official to speak at an upcoming panel hearing on mismanagement at the island's troubled electric utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, amid mass turnover at the top.

  • July 20, 2018

    Baltimore Sues Chevron, Others Over Climate Change

    The city of Baltimore on Friday added its name to a growing list of local governments that have filed suit against Chevron, BP and a slew of other energy companies accusing them of contributing to climate change that is causing sea level rise, extreme weather and other problems of concern to a city with 60 miles of waterfront.

  • July 20, 2018

    Republican ESA Reform Proposals Face Uphill Battle

    Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration in recent weeks have turned their attention to weakening the Endangered Species Act, but experts say legislation amending the 45-year-old law has a low likelihood of success, and environmentalists are almost certain to challenge new agency rules in court.

  • July 20, 2018

    9th Circ. Rebuffs Latest Bid To Dump Kids' Climate Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday rejected another bid to undo a judge's green light for 21 children to sue the U.S. government for allegedly endangering them and future generations with policies that contribute to climate change, the latest setback for the Trump administration in its efforts to nix the suit.

  • July 20, 2018

    ND Wants $38M From Army Corps For Pipeline Protest Costs

    North Dakota filed a tort notice seeking $38 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the law enforcement resources it deployed to respond to eight months of sometimes violent Dakota Access Pipeline protests, alleging the federal government’s inaction forced the state to step in.

  • July 20, 2018

    Sunrun Investor Suit Booted With Last Chance For Fixes

    The latest iteration of an investor suit claiming Sunrun Inc. fudged customer cancellation numbers to keep its stock afloat fared no better than the first two versions, a federal judge in California found Thursday in a pithy two-page opinion chucking the complaint.

  • July 19, 2018

    Energy Cos. To Appeal Climate Tort Ruling To 9th Circ.

    A group of major oil and gas companies including Chevron Corp. told a California federal court that they would be appealing to the Ninth Circuit a recent order that sent climate change-related torts brought by two cities and a county to state court.

  • July 19, 2018

    Trump Admin Proposes Weakening Endangered Species Rules

    The Trump administration on Thursday proposed a package of Endangered Species Act regulatory reforms, one of which would roll back a nearly 40-year-old rule that extends the same protections afforded to species listed as endangered to those listed as threatened, which denotes a less imperiled status.

  • July 19, 2018

    Energy Cos. Seek To Enforce €128M Award Against Spain

    Two foreign companies on Thursday asked a D.C. federal court to enforce a €128 million ($149 million) arbitral award against Spain issued following a dispute over renewable energy subsidies, resuming their U.S. enforcement efforts several months after voluntarily dismissing their original suit in New York for procedural reasons.

  • July 19, 2018

    FERC Still Won't Override NY's $683M Pipeline Permit Denial

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday stood by its decision to leave intact New York’s denial of a Clean Water Act permit for a $683 million natural gas pipeline, dealing a fresh setback to Williams Cos. Inc. unit Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC.

  • July 19, 2018

    Senate Enviro Committee Goes Easy On Trump CEQ Nominee

    President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality left a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday largely unscathed, avoiding much of the controversy that has dogged many of the administration’s other nominees for environmental positions.

  • July 19, 2018

    Toys R Us Inks $180M Creditor Deal To Ease Wind-Down

    Toys R Us on Tuesday told a Virginia bankruptcy court that it has reached a settlement with the holders of the majority of its U.S. debt that will guarantee $180 million for administrative claim holders and smooth the way to its Chapter 11 liquidation.

  • July 19, 2018

    Arkansans Sue To Halt $87.4M Highway Widening Project

    Residents of Little Rock, Arkansas, sued the state and federal departments of Transportation on Wednesday over their alleged failure to assess the impact of an $87.4 million highway widening project on traffic, noise and air quality, urging a court to halt the work.

  • July 19, 2018

    Baker Botts Snags Two MoFo Energy Project Attorneys

    Baker Botts LLP announced it has hired two attorneys from Morrison & Foerster LLP as partners who will bring their project finance and energy experience to the firm’s New York and San Francisco offices.

  • July 19, 2018

    Ex-Cuomo Aide Seeks Short Prison Stint For Corruption

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's former “right-hand man” on Thursday pushed back against Manhattan federal prosecutors’ bid to lock him up for five years or more following his conviction on bribery charges, instead asking for no more than a two-year stretch.

  • July 19, 2018

    FERC Cuts Gas Pipelines A Break In Final Tax Policy Change

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late Wednesday finalized a rule directing gas pipeline operators to disclose the effect on its rates of recently enacted corporate tax cuts and removing a tax perk for pipeline master limited partnerships, while giving companies an opportunity to avoid additional FERC scrutiny.

  • July 19, 2018

    New York City's Climate Suit Against Big Oil Thrown Out

    A New York federal judge on Thursday nixed New York City's suit seeking to hold ExxonMobil, BP and other oil giants accountable for climate change-related infrastructure damage, saying that the Big Apple's state-law claims are trumped by federal law.

  • July 18, 2018

    Miami Voters Will Have Say On Beckham's $1B Stadium Plan

    Miami voters will have a say this November on whether the city should negotiate a no-bid proposal with David Beckham's Major League Soccer ownership group to redevelop a city-owned golf course into a $1 billion soccer stadium, retail-office complex and public park.

Expert Analysis

  • DC Circ. Set A Higher Bar For Hydro License Renewal

    Walker Stanovsky

    On July 6, the D.C. Circuit torpedoed a hydroelectric license renewal issued in 2013 because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not consider environmental damage already caused by the project. In doing so, the court rejected FERC’s long-standing practice of using existing conditions and operations as an environmental baseline, say attorneys at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • What Kavanaugh's Writing Tells Us About His Personality

    Matthew Hall

    People with certain personality traits tend to use certain words. A computer analysis of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit opinions reveals that he is highly extraverted, which means that he would be a prominent voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Matthew Hall, a professor at the University of Notre Dame.

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.

  • Investment Tax Credit Guidance Means Sunny Days For Solar

    Jon Nelsen

    Notice 2018-59, issued last month by the Internal Revenue Service, confirms that standards and safe harbors previously defined for wind energy projects can be used with solar energy projects. Project sponsors can now act with greater certainty in making solar investments, say Jon Nelsen, Michael Didriksen and Peter Farrell of Baker Botts LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Hood Reviews 'Lawyering From The Inside Out'

    Judge Denise Hood

    Law professor Nathalie Martin's new book, "Lawyering From the Inside Out: Learning Professional Development Through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence," can be of value to any lawyer aiming to achieve greater productivity, relieve the stress of the legal profession and focus on goals, says U.S. District Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan.

  • A Path To New York's Energy Storage Goal

    Danielle Mettler-LaFeir

    New York state's recently issued Energy Storage Roadmap identifies the actions and initiatives that can help New York meet its energy storage goal of 1,500 megawatts by 2025. Danielle Mettler-LaFeir of Barclay Damon LLP looks at the road map’s recommendations and the opportunities they create.

  • 3 Top E-Discovery Case Law Lessons Of 2018 (So Far)

    Casey Sullivan

    The blockbuster e-discovery cases, with big sanctions and bigger controversies, have been few and far between this year. But that doesn’t mean the legal questions around e-discovery have been answered. Let’s take a closer look at three cases worthy of our attention, says Casey Sullivan, an attorney at discovery technology provider Logikcull.

  • Following The Tax Map To Deduct Loan Commitment Fees

    Mark Leeds

    The deduction for interest as a business expense was substantially limited by last year’s revision of IRC Section 162(c). But last month's IRS chief counsel memo has advised that borrowers in lending transactions can deduct unused commitment fees and provides taxpayers with a road map for structuring transactions to avoid the new limitations, say Mark Leeds and Brennan Young of Mayer Brown LLP.