Energy

  • November 25, 2020

    Akin Gump Must Explain Role In $1B Ohio Energy Bailout Bill

    An Ohio bankruptcy judge ordered Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP attorneys billing the bankruptcy estate of reorganized debtor FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. to explain what role, if any, they had in lobbying efforts to get a controversial $1 billion nuclear reactor bailout bill passed by the Ohio Legislature before he would approve their fees.

  • November 25, 2020

    Ex-SCANA CEO Cops To Fraud In Nuke Plant Plans Debacle

    The former CEO of South Carolina utility company SCANA Corp. pled guilty to federal and state charges of fraud stemming from his role in an alleged plot in which the company misled investors about plans for a $9 billion nuclear power plant expansion.

  • November 25, 2020

    Pebble Mine's Future Dims As Key Permit Is Denied

    The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday said it will not approve a critical water permit for a controversial gold and copper mine in Alaska, saying the project's environmental harms are too great, even considering the estimated economic benefits.

  • November 25, 2020

    Trump Says DOJ Can Stop Enviro Project Settlements

    The Trump administration told a Massachusetts federal court that it had the discretion to reach settlements as it saw fit, pushing to end a suit by environmental advocates that said the U.S. Department of Justice's policy banning environmental improvement projects in enforcement settlements is unlawful.

  • November 25, 2020

    Guatemala Pays Teco $37M In Long-Running Power Tariff Suit

    Guatemala has paid $37.4 million to a subsidiary of U.S.-based Teco Energy Inc. to satisfy an arbitral award the country had challenged for seven years in a long-running dispute over electricity tariffs.

  • November 25, 2020

    Media, Energy-Focused SPACs Raise $561M In Market Debuts

    Two blank-check companies, one led by former Disney executives and the other backed by Apollo Global Management, started trading Wednesday after raising a combined $561 million in initial public offerings.

  • November 25, 2020

    Embattled Energy Exec Charged In $317M N95 Mask Scheme

    A Houston energy executive already facing criminal fraud charges related to what jurors determined was infringement on Chevron's trademark has now been accused of duping an Australian state into paying $317 million for non-existent N95 face masks.

  • November 25, 2020

    EPA Says Power Plants Don't Need Superfund Safety Nets

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said it will not require power plants, chemical manufacturers, or petroleum-based and coal-based product manufacturers to set aside money to cover pollution cleanups that may result from their operations.

  • November 25, 2020

    Trump's Exit Draws Fresh Battle Lines Over Tariff Power

    Lawmakers tried but failed to mount a meaningful challenge to President Donald Trump's aggressive use of tariffs over the last four years, but his ouster will not necessarily make Congress' goal to claw back more tariff power any easier.

  • November 25, 2020

    PE Firm INNIO Sues GE Over Failed $3B Deal

    A private equity firm sued in London over its $3 billion purchase of a General Electric power unit has hit back with its own suit, accusing the conglomerate of making key omissions in financial statements used to evaluate the final price of the deal.  

  • November 25, 2020

    4 Key Insurance Appeals To Watch In December

    Appeals courts will take on several important insurance coverage issues in 2020's final month, with the Delaware Supreme Court set to weigh whether an excess insurer must contribute to Dole's $222 million settlements of stockholder suits and Indiana's high court primed to consider whether a ransomware attack is covered by crime insurance. Here, Law360 breaks down four insurance appeals attorneys will be watching in December.

  • November 25, 2020

    BigLaw's Sustainability Pro Bono Drive Blew Past $15M Goal

    When a group of BigLaw firms committed two years ago to devote $15 million worth of time to climate change and sustainability issues, they got overwhelming interest from junior associates and senior partners alike, and as the program has grown, firms have contributed at least $24 million in pro bono work.

  • November 24, 2020

    Feds Say 4th Circ. Skimped On Baltimore Climate Suit Review

    The federal government has told the U.S. Supreme Court that it should be easier for energy giants like Chevron and Exxon Mobil to move state court lawsuits seeking to hold them liable for climate change damages to federal court.

  • November 24, 2020

    UK Judge Nixes Miner's Award In Fight With Kazakhstan

    An English judge has set aside a damages award issued to a Canadian minerals company following a dispute over a terminated uranium processing project, saying the tribunal had wrongly denied Kazakhstan a chance to present its case on the damages issue.

  • November 24, 2020

    Consulting Co. Can't Sue Contractor For Switching Firms

    A Texas appellate court on Tuesday declined to revive an oil and gas consulting company's breach of contract lawsuit against a former independent contractor, finding the consulting company's noncompete clause was unenforceable.

  • November 24, 2020

    Commissioner Blasts CFTC's 'Incomplete' Oil Crash Report

    A member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Tuesday the agency's long-awaited report on April's historic oil futures crash failed to provide a "meaningful understanding" of what caused prices to plunge into negative territory.

  • November 24, 2020

    Water Permits Voided For $2B Wash. Methanol Refinery

    A Washington federal court has struck down water quality permits granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to an export terminal for a 90-acre, $2 billion methanol manufacturing project in the state, ruling the approvals were issued without properly considering the full indirect emissions of the project.

  • November 24, 2020

    States, Cities Seek Demise Of Trump's Narrowed Water Rule

    A group of states on Monday asked a federal judge to scrap the Trump administration's rule narrowing the scope of the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction, saying the government failed to study how excluding many previously protected waters would harm water quality and step on states' rights.

  • November 24, 2020

    Law Firms Say Botched BP Oil Spill Claims Time-Barred

    A group of law firms have asked a Louisiana federal judge to toss a lawsuit brought by local fishermen accusing the firms of mishandling their clients' requests for compensation following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010, arguing that the alleged claims are time-barred.

  • November 24, 2020

    FCC Finds Verizon Paid 'Unjust' Pole Attachment Charges

    The Federal Communications Commission has found that an electric utility company that operates in Maryland made Verizon pay unreasonable charges for attachments on their utility poles and handed down a maximum rate the utility company could charge the telecom giant.

  • November 24, 2020

    Sierra Club Files DC Circ. Challenge To EPA Coal Ash Rule

    The Sierra Club and other environmental groups on Tuesday filed a D.C. Circuit challenge against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rule that advocates say improperly extends the life of unlined coal ash ponds operated by electric utilities.

  • November 24, 2020

    Gov't Pushes To Stall Refunds On Turkish Steel Duties

    The Trump administration has asked the U.S. Court of International Trade to once more hold off on forcing the government to refund duties paid by importers of Turkish steel as the case remains pending at the Federal Circuit.

  • November 24, 2020

    Steptoe Says Texas Is Wrong Forum For $6M Malpractice Suit

    Steptoe & Johnson LLP asked a Texas federal court to toss a former client's negligence case over $6 million in unrecovered dumping duties, saying neither the firm nor its attorneys have sufficient ties to the Lone Star State.

  • November 24, 2020

    Colo. Enacts Stricter Rules For Oil And Gas Drillers

    Colorado oil and gas regulators on Monday adopted an overhaul of drilling rules to require greater consideration of public health and environmental impacts, including drilling further away from homes and schools and limiting venting and flaring from gas wells.

  • November 24, 2020

    Ky. Court Orders Pipeline Inspector To Arbitrate OT Claims

    Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline can force an employee of an outside contractor to arbitrate claims that the pipeline company cheated him and others out of overtime pay because his arbitration agreement with his direct employer also covers its clients, a Kentucky federal court has ruled.

Expert Analysis

  • Biden Must Sustain Laser Focus To Meet Lofty Green Goals

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    President-elect Joe Biden has targeted climate change with ambitious power-sector and emissions targets, but several obstacles will need to be addressed, including the power markets' decentralized nature, certain states and constituencies' resistance, and the expected lack of a congressional mandate, say Sandra Rizzo and Jamie Lee at Arnold & Porter.

  • Ethics Reminders As Employees Move To Or From Gov't

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    Many organizations are making plans for executives to go into government jobs, or for government officials to join a private sector team, but they must understand the many ethics rules that can put a damper on just how valuable the former employee or new hire can be, say Scott Thomas and Jennifer Carrier at Blank Rome.

  • Carbon Capture Policy Should Be Aligned For Global Adoption

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    With support from both Republicans and Democrats, carbon capture, utilization and storage technology as a tool for decarbonization may be poised for domestic growth — but the U.S. and the European Union must coordinate their policies to promote a global approach, say Hunter Johnston and Jeff Weiss at Steptoe & Johnson.

  • A Key To Helping Clients Make Better Decisions During Crisis

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    As the pandemic brings a variety of legal stresses for businesses, lawyers must understand the emotional dynamic of a crisis and the particular energy it produces to effectively fulfill their role as advisers, say Meredith Parfet and Aaron Solomon at Ravenyard Group.

  • How Federal, State Plans Could Bring Carbon Capture To US

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    Proposals from President-elect Joe Biden, a pair of bills currently pending in Congress and a low-carbon fuels program in California provide insights into how carbon capture, utilization and storage technology could be integrated into the fight against climate change in the U.S., say Hunter Johnston and Jeff Weiss at Steptoe.

  • Ethics Considerations For Law Firms Implementing AI

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    Richard Finkelman and Yihua Astle at Berkeley Research Group discuss the ethical and bias concerns law firms must address when implementing artificial intelligence-powered applications for recruiting, conflict identification and client counseling.

  • EU Climate Goals Are Hard To Reach Without Carbon Capture

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    The European Union's failure to fully embrace blue fuels, produced using carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies, may hinder the region's pursuit of its aggressive decarbonization goals, say Hunter Johnston and Jeff Weiss at Steptoe & Johnson.

  • Picking The Right Location And Tools For Virtual Courtrooms

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    Attorneys should consider the pros and cons of participating in virtual court proceedings from home versus their law firm offices, and whether they have the right audio, video and team communication tools for their particular setup, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter.

  • Carbon Capture Tech Offers A Fast Path Toward Climate Goals

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    To meet ambitious climate goals, the U.S., EU and other developed nations must immediately start reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuels, which policymakers can encourage by supporting carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies, say Hunter Johnston and Jeff Weiss at Steptoe.

  • Beware Atty Ethics Rules When Reporting COVID-19 Fraud

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    Attorneys considering blowing the whistle on False Claims Act violations by recipients of COVID-19 relief may face a number of ethical constraints on their ability to disclose client information and file qui tam actions, say Breon Peace and Jennifer Kennedy Park at Cleary.

  • Looking For Judicial Activists? Check The Footnotes

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    U.S. Supreme Court nominees typically face intense questioning over potential judicial activism, but a better way to gauge judges' activist tendencies may be to look at the footnotes in their opinions, say Christopher Collier at Hawkins Parnell and Michael Arndt at Rohan Law.

  • New FERC Leadership May End COVID-19 Flexibility For Cos.

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has repeatedly granted waivers to energy companies that missed tariff deadlines due to COVID-19 — but this flexible policy may be obsolete under FERC's new chairman, says Stephen Bright at Locke Lord.

  • Best Practices For Legal Technology Adoption

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    The pandemic has accelerated the need to improve the practice of law through technology, but law firms and in-house legal departments must first ensure they have employee buy-in and well-defined processes for new digital tools, say Dan Broderick at BlackBoiler and Daryl Shetterly at Orrick.

  • Valuation Uncertainty Could Prompt Increased Litigation

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has increased volatility around forward-looking cash flows and discount rates, which may lead to more business valuation disputes, particularly in the M&A and bankruptcy litigation contexts, say analysts at Cornerstone Research.

  • Opinion

    Dakota Pipeline Challenge Undermines Permitting Process

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    If Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. Army Corps of Engineers succeeds at challenging the Dakota Access Pipeline's environmental permitting more than three years after it came online, other infrastructure projects might also face legal battles long after they are built, says David Hill at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy.

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