Energy

  • December 13, 2019

    PG&E Wants Ghost Ship Fire Claims Kept On Hold

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says it wants litigation by victims of the Ghost Ship fire against the company to stay paused, arguing that its recent $13.5 billion deal to compensate its fire victims was significant for its bankruptcy proceedings and should be its focus.

  • December 13, 2019

    Cybercriminals Phished For Gov't Procurement Credentials

    Cybercriminals targeted the U.S. Departments of Energy, Commerce and Transportation as well as other federal agencies in a widespread campaign to steal login credentials from stakeholders in government procurement processes, security researchers say.

  • December 13, 2019

    MTE Energy Lender Agent Is Denied Control Of Ch. 11

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Friday rejected a lender agent's bid for control of MTE Energy LLC's Chapter 11, saying the lender failed to properly register affiliate voting rights that it claimed after borrower defaults and one day before the bankruptcy filing.

  • December 13, 2019

    Judge Hints At Rejecting FTC Bid To Block Chemical Deal

    A D.C. federal judge signaled Friday he was leaning toward letting the planned tie-up of two hydrogen peroxide producers go through following a Federal Trade Commission challenge, yet his decision is not expected until January.

  • December 13, 2019

    9th Circ. Urged To Reverse EPA Ruling On Wetlands

    Landowners who won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case allowing them to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its finding that they need a Clean Water Act permit before building a home are now challenging a lower court's ruling that the EPA was right.

  • December 13, 2019

    Texas Justices Will Mull 'Intention' In Trucker Death Case

    The Texas Supreme Court will review a finding that a trucking company can be taken to court over an employee's death based on an “intentional act” exception to a rule that normally restricts the surviving family’s remedies to the workers’ compensation system, the court said Friday, after previously rejecting the case.

  • December 13, 2019

    Watchdog Says BLM Silence Can Lead To Unpermitted Drilling

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's watchdog has said that oil and gas producers sometimes drill on federal lands without the proper permit because the federal government doesn't respond to a certain type of drilling plan that it doesn't see as its responsibility.

  • December 13, 2019

    Fuel Card Co. FleetCor Settles Stock-Drop Suit For $50M

    FleetCor Technologies Inc. has agreed to pay $50 million to resolve a securities suit in Georgia federal court from investors who claim the fuel-card company covered up its fraudulent overcharging of customers.

  • December 13, 2019

    ConocoPhillips Accuses Ex-Worker Of $7.3M Fraud Scheme

    ConocoPhillips has levied a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claim against a former employee alleging he bilked the company out of $7.3 million in a scheme using companies that did no work and were paid using fake invoices.

  • December 13, 2019

    Project Finance Roads Led To Clean Energy In 2019

    Investor dollars continue to flow into clean energy projects even as key tax credits approach their sunsets, while oil and gas companies have difficulty raising cash for projects. Here, Law360 looks at five energy project finance trends that stood out to attorneys in 2019.

  • December 13, 2019

    US, China Strike Early-Phase Trade Deal To Avert Tariffs

    The U.S. and China struck an early-stage trade deal that will demand “structural reforms” from Beijing and halt a planned tariff strike against Chinese cellphones, laptops and other consumer items, the two countries announced Friday, marking a potential breakthrough in their long-running trade battle.

  • December 12, 2019

    4th Circ. Mulls Over Where Baltimore Climate Suit Belongs

    Baltimore's suit accusing oil giants of misleading the public about the dangers of fossil fuels may be no joke, but the heavy subject matter didn't stop the Fourth Circuit from cracking up during oral arguments in Richmond, Virginia, this week.

  • December 12, 2019

    States To Accelerate Switch To Zero Emission Trucks, Buses

    California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, the District of Columbia and five other states on Thursday announced their intention to speed up the transition from fossil fuel-based trucks and buses to zero emission vehicles.

  • December 12, 2019

    Congress' Promises To Renew Tax Extenders Could Wear Thin

    If Congress fails to revive dozens of expired tax incentives known as extenders before leaving Washington, D.C., next week, businesses could begin to question whether lawmakers can keep their promises to retroactively renew the incentives in the future.

  • December 12, 2019

    Bankrupt Oil Biz Officers Ignored Warnings, Del. Judge Told

    An oilman who is one of Furie Operating Alaska LLC's stakeholders mounting a challenge in the oil and gas producer's Delaware Ch. 11 claimed Thursday his warnings about well production and other issues were ignored as manager decisions led the business deeper into financial ruin.

  • December 12, 2019

    Ex-Braskem Exec Granted $30M Bail In Bribery Case

    The former CEO of Brazilian oil company Braskem satisfied a reluctant magistrate judge on Thursday that cash and investments worth about $30 million, or around half his wealth, will be enough to ensure he appears in Brooklyn to face charges of conspiring to bribe officials in his home country.

  • December 12, 2019

    9th Circ. Won't Rethink Enviros' Suit Over Navajo Coal Plant

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday rejected green groups' bid to revive their challenge to the U.S. Department of the Interior's approval for the continued operation of a coal-fired plant on Navajo land, leaving in place a panel's ruling that the tribe's sovereign immunity blocked the suit.

  • December 12, 2019

    DC Circ. Told EPA's Biofuel Switch Costing Industry Millions

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidance that changed the standard for measuring the amount of biofuel that's eligible for a lucrative credit program is costing the industry millions of dollars, ethanol giant Poet told the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday.

  • December 12, 2019

    Labaton Will Lead Midstream Co. Investors' Take-Private Suit

    A New York federal judge on Wednesday appointed Labaton Sucharow LLP lead counsel for a proposed class of shareholders who claim they lost out when a midstream energy company was taken private after the company's stock price was allegedly pushed down on purpose.

  • December 12, 2019

    Starion Settles With Mass. For $10M Over Telemarketing

    Starion Energy Inc. reached a proposed settlement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, agreeing to pay up to $10 million to resolve claims the company used deceptive business practices and violated state telemarketing regulations, according to a Thursday filing in Delaware bankruptcy court.

  • December 12, 2019

    Germany Fines Steel Makers $718M For Price-Fixing

    Germany’s antitrust authority has levied fines totaling €646 million ($718 million) against Thyssenkrupp and two other steel manufacturers for colluding on price surcharges for steel products used in bridges, ships, boilers and pipelines.

  • December 12, 2019

    Inventor Blames Seyfarth For Loss Of Patent Control

    An inventor in Texas claims Seyfarth Shaw LLP conspired with his former business partner and others to get him to inadvertently sign over control of a patent for a proprietary cleaning method for use in the energy industry.

  • December 12, 2019

    Crystallex Bid To Enforce $1.4B Venezuela Award Put On Ice

    A Delaware federal judge on Thursday paused efforts by Crystallex to enforce an arbitral award against Venezuela now worth some $1.4 billion, citing a litany of reasons, including U.S. sanctions and the "greater-than-usual" possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court may take up the case.

  • December 12, 2019

    Charter Hall, REITs Drop $861M On Australia Properties

    Charter Hall Group and real estate investment trusts affiliated with the company have picked up a minority stake in a retail portfolio and purchased an industrial property in acquisitions worth a combined AU$1.25 billion ($861.4 million), according to an announcement Thursday from the Australia-based real estate firm.

  • December 12, 2019

    6th Circ. Limits FERC Power Deal Authority In Ch. 11

    A divided Sixth Circuit panel said Thursday that bankruptcy courts have the final word over whether utilities can abandon power purchase agreements in Chapter 11, but must seek the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's input on whether shedding such power deals are in the public interest.

Expert Analysis

  • NY, NJ Offshore Wind Bids Buoy State-Level Renewables Push

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    Recent actions in New Jersey and New York to advance offshore wind power projects are part of a growing surge of clean energy development by state and local governments, says Scott Press of Goldberg Segalla.

  • FERC Guidance Aims To Foster Hydropower At Mines, Dams

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    Recent guidance from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will streamline development of hydroelectric projects at nonpowered dams and abandoned mines — where new environmental impacts will be minimal and much of the construction and regulatory work is already done, say Daniel Skees and Robert Goldfin of Morgan Lewis.

  • Strategies To Maintain Privilege In Crisis Response Scenarios

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    In several recent cases, courts have overridden claims that attorney-client privilege applies to communications with public relations firms in connection with litigation and to documents generated in internal investigations, but businesses can use several best practices to avoid the potential risk of waiving privilege, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

  • US Strengthened And Expanded Economic Sanctions In 2019

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    Stateside regulation of economic sanctions continued at a breakneck pace this year, with new rules targeting Venezuela, Cuba, Turkey and Iran, expanded guidance from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and one of the most active enforcement years on record, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

  • How To Ward Off Nonclient Suits Over Lawyers' Speech

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    Because lawyers are often sued by nonclients based on public statements they have made, lawyers should be trained to avoid potentially actionable statements when speaking and writing, and they should also understand the overarching defenses against such lawsuits, says Matthew O’Hara at Freeborn & Peters.

  • Product Liability Claims Can Be A Global Threat To Cos.

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    When allegations of product risks related to health, safety or the environment spread from one jurisdiction to countries around the world, they can lead to both policy responses and mass litigation that can jeopardize companies' business models, says Sylvie Gallage-Alwis of Signature Litigation.

  • State Net

    What State Lawmakers Will Be Focused On In 2020

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    A number of issues are expected to figure prominently on state legislative agendas in the coming year, including subjects as diverse as election reform, 5G technology, online marketplaces and insurance fraud, says Korey Clark of State Net Capitol Journal.

  • Justices Weigh Property Rights Against Superfund Plans

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    At U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in Atlantic Richfield v. Christian, the justices seemed wary of the idea that the federal Superfund law could allow property owners to unilaterally supplement a government-selected cleanup plan, say Joshua Frank and Martha Thomsen of Baker Botts.

  • What Is A 'Reasonably Useful Form' For Production Of ESI?

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    While federal rules require production of electronically stored information in its native format or a "reasonably useful form," recent court rulings offer guidance on avoiding production of ESI in its native format when it would be unduly burdensome, say Matthew Hamilton and Donna Fisher at Pepper Hamilton.

  • 4 Ways Tribal Nations Can Leverage Opportunity Zones

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    The ecosystem of both capital and support services rapidly developing around opportunity zone investment provides tribal nations with an unparalleled opportunity to attract new investors by recasting and rebranding private economic development opportunities, says Bo Kemp at FaegreBD.

  • Renewable Power Co. Hack Highlights Security Concerns

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    The North American Electric Reliability Corporation's recent report on a first-of-its-kind cyberattack against renewable energy provider sPower calls attention to the need for energy companies to use both technology and human skills to defend against evolving threats, says Jack Pringle of Adams and Reese.

  • Innovative Collaborations Require Antitrust Flexibility

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    Joint initiatives by companies active in the same industry are much needed to tackle major challenges like sustainability and digital transformation, but such partnerships may require special exemptions from international antitrust authorities, says Tilman Kuhn of White & Case.

  • Evolving Deference Principles May Affect Tax Matters

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    Agency deference is sure to be a hot topic for taxpayers and their representatives in 2020, as several important cases addressed the issue this year, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have provided an incredible amount of guidance since 2017’s tax overhaul, say Andrew Roberson and Kevin Spencer at McDermott.

  • Patent Decision Highlights Cross-Appeal Considerations

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    The Federal Circuit's recent decision in IPR Licensing overruled precedent to hold that the cross-appeal rule is not jurisdictional, demonstrating the complexity of this seemingly simple rule and its various applications within the circuit courts, says Michael Soyfer at Quinn Emanuel.

  • What NY And Mass. Exxon Climate Suits Mean For Other Cos.

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    New York state's securities fraud case against Exxon Mobil over its public stance on climate change has some weaknesses, but Massachusetts' climate-related suit against the company on consumer protection grounds should lead other companies to consider their exposure to such claims, says Alana Rusin of Goulston & Storrs.