Environmental

  • January 15, 2021

    John Hancock Can't Keep Trading Info From Porsche: 1st Circ.

    The First Circuit affirmed a decision Friday to allow Porsche U.S. discovery of John Hancock Life Insurance affiliates' trading activity and strategies for use in a securities fraud action brought in Germany related to the Volkswagen-led emissions cheating scandal.

  • January 15, 2021

    Trump Auto Emissions Rollback Faces Heat From All Sides

    Foes of the Trump administration's rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and fuel-economy standards urged the D.C. Circuit to undo the change, with environmental and energy groups saying the rollback went too far while a deregulation supporter argued it didn't go far enough.

  • January 15, 2021

    Fishing Group Accuses Pacific Bell Of Polluting Lake Tahoe

    Lead-filled cables owned by the Pacific Bell Telephone Company are leaching into the waters of Lake Tahoe and releasing toxins, an environmental group alleged in a suit filed in California federal court.

  • January 15, 2021

    9th Circ. Judge Calls VW Dealers' Fraud Appeal 'A Little Odd'

    A Ninth Circuit judge appeared skeptical Friday of reviving franchised Volkswagen dealerships' proposed class claims that auto parts maker Bosch is liable for helping mastermind the 2015 "clean diesel" emissions-cheating scandal, saying their arguments are "a little odd" because it seems like they "in some ways, benefited from the fraud."

  • January 15, 2021

    $1B Power Project Gets Trump OK, But 1st Circ. Roadblock

    The First Circuit blocked construction Friday on part of a controversial $1 billion clean energy development that would connect New England to Canadian hydroelectric power, just a day after the Trump administration granted the project a key cross-border permit.

  • January 15, 2021

    Up Next At High Court: Media Diversity And Climate Suits

    The U.S. Supreme Court has a light workload in the week ahead, due in part to the chief justice's duty to administer President-elect Joe Biden's oath of office Wednesday. But the court will hear a pair of cases, both on Tuesday, about diversity in media ownership and where to file climate change lawsuits.

  • January 15, 2021

    Biden, New Congress Offer Historic Opportunities For Tribes

    The incoming Biden administration's progressive ambitions, coupled with a newly Democratic Congress, could mean unprecedented opportunities for tribes not only to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, but to kickstart their economic recovery and address long-standing environmental, infrastructure and land issues.

  • January 15, 2021

    DC Circ. Won't Pause Methane Monitoring Rollback

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday rejected environmental groups' effort to block parts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's less restrictive policy on methane emissions for new and modified oil and gas infrastructure while litigation plays out.

  • January 15, 2021

    Blue States Challenge EPA Aircraft GHG Emissions Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new gas emissions standards for aircraft won't actually result in new reductions, said 12 attorneys general from California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and other Democrat-led states plus the District of Columbia in announcing a D.C. Circuit challenge Friday.

  • January 15, 2021

    Ariz. Copper Mine Plan Enters Next Stage Amid Court Fight

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday released the final environmental impact statement for a land swap that would allow for copper mining on lands sacred to the Apache tribe in Arizona, as indigenous advocates continue to fight the project.

  • January 15, 2021

    Treasury Sanctions Cuban Interior Agency, Top Minister

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury levied new sanctions on Friday against the Cuban interior ministry for purported human rights abuses, the latest action taken against Cuba in the last stretch of the Trump administration.

  • January 15, 2021

    Total Dumps Oil Group Membership Over Climate Policy Split

    Global oil giant Total SA on Friday left the American Petroleum Institute, saying the climate change policy gap between the U.S. trade group and the company can't be bridged.

  • January 15, 2021

    Saint-Gobain Says Tainted-Water Claimants Can't Form Class

    Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. and three other companies facing claims in connection with perfluorooctanoic acid contamination in a New York town's drinking water argued against residents' bid for class certification, saying that blaming the problem largely on one facility obscured the messy reality of the case.

  • January 15, 2021

    Biden Taps Ex-Air Office Chief For EPA's No. 2 Post

    President-elect Joe Biden on Friday picked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's former air office chief to serve in the agency's No. 2 post during his administration.

  • January 15, 2021

    Va. Whiskey Distillery Hit With Criminal Wastewater Charges

    A Virginia distillery and its executive have been indicted on 115 mostly felony charges of violating state water laws, the first criminal charges brought by the state for environmental violations, Virginia's attorney general announced Friday.

  • January 14, 2021

    9th Circ. Denies Advocate's Nuke Decommissioning Challenge

    The Ninth Circuit has rejected a California public safety advocate's challenge of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decommissioning plan for a nuclear plant on the Pacific coast, saying the group didn't show the federal government "abdicated" its safety responsibilities.

  • January 14, 2021

    Flint Water Charges Will Test Limit Of Officials' Accountability

    Indictments unveiled Thursday against nine current and former Michigan state and local officials accused of playing a role in the Flint drinking water contamination crisis send a strong message to elected officials that there is a limit to the leeway granted them as decision makers.

  • January 14, 2021

    Biden Floats Stimulus Checks, Credits In $1.9T Of Virus Relief

    President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion plan Thursday designed to rescue the economy from the novel coronavirus pandemic by providing more business and individual tax incentives, creating jobs and supporting medical professionals.

  • January 14, 2021

    DOJ Civil Division Head Departs Trump Administration

    Jeffrey Bossert Clark resigned Thursday from his role leading the U.S. Department of Justice's civil and environmental divisions, where he played a leading role defending the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda in court, according to a DOJ representative.

  • January 14, 2021

    EPA Sued Over Florida's New Water Permitting Powers

    The Trump administration cut corners in its rush to give Florida rare control over the Clean Water Act's Section 404 permitting requirements in the state despite considerable questions about the environmental impacts that remain, environmental groups said Thursday.

  • January 14, 2021

    5 Things To Expect From FERC Under Biden's Administration

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will focus on closely scrutinizing the climate change impacts of gas projects and will work to further increase renewable energy's access to the U.S. electricity grid after President-elect Joe Biden takes office next week. Here are five policy moves FERC watchers expect the commission to make.

  • January 14, 2021

    DC Circ. Nixes Trump Bid To Rethink House Border Wall Case

    The full D.C. Circuit bench said it won't reconsider a panel's order last year allowing House Democrats to challenge President Donald Trump's diversion of $8.1 billion for a border wall, a rebuke coming less than a week before the Trump presidency comes to an end.

  • January 14, 2021

    Insurer Eyes Early Win In Pipeline Co.'s $5M D&O Suit

    Federal Insurance Co. urged an Oklahoma federal judge to grant it an early win in a suit in which pipeline company T.D. Williamson Inc. is seeking over $5 million in coverage for a former director's suit, arguing the policy's "insured versus insured" exclusion applies.

  • January 14, 2021

    EPA Failed Mass. Immigrant Communities, Groups Say

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed East Boston immigrant communities by refusing to investigate claims that Massachusetts regulators approved an electric transmission project without providing translators during public comment periods, environmental groups say.

  • January 14, 2021

    OCC Finalizes 'Fair Access' Rule In Last-Minute Push

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Thursday it has finalized its "fair access" rule limiting the ability of bigger national banks to stop lending to fossil fuel companies, gun makers and other politically controversial businesses, a move that's already being condemned by bankers and consumer advocates as midnight rulemaking.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    6 Ways Financial Regulators Should Prioritize Climate Risk

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    As the Biden administration prepares to take office, financial regulators must resolve to collaborate with each other and industries to manage the financial risks from climate change after years of obstruction by the Trump administration, says New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell.

  • 4 Legal Industry Trends Litigation Financiers Are Watching

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    Some recent litigation developments demonstrate efforts by law firms and their clients to search for opportunities in the COVID-19 economic fallout, while others — such as the rise of contingency fee arrangements — reflect acceleration of tendencies that were already underway, says William Weisman at Therium Capital.

  • How EU Climate Regs May Affect US Private Fund Managers

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    As compliance dates for the European Commission's environmental, social and governance rules draw closer, U.S. private fund managers should be aware that EU investors and subsidiaries could trigger climate risk data requests and compliance obligations, says Trysha Daskam at Silver Regulatory.

  • Lenders' Role Will Be Key In NYC Green Building Loans

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    New York City's Climate Mobilization Act, which will soon restrict large buildings' carbon emissions, provides for a loan program to help owners finance energy-efficient improvements — but the program's success will depend on mortgage lenders' participation, says Jason Rozes at Dechert.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Setting Well-Being Goals In 2021

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    In the face of rising client demands due to the pandemic and the changing regulatory environment, and with remote work continuing for the foreseeable future, lawyers should invest in their well-being by establishing inspiring yet realistic goals for 2021 — one month at a time, says Krista Larson at Morgan Lewis.

  • IRS Continuity Safe Harbor Will Aid Renewable Projects

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    Recent Internal Revenue Service guidance expanding the continuity safe harbor to protect tax credit eligibility for qualified offshore and federal land renewable energy projects will provide certainty for developers who often face significant construction and permitting delays, say attorneys at Mayer Brown.

  • Building The Hydrogen Sector Will Require New Laws, Regs

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    Hydrogen's potential as a clean fuel and energy storage medium has captured the imaginations of governments, environmental advocates and energy sector players, but project developers will need to work with legislators and regulators to craft new use-appropriate policies, say James Bowe and William Rice at King & Spalding.

  • Keyword Searches To Improve Your Privilege Doc Review

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    "Confidential" and other search terms commonly used to locate privileged documents during e-discovery are pretty ineffective, so practitioners should consider including specific types of keywords that are demonstrably better at targeting privilege, say Robert Keeling at Sidley and Rishi Chhatwal at AT&T.

  • The Benefits Of More Alternative Dispute Resolution At GAO

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    While disruption amid the pandemic undoubtedly contributed to a 210% uptick in the use of alternative dispute resolution at the U.S. Government Accountability Office in fiscal year 2020, bid protest practitioners should hope the upward trend continues given the various efficiencies it brings to the procurement process, says Noah Bleicher at Jenner & Block.

  • ABA Approves Remote Practice, But Questions Remain

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    Lawyers working remotely during the pandemic while physically outside the jurisdictions in which they are licensed will find some comfort in a recent American Bar Association opinion sanctioning such practice, but there is ambiguity regarding the contours of what's allowed, say attorneys at Harris Wiltshire.

  • Keys To Creating Standout Law Firm Thought Leadership

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    Whether geared toward a global audience or a particular client, a law firm's articles, blog posts and client alerts should strive to be original by harnessing a few editorial tools and following the right distribution sequence, say Steven Andersen and Tal Donahue at Infinite Global.

  • Perspectives

    Judges On Race: The Power Of Discretion In Criminal Justice

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    Judges should take into consideration the several points of law enforcement and prosecutorial discretion — from traffic stops to charging decisions and sentencing recommendations — that often lead to race-based disparate treatment before a criminal defendant even reaches the courthouse, say Judge Juan Villaseñor and Laurel Quinto at Colorado's Eighth Judicial District Court.

  • Expect New SEC Leadership To Require More ESG Reporting

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    President-elect Joe Biden's eventual pick to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will likely increase public companies' environmental, social and governance disclosure obligations through new rules and guidance on climate risks and other ESG areas, say Frank Zarb and Louis Rambo at Proskauer.

  • Buyers May Be Wary Of Climate-Driven PG&E Asset Sale

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    PG&E's plan to sell its Pleasant Creek natural gas storage field will allow the utility to avoid decommissioning and remediation costs, and it aligns with regulators' desire to see the company move in a climate-friendly direction — but buyers may be leery of such assets for the same reasons, say Vidhya Prabhakaran and Patrick Ferguson at Davis Wright.

  • 5 Attorney Business Development Tips For The New Year

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    Lawyers should remember that the basics of interpersonal relationships have not changed despite the completely virtual environment caused by the pandemic, and should leverage the new year as an excuse to connect with clients in several ways, say Megan Senese and Courtney Hudson at Pillsbury.

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