Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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Alberta Judgment a Strong Reminder to Exercise Caution When Claiming Litigation Privilege Protection

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently released its decision in TransAlta Corporation v. Market Surveillance Administrator (TransAlta v. MSA), ordering TransAlta Corporation (TransAlta) to produce hundreds of documents...more

D.C. District Court Denies Utility’s Intervention Because of Timing

On March 17, 2015, the D.C. District Court denied the Public Service Company of New Hampshire’s (PSNH’s) motion to intervene in a Sierra Club-initiated proceeding urging the U.S. EPA to object to a Title V permit for one of...more

Supreme Court’s Perez Decision Shines the Light on Federal Agencies’ Authority to Use “Interpretations” (Often called Shadow...

Over the last three decades, federal agencies have increasingly used “interpretations” to “explain” what a formal regulation means, rather than to go through the more expensive, complicated and slow process of changing the...more

Amicalola EMC Prevails in Dispute over Chattahoochee Technical College

After a decision in favor of Amicalola EMC under the large-load (900kW) exception of the Georgia Territorial Act, Georgia Power Company has agreed to relinquish the disputed building to Amicalola EMC to serve. ...more

Source Aggregation: Recent Court Decision Addresses Whether Certain Facilities are "Adjacent"

On February 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a decision finding eight compressor stations to be "separate sources" under the Clean Air Act and State of Pennsylvania regulations....more

No Exception for Energy Management Patent—CBM Review Instituted - Opower Inc. v. Cleantech Business Solutions

In its decision to institute a covered business method (CBM) patent review of an energy management patent, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) agreed with the petitioner...more

PUC Steps In To Protect Supplier From Defending Phantom Allegations and Complaints Outside Its Jurisdiction

Granting a Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissing Complaints filed against a competitive electric generation supplier (EGS), Blue Pilot Energy (Blue Pilot), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) issued an...more

Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when...more

FERC Issues Order to Show Cause to Maxim Power

On February 2, 2015, FERC issued an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty to Maxim Power Corporation and its named subsidiaries (“Maxim”), jointly and severally, as well as executive, Kyle Mitton (the “Order”)....more

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Revenue Decoupling for Natural Gas Rates

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Appellate Court’s decision in People ex rel. Madigan v. Illinois Commerce Commission, approving the use of the so-called...more

FERC Protects a QF’s PURPA Right to Sell Net Output

On January 22, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order reaffirming a qualifying facility’s (QF) right to sell all of its net output to a utility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act...more

Reversing Course, EPA Tightens Its RCRA Hazardous Waste Recycling Rules

After years of relative easing in its interpretation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act rules that govern industrial recycling, the Environmental Protection Agency is now taking a harder line. A recently issued...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide FutureGen Clean Coal Dispute

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an issue of potentially enormous consequence to a major Illinois utility, agreeing to review an order of the Illinois Commerce Commission...more

FERC Will Seek Supreme Court Review of the Decision Striking Down Order 745

Last Friday, FERC sought a further stay of the decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down FERC Order 745. Whereas the United States had previously only indicated that it was considering filing a cert....more

DOT Denies Request to Prohibit Shipment of Bakken Crude Oil on Older Tank Cars; Environmental Groups Push Battle to Courtroom

On December 2, 2014 following the Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) November 7, 2014 denial of their request for an immediate ban on use of older DOT-111 or CTC-111 railcars for the shipment of crude oil from the Bakken...more

EPA Does Not Have a Nondiscretionary Duty to Revise PSD Regulations When It Amends a NAAQS

On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA does not have an obligation to amend PSD regulations for a criteria pollutant within two years of revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for that...more

5th Circuit Denies Louisiana Public Service Commission’s Petition for Review of FERC’s Entergy Bandwidth Implementation Orders

On November 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit denied the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s (LPSC) petition for review of various Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders on the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Reinstates Attorney General's Appeal from Illinois Commerce Commission Order

On Thursday morning, the Illinois Supreme Court resolved a confused issue in utilities law, holding unanimously in The People of the State of Illinois ex rel. Madigan v. Illinois Commerce Commission that the 35-day period...more

Sixth Circuit Dismisses Whistleblower’s Claims Made By Job Applicant

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a job applicant lacks standing to bring whistle-blower claims under the Energy Reorganization Act and the False Claims Act (“FCA”) because those laws’...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Whistleblower Statute

During the September term, the Illinois Supreme Court debated an important question about the scope of the state Whistleblower Act: does a plaintiff state a claim under the statute by alleging that the defendant falsified...more

Supreme Court Asked to Allow Immediate Judicial Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

A landfill developer has asked the Supreme Court to review a decision of the Fifth Circuit holding that a jurisdictional determination by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not final agency action subject to judicial review....more

The Fate of FERC Demand Response Order No. 745: Efforts to Adapt While the Judicial and Complaint Processes Play Out

Since our last update regarding the D.C. Circuit’s vacatur of FERC Order No. 745 in Electric Power Supply Ass’n v. FERC ( “EPSA”), several developments have occurred in EPSA and related proceedings. The appeals process and...more

Ninth Circuit Rebuffs Shell’s Declaratory Judgment Act Suit

The Ninth Circuit recently rejected “a novel litigation strategy” under the Declaratory Judgment Act (DJA). Shell Gulf of Mex. v. Ctr. for Biological Div., 13-35835 (9th Cir. Nov. 12, 2014) (Slip Op.). According to the Ninth...more

Courts Uphold Supplemental Assessment of Wells and Related Facilities/Improvements; and Validate Use of Cost Approach

The County of Kern Tax Assessor’s (“Assessor”) use of the cost approach to value to appraise new oil and gas wells for the purpose of levying supplemental assessments has been upheld by the Fifth District Court of Appeal. In...more

Numerous Parties Line Up in Support of Petition in Delta Smelt Case

As we reported here, on October 6, 2014, a number of public water agencies and other entities that represent agricultural and municipal water users in California filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme...more

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