Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term. This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law. Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted...more

Landowners, Developers Win Big In Wetlands Case

Building on a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Eighth Circuit ruled on April 10th that Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be challenged in a “pre-enforcement”...more

When Uncertainty Surrounds California Solar Project, Court Defers to Agency Not Tortoise

Project opponents have been invoking the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with increasing regularity in an attempt to block the construction of large-scale renewable energy projects. ...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Regional Water Quality Control Board's TMDL Based on Pollutants in Lake Bed Sediment

On March 30, 2015, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upheld a novel, sediment-based total maximum daily load (TMDL) set by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) for McGrath...more

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

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