Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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San Francisco Cannot Sue Federal Agency For Gas Explosion Under APA

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit issued its Opinion in City & County of San Francisco v. US Department of Transportation, holding the City may not proceed against the Secretary of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Price-Anderson Act Does Not Preempt Nuisance Claims

This decision departs from all other federal circuits that have addressed the issue and, if adopted by other courts, represents a significant expansion of potential liability for operators in the nuclear energy industry....more

The D.C. Circuit Sends EPA Back to the Drawing Board to Fix Its Transport Rule Emissions Budgets

The Clean Air Act’s good neighbor provision prohibits upwind states from emitting air pollutants in amounts that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” of a national ambient air quality standard in a downwind state....more

EPA and the Army Corps Seeking to Consolidate Challenges to Recently Issued “Waters of the United States” Rule

Since the EPA and the Army Corps published the final rule defining “waters of the United States” on June 29, 2015, 72 plaintiffs have already filed ten separate complaints in eight federal district courts challenging the...more

California Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Case

Action Means the Closely Watched Tiered Water Rate Case Is Final - The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied requests to depublish the appellate court opinion in Capistrano Taxpayers Association v. City of San...more

Fate of Injection Wells in Historically Exempt Aquifers Comes Closer to Determination

A lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California took a positive turn for energy producers last week as Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez denied plaintiffs’...more

PA Court Holds That Natural Gas Producer Improperly Deducted Fees

Post-production costs deducted from gas royalties, such as interstate transportation charges and marketing costs, must be incurred while a producer still holds title to the gas....more

Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Parties May Adjudicate Contract Disputes Through Application Despite Factual Questions

In a recent decision, Energy Fundamentals Group Inc. v. Veresen Inc. (Veresen), the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that, even where there are factual questions the court must resolve, a contract dispute may be adjudicated...more

First Water Curtailment Action Filed in California

In the first of possibly many enforcement actions this year, the State Water Resource Control Board issued a draft cease-and-desist order against West Side Irrigation District in Tracy, Calif., demanding the District curb its...more

Foes of the NJDEP $225 Million Settlement with Exxon Mobil Must File “Friend of the Court” Briefs Today

After denying their motions to intervene last week (see our coverage here), Judge Hogan issued a Scheduling Order that sets today as the deadline for the eight environmental organizations and State Senator Lesniak (D-Union)...more

Two Strikes and Oklahoma’s Out (For Now): Another Challenge to the Clean Power Plan Is Rejected

On Friday, Judge Claire Eagan dismissed Oklahoma’s latest challenge to EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Yes, that plan. The one that hasn’t been promulgated yet....more

Too Little, Too Late: Judge Denies Environmental Groups’ Motion to Intervene in Chris Christie’s Exxon Mobil Settlement

A New Jersey state judge ruled on Monday that eight environmental groups and a New Jersey state senator cannot intervene to challenge the $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil proposed by the New Jersey Department of...more

The 10th Circuit Affirms Colorado’s RPS; The Dormant Commerce Clause Remains Dormant

When Colorado enacted a referendum petition strengthening its renewable portfolio standard, the Energy and Environment Legal Institute sued, arguing that the RPS violates the dormant commerce clause, because it harms...more

Who Can Sue Polluters? New Texas Law HB 1794 Stirs Debate

A perspective on new Texas legislation HB 1794 by Gerald Pels one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years....more

Third Circuit Upholds Chesapeake Bay TMDL

On July 6, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in the case of American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA (No. 13-4079). The ruling, which affirmed an earlier district decision upholding the U.S....more

Supreme Court Ruling on EPA Mercury Rule: Utilities Wins the Battle, But Lose the War

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants from coal-fired power plants if the agency determines that such “regulation is appropriate and necessary” after studying the hazards the...more

MATS is Dead, Long Live MATS – the Michigan v. EPA Decision

On June 29th the Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated opinion on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The decision faulted EPA for not considering the costs of the standards...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Holds EPA Must Consider Costs in Deciding to Regulate Power Plants

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 29th decision in Michigan v. EPA, taken together with another significant CAA opinion from last term, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, demonstrates the Court’s proclivity for subjecting...more

County Waited Too Long to Assess

In Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 1406 C.D. 2014 (May 28, 2015), the Court found that the Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals conducted an impermissible spot reassessment...more

Back to the Drawing Board: Supreme Court Sets Aside EPA Regulations On Mercury Emissions from Power Plants

The Supreme Court on Monday dealt a setback to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants – the “mercury rule.” In Michigan v. Environmental Protection...more

Oklahoma Holds Question of Whether Fracking Causes Earthquakes is for the Courts to Decide.

The issue of whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes has first-party insurance implications because policies typically exclude damage from tremors attributable to man-made causes as opposed to purely...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Delivering a sharp blow to President Obama’s efforts to regulate coal plants, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule, finding that...more

Supreme Court Halts Implementation of EPA Rule on Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: The Practical Effects Are...

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court halted further implementation of a U.S. EPA’s regulation limiting mercury and other hazardous air toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired electric power plants. In a 5-4 decision, the...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms That Pennsylvania Law Does Not Recognize Automatic “Equitable Extensions” of Oil and Gas...

On June 25, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania’s prior entry of summary judgment in favor of the lessor plaintiffs on the...more

Supreme Court Decision Could Limit EPA's Authority Over Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered another warning to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against overstepping its statutory authority under the Clean Air Act. In Michigan v. Environmental Protection...more

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