Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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Court in BP Oil Spill Litigation Denies Standing for Special Purpose Entities Created Solely for Litigation

A January 4, 2016 opinion in the Southern District of Texas by Judge Keith Ellison (“Op.”) in the In re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, MDL No. 4:10-md-2185, has taken up the issue of whether plaintiffs can properly assign...more

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and...more

Supreme Court Affirms FERC Demand Response Authority

Last week, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling affirming that federal regulators may encourage large electricity users to reduce consumption at peak times in exchange for price breaks, a practice known as “demand...more

Supreme Court Update: Montgomery V. Louisiana (14-280), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission V. Electric Power Supply Association...

The decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana (14-280) was a biggie, and not just because it retroactively applied the Court's 2012 holding that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth...more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

Prognosticating the Ozone Standard Litigation: EPA to Win, Environmental Petitioners to Place, Murray Energy to Show

Last week, the “Public Health and Environmental Petitioners” challenging EPA’s decision not to reduce the ozone standard below 0.070 ppm filed their “Non-Binding Statement of Issues.” My crystal ball still tells me that the...more

Ohio Supreme Court: Form Oil and Gas Lease Not Void as Against Public Policy

Earlier this week, in an unsurprising but nevertheless meaningful decision, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the standard form oil and gas lease at issue was not “perpetual,” and thus was not void as against...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Kamala Harris Puts Exxon Under Her Microscope: California AG Reportedly Has Launched Review of Oil Giant’s Statements On Climate...

Students of history know that fighting a two front war is a hazard to be avoided. According to the L.A. Times, however, that is precisely the dilemma that now faces Exxon Mobil: dual investigations from attorneys general on...more

Renewable Energy Update - January 2016 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - The Verdict Is In: CPUC Preserves Net Metering In California - Solar Industry - Jan 28 In a 3-2 vote this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its long-awaited...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: A Legislative Outlook

Over the next eight weeks, we will provide a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector in a series of alerts. In this series, attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds FERC Jurisdiction Over Demand Response

On January 25, 2016, in a 6-2 decision delivered by Justice Kagan, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Federal Power Act to require wholesale market...more

US Supreme Court Holds FERC Has Jurisdiction Over Demand Response

Decision brings more clarity to jurisdictional boundaries between state public utility regulatory commissions and FERC set forth by the Federal Power Act. On January 25, the US Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, ruled in...more

108 Year-Old Lease Survives

A baseball question: You’ve got men on late in the game; a base hit to the right side wins. Do you put the bat on the ball for a single or swing for the deep seats, risking the game-ending strikeout?...more

Washington State Court of Appeals Holds Vested Permit Applications Are Not Subject to New Municipal Stormwater Requirements

The development community won a victory in Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals in a ruling that excludes pending permit applications from the new low-impact development stormwater regulations that large...more

Supreme Court Upholds FERC's Jurisdiction Over Wholesale Demand Response Programs

On January 25, 2016, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) jurisdiction over wholesale demand response programs in a 6-2 decision.  Please click here to read the decision,...more

Good Law Catches Up With Good Policy: The Supreme Court Upholds FERC’s Demand Response Order

The Supreme Court today affirmed FERC’s Order No. 745, which required that demand response resources be treated the same as generation resources when participating in wholesale electricity markets. I’m feeling vindicated,...more

New California Laws: AB 1390 and SB 226: More Groundwater

Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills designed to make groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. Companion bills Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 are intended to streamline...more

Supreme Court Decides Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association and EnerNOC, Inc. v. Electric...

On January 25, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association, No. 14-840, together with EnerNOC, Inc. v. Electric Power Supply Association, No. 14-841,...more

One Arbitration Binds the Next: Alberta Court of Appeal Says Res Judicata Applies to Arbitrations

The doctrines of res judicata and issue estoppel can, as a matter of law, apply to subsequent arbitration proceedings, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held in Enmax Energy Corporation v TransAlta Generation Partnership,...more

Third Circuit Reaffirms High Burden To Establish Delegation Of Class Arbitrability Determination

Earlier this month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed its holding that the availability of class arbitration constitutes a question of arbitrability to be decided by courts unless the arbitration agreement...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal Gas Co. expects to cap Porter Ranch gas leak ahead of schedule - CBS Los Angeles - Jan 19 An ongoing natural gas leak that has affected residents in the Porter Ranch-area...more

Clean Power Plan Litigation Update–Court Denies Stay, but Sets Expedited Schedule for Decision

On January 21, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied numerous requests to delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. While declining to put a...more

New Mexico Files RCRA Notice of Intent to Sue EPA

On January 14th, the State of New Mexico provided the legally required notice under the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to sue the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of...more

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