Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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A double defeat for EPA on regional haze regulations

On Friday, July 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) a stinging double defeat on its partial disapproval of Texas’ regional haze rule (the...more

Supreme Court of Missouri Holds No Right to an Immediate Appeal from an Interlocutory Order Overruling a Motion to Intervene as a...

State ex rel. Koster v. ConocoPhillips Company, 2016 WL 3554339 (Mo.banc June 28, 2016), abrogating Eckhoff v. Eckhoff, 242 S.W.3d 466 (Mo.App. W.D. 2008), Coon ex rel. Coon v. American Compressed Steel, 133 S.W.3d 75...more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

Midstream Contracts Remain in Doubt in Bankruptcy

By now, both producers and midstream companies are aware of the Bankruptcy Court decisions in the Sabine bankruptcy proceedings (i) rejecting the gas gathering agreements as executory contracts and (ii) determining that the...more

Colorado Court Applies Notice-Prejudice Rule to Pollution Buy-Back Endorsement

In its recent decision in MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., 2016 Colo. App. LEXIS 956 (Colo. App. July 14, 2016), the Court of Appeals of Colorado had occasion to consider whether Colorado’s...more

DC Circuit Judge Rogers Delivers 3 Important Administrative Rulings in 1 Day

July 15 was a busy day at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as five important decisions werethree issued. What was remarkable and worth noting is that Judge Judith Rogers, a member of the court...more

US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit delays oral arguments in Clean Power Plan litigation

On May 16, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that it was delaying scheduled June 2 oral arguments before a three-judge panel in litigation over the Clean Power Plan. Instead, the DC...more

D.C. Circuit Questions FERC’s Policy Statement on Income Tax Allowances

On July 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in United Airlines, Inc., et al. v. FERC. This oil pipeline rate case appeal involves SFPP, L.P., a pipeline organized as a limited...more

Lack of Court Direction Requires Developers and Lenders to Estimate Their Own Significance Thresholds for GHG Emissions Past 2020

This June, the California Supreme Court heard the last set of oral arguments before breaking for the summer. Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, 231 Cal.App.4th 1056 (2014)...more

D.C. Circuit Reopens Controversy Concerning Regulated Master Limited Partnership Taxation

On Friday, July 1, 2016, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reopened the issue of whether pipelines organized as partnerships can claim a tax allowance for ratemaking purposes...more

Sabine Lives On (and On): Bankruptcy Court Rejects Immediate Appeal to Second Circuit and Motion for Stay

On June 16, 2016, The Bankruptcy Cave gave you our summary of the controversial Sabine decision. At that time, post-hearing motions were pending. As luck would have it (we at The Bankruptcy Cave should start wagering on...more

DC Circuit Joins 7th Circuit in Holding Mobile-Sierra Contract Protection Inapplicable to Transmission Owner Rights of First...

Several months ago, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) order overriding contracts between the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and incumbent utilities...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

Business Litigation Report - June 2016

Federal Circuit Recognizes New, but Limited, Privilege for Patent Agent Communications - Introduction - Patent agents are licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and...more

SCOTUS Puts an End to Ecuador’s Appeal of $96 Million Arbitration Award in Favor of Chevron

A long-running dispute between Chevron and Ecuador appears to have reached its end after the Supreme Court declined to take up Ecuador’s question of whether United States courts had jurisdiction to confirm a $96 million...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Analysis in Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG Projects

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected two related challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of the Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG...more

The federal-state energy regulatory divide: The new order after Learjet, EPSA and Hughes

In three recent decisions (the Three Decisions), the US Supreme Court (the Court) drew a sharp dividing line between the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) and that of the states to...more

Texas Comptroller Prevails in Tax Exemption Claim

A fight over the Texas sales tax drew industry-wide attention when the trial judge commented from the bench that he was inclined to exempt purchases of casing, tubing, pumps and related services from Texas state sales tax....more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

Subpoenas and SLAPP Motions to Dismiss

If an individual or entity believes a subpoena is aimed at silencing debate on a matter of public interest, can it invoke the DC anti-SLAPP statute in response?  That is the question presented by a recent anti-SLAPP motion...more

A Development in Trade-Secret Cases

The big trade-secret case, Southwestern Energy v. Berry-Helfand, has been worked over by the Texas Supreme Court. Highlights: - Lack of certainty in damages does not preclude recovery. - A “Flexible and...more

Eighth Circuit Panel Rules Minnesota Climate Change Law Unconstitutional

Today, the Eighth Circuit determined that the Next Generation Energy Act (“NGEA”), a Minnesota law that established power sector standards for carbon dioxide emissions, was unconstitutional. In so doing, the Court affirmed...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

Does the Supreme Court’s ruling in Cavendish increase the likelihood of JOA forfeiture provisions being enforceable?

In November 2015, the Supreme Court took the opportunity to review and recast the English law on penalties, in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67. The decision has been of particular interest to...more

Distressed Download

Lessons from Sabine - In March, Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman held that Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. satisfied the standards for rejection of several gathering and handling agreements between Sabine and its midstream...more

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