Civil Remedies Energy & Utilities

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EPA Releases Annual Environmental Enforcement Results

December 18, 2014, marked the release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual environmental enforcement and compliance results. See News Release, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Announces 2014...more

Listen to the Words In the Injunction Battle

In Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Offshore, LLC, the surface and 1/6 of the minerals of the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area is owned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 5/6th of the minerals is owned by the...more

Letters of credit, on-demand bonds, and the "fraud exception"

On the 9th of September 2014, the Privy Council in the United Kingdom delivered a judgment in Alternative Power Solution Ltd. v. Central Electricity Board reaffirming the established principle that, other than in cases of...more

Womble Client Wins Stormwater Case in Charlottesville

Another victory in Central Virginia for Womble Carlyle. Last week, Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins ruled in favor of the Shops at Stonefield (also known as Albemarle Place), finding the stormwater...more

Louisiana Town Files Second Suit to Block Oil and Gas Well

The Town of Abita Springs filed a suit on December 1, 2014, seeking a declaratory judgment to block the drilling of an oil and gas well about 40 miles north of New Orleans into the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Earlier this year,...more

FERC Issues Annual Enforcement Report

On November 20, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Enforcement issued its Report on Enforcement, detailing its activities in 2014. These activities continued to focus on three areas...more

2014 FERC Enforcement Report Emphasizes Internal Compliance Procedures, Self-Reporting, and Importance of Cooperation

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) 2014 Report on Enforcement (Report), issued on November 20, 2014, provides an overview of and statistics regarding FERC’s enforcement...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Use of Preemptive Litigation to Validate Federal Approvals

Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc., v. Center for Biological Diversity, (11/12/14, No. 13-35835) The Ninth Circuit has rejected a “novel litigation strategy” that Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc., employed in an effort to preempt a...more

Judge Barbier BP Attempt to Limit Clean Water Act Fines

On September 4, 2014, District Court Judge Carl Barbier issued his “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law – Phase One Trial” in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation. In his 153 page opinion, Judge Barbier found BP...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

Energy Newsletter - November 2014

In This Issue: - First AIPN Model Contract for Unconventional Resource Operations - A Cautionary Tale: English Courts Further Depart from a Traditional Approach to Liquidated Damages in Unaoil v...more

A Cautionary Tale: English Courts Further Depart from a Traditional Approach to Liquidated Damages in Unaoil v Leighton

In September 2014, the Commercial Court handed down an unprecedented decision, finding that a liquidated damages ("LD") clause in a contract was a "genuine pre-estimate of loss" at the time the parties entered into the...more

D.C. Circuit Grants Motion to Stay Issuance in Order No. 745 Cases

As we previously reported, on May 23, 2014, the D.C. Circuit vacated FERC’s Demand Response Order No. 745, holding that the order (1) exceeded FERC’s jurisdiction, and (2) was arbitrary and capricious, particularly in its...more

Federal Court Orders DOT to Respond to Sierra Club’s Unsafe Tank Car Lawsuit

A Federal Court has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOT) to respond to a lawsuit filed by three environmental organizations—Earthjustice, Sierra Club and ForestEthics—in which the parties asked the court to order...more

FERC settles 3rd Southwest blackout case

A California public utility has settled claims by federal electricity regulators related to the September 8, 2011, blackout in the southwestern United States. Following an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory...more

Class Action Disgorgement Case Dismissed Against PG&E as Remedy Sought Would Interfere with Filed Rates

Companies in regulated markets, such as insurance and energy, are increasing litigating issues surrounding the “filed rate doctrine,” or in other words, whether they can be sued in a class action where the remedy sought...more

Faulty Property Description Haunts Louisiana Servitude

Halloween is approaching, so let’s talk poltergeists – troublesome spirits that haunt a specific location. Where do they come from? In Quality Environmental Processes, Inc. v I.P. Petroleum Company, Inc., it was from a faulty...more

Indian Supreme Court Cancels Mining Concessions

On 24 September 2014, the Indian Supreme Court cancelled 214 out of the 218 existing coal-mining licenses. The only mining licences which were not cancelled were four coal blocks made to Government controlled undertakings...more

Kansas Appellate Court Disallows Strict Liability Claims for Refinery’s Alleged Discharge of Pollutants

In City of Neodesha v. BP Corporation North America, Inc., 2014 WL 4116576, which involved BP’s successful defense of claims relating discharges from its refinery, the Court of Appeals of Kansas affirmed the denial of the...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders 10/14 (Six Petitions Granted)

Because there are no opinions and no grants in the Supreme Court's order list this morning, this is a good opportunity for me to do the promised post on the petitions granted in the October 3, 2014 order list. ...more

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Address Recovery for Stigma Damages in the Absence of a Permanent Physical Injury to Property

In a closely watched case, the Texas Supreme Court recently declined to address the issue of a right to recover damages for “stigma” in the absence of a permanent physical injury to property. (Houston Unlimited, Inc. v. Mel...more

Significant Victory for Defendants in Sierra Club Pollution Suit

In Sierra Club v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. W-12-CV-108 (W.D. Tex. August 29, 2014), a Texas federal judge recently awarded $6.4 million in attorneys’ fees and costs to the defendants in a pollution suit brought by...more

FinCrimes Update - September 2014 Summary, Volume 1, Issue 7

IN THIS ISSUE: BSA/AML & OFAC | Virtual Currency & Payment Systems | FCPA & Anti-Corruption | Criminal Enforcement. BSA/AML & OFAC: FINCEN OFFERS RED FLAGS GUIDANCE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND...more

District of Arizona Rethinks NEPA’s Zone of Interests in Light of Recent Supreme Court Opinion on “Prudential” Standing

On September 30, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona (Campbell, D.J.) issued an order in Yount v. Salazar, Nos. 11-8171 et al., 2014 WL 4904423 (D. Ariz. Sept. 30, 2014). As part of this order,...more

Easements Made Easier: Building Pipelines with the Power of Eminent Domain Under the Natural Gas Act

Any person or entity seeking to construct a natural gas pipeline and successful in obtaining a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may exercise the power of eminent domain to...more

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