General Business Energy & Utilities

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Court Strikes Down Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement

Surcharge Collected for General Revenue Purposes Under a Franchise Agreement must be Approved by Voters - A surcharge on electric utility bills collected by a power company pursuant to a franchise agreement and remitted...more

Focus on Tax Strategies & Developments - March 2015

In This Issue: - U.S. International Tax Policy: 10 Questions for 2015 - The New UK Diverted Profits Tax - France Implements Horizontal Tax Consolidation - China’s New General Anti-Avoidance Rules: An...more

Supreme Court Decides Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc.

On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 13-553, holding that a rail carrier can prove discrimination under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulation Reform...more

Opportunities in Distressed Markets: Insights into the Acquisition and Divestiture Process

Uncertainty - The projections as to the near- and medium-term future of oil and gas prices are mixed – to say the least. Irrespective of the direction prices ultimately go, industry is faced with significant...more

CFTC Reopens Comment Period for Position Limits Proposals

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has re-opened the comment period on (1) its proposed rules establishing position limits on certain exempt and agricultural commodities and (2) its proposed amendments to its...more

Insurance is Big in Texas: In Deepwater Horizon Case, Texas Stretches a Policy’s Four Corners to Include Other Contracts

Last month, in In re Deepwater Horizon, Relator, the Supreme Court of Texas applied a fundamental principle of insurance law to a case with enormous financial implications. The owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had...more

Welcome Tax Measures Announced at the PDAC 2015 Convention

On Sunday March 1, 2015, the Honourable Joe Oliver, Federal Minister of Finance addressed the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (“PDAC”) at the annual PDAC Convention in Toronto and announced certain proposals...more

Opportunity for Utility and Energy Companies to Comment on Proposed UAV Rules

Reactions to the FAA’s proposed rules for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems have been mixed since their release on February 15, 2015. Some stakeholders have lauded the FAA’s action as a...more

EPA Announces It Will Release New Guidelines on Vehicle MPG Ratings

The EPA announced, on February 23, 2015, that it will release new guidelines for vehicle fuel economy testing. The new guidelines will apply next year and will address how vehicles should be prepared and broken in before fuel...more

What Can I Get From My Lessee if I Ask the Court For It?

It s been said that if you don’t ask for what you want you’ll get what you deserve. Mr. Hooks took that truism to heart. Hooks v. Samson is about more than the discovery rule (See last week). Here are the other claims...more

New Proposed Requirements for Prop 65 Warnings Create Potentially Significant Implications for Businesses Across the Country

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently sent out a notice regarding proposed rulemaking to repeal the existing regulations that govern the provision of clear and reasonable warnings...more

European Competition Law Newsletter – March 2015

A recent European Commission (EC) fining decision against UK-based broker ICAP confirms that companies which merely facilitate a cartel will be tarred with the same brush as those which actually engage in the cartel. The...more

Texas Supreme Court Incorporates Limitations From An “Insured Contract” Into GL Policy

In In re Deepwater Horizon, Cause No. 13-0670, Slip Op., Feb. 13, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court held that an allocation of liability found in an “insured contract” would determine the coverage provided to an additional...more

Red Notice Newsletter - February 2015

Introduction - Welcome to the February 2015 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. - This month on the anticorruption front, several companies face the consequences of...more

Fracking: Yes! There’s Insurance Coverage for That!

Some people believe that “fracking” – the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology – is a miracle, increasing the extraction of oil and gas from places deep under the ground where hydrocarbons were...more

DOE Overhauls Export Controls for Nuclear Technology

On February 23, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a long-awaited final rule overhauling its Part 810 Regulations (10 C.F.R. Part 810) governing the export of certain nuclear technology and assistance. Effective on...more

CFTC Reopens Comment Periods

On February 24, the CFTC submitted for publication in the Federal Register a notice reopening the comment periods for the two Position Limit rulemakings, in anticipation of questions and comments that may arise from the...more

Scanning The Post-Burlington Northern CERCLA Landscape

Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 556 U.S. 599 (2009), holding that a party must “take intentional steps to dispose of a hazardous...more

Global Mining and Metals Industry Group: Kazakhstan push for reform

Kazakhstan’s new legal and regulatory changes are part of a push for progress and are a step in the right direction in creating a simpler, more transparent and attractive environment for international investment in the mining...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015 #2

Separate Contract Serves to Limit Insurance Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Spill, Texas Supreme Court Rules - Why it matters: The Texas Supreme Court rejected BP’s $750 million claim for coverage under Transocean...more

What is your broker up to? Broker found to have authority to enter into a fixture and guarantee

Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd v Salgaocar Mining Industries Private Ltd (2015) (Unreported) - After extensive negotiations, London brokers fixed a 10-year charterparty on behalf of their principals, the Charterers. The Charterers...more

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: A Lesson in Submitting Drilling Applications Early to Avoid Expiration of Federal Oil and Gas...

As many of you know, permitting delays are not only frustrating but can have real consequences for project applicants with contractual deadlines. In the case of a federal oil and gas lease, operators should be mindful of the...more

FERC Technical Conferences Examining EPA Clean Power Plan Are Underway

At the close of 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) announced that it would hold a series of technical conferences to examine issues surrounding compliance with the Clean Power Plan proposed by the U.S....more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part II - Infrastructure

Because I had a seat inside the meeting room at FERC's Clean Power Plan Overview last Thursday, I got a close-up view of the protesters. Most were older (as opposed to the college-student variety), they carried signs, wore...more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC

It is innocuous enough: Conference on Environmental Regulations; but the plainness of title belies what is going on at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today. Today is the first public forum at FERC on EPA's Clean...more

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