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Sustainable Development Update - April 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - Simon Property Group and Current, powered by GE, collaborate on mall of the future - PRNewswire - Apr 19 - Simon Property Group, a global leader in retail real estate, and...more

Renewable Energy Update - April 2016 #5

Renewable Energy Focus - California utility-scale solar beat wind for first time in 2015 - Solar Industry Magazine - Apr 28 - In 2015, energy from grid-connected, utility-scale solar plants surpassed that from...more

Can Solar Reboot Your Coal-Fired Plant Site?

The future of coal-fired plants is not bright. With regulations weighing on them, many plant operators are powering down and asking themselves what’s next for their sites. Solar offers viable options for reusing a plant site....more

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

Another Washout Case

The El Paso Court of Appeals recently continued the trend of Texas courts to allow washouts unless strictly forbidden by agreement. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. TRO-X, L.P., 031816 TXCA8, 08-15-00158, March 18, 2016....more

West Coast Real Estate Update: April 2016 #1

Residential Communities: Calderon Process for HOAs Likely to Be Extended Again - The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary in early April unanimously passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1963 to extend the pre-litigation...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases

In the Court’s first decision on oil and gas issues since three new justices were elected, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that the doctrine of estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases. In Shedden v....more

Oil, Gas and Mineral Companies Take Note: Agreements Purporting to “Run with the Land” may be Rejected in Bankruptcy

A recent bankruptcy court decision from the influential Southern District of New York permitted a debtor to reject executory contracts with midstream gathers as an exercise of sound business judgment. In In re Sabine Oil &...more

PA Opinion Reassures Stakeholders That Estoppel By Deed Applies to Oil and Gas Leases

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has recently confirmed that the doctrine of estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases and does not require detrimental reliance. See Shedden v. Anadarko, No. 103 MAP 2014, --- Pa. ---...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

My Compliments to DTE

DTE acts quickly and reasonably to settle Milford bypass case. Since I previously wondered whether DTE was engaging in chicanery by providing a construction document that identified the proposed location of the easement...more

Pennsylvania Court: Sublease of Production Rights Does Not Sever “Dual-Purpose” Oil and Gas Leases

In a published opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that utilization of the subject land for gas storage held production rights under a “dual-purpose” lease providing for both storage and production. See Loughman v....more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

New Developments in the Determination of the Texas Franchise Tax Liability

The Texas Franchise Tax is imposed on taxable entities that do business in Texas or that are chartered or organized in the state.  Taxpayers subject to the Texas Franchise Tax may compute their tax liabilities under several...more

Complaint over FERC hydro project property transfers

What happens when the holder of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for a hydropower project buys, sells, or transfers real estate that is part of the project? A complaint recently filed with the Commission raises...more

Community Banking Excellence - First Quarter 2016

In This Issue: - Another Perspective: We interviewed Michelle Crook, CFO of the Bank of Botetourt, and Chris Snodgrass, CFO for Bank of Marion, for our Community Banking Excellence this quarter. We wanted to know...more

Recent Developments Affecting Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans

New Jersey Governor’s Conditional Veto Restricts New Jersey PACE, Florida’s Supreme Court Expands State’s PACE Market, Congress Extends the Federal Investment Tax Credit and States Reduce Effectiveness of Net-Metering...more

Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Issued by Secretary Jewell

On January 15, 2016, Interior Secretary Jewell halted federal coal leasing on public lands. Western coal companies are attempting to sort out the implications of the moratorium and exemptions set out in Secretarial Order...more

FERC holds CO microhydro needs license

In an order issued earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the developer of a micro-hydropower project proposed in Colorado must obtain a license for the Patton Colorado Hydropower Project's...more

The Best Protection: Safeguards in Purchasing Distressed Oil and Gas Assets

In the current environment of depressed prices for oil, natural gas and related liquids, oil and gas wells, leases and properties are coming on to the market for sale. These assets typically are made available through either...more

Not So Fast My Friend: Implied Covenant to Develop and Non-Apportionment Subdivision Tracts

I can acquire a 2,000-acre lease in Ritchie County, West Virginia, held by production from one well, drilled in 1905. I can acquire a 100-acre lease with an affidavit of nonproduction from an individual who has owned...more

The Shale Play Today: First Quarter 2016

The Best Protection - Safeguards in Purchasing Distressed Oil and Gas Assets - In the current environment of depressed prices for oil, natural gas and related liquids, oil and gas wells, leases and properties are coming...more

EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

The Double-Fraction Dilemma: Intent-Focused Inquiry Prevails

As the oil and gas industry has moved away from the legacy of the 1/8th royalty, double-fraction language has generated a multitude of disagreements as to whether a royalty interest should be construed as "fixed" or...more

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