Conflict of Laws Energy & Utilities

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Six Things the Private Sector Should Know About EPA's Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance

The cumulative impact of the EPA guidance is to require the generation of more data, which means more sampling and analysis, more frequent and stringent remediation, and potentially higher remediation costs. At long...more

Denton, Texas at Center of Another Land Use Dispute

Less than three months after Texas House Bill 40, which limits municipalities' abilities to regulate oil and gas operations, was signed into law, and little more than a month after the City Council repealed its highly...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Price-Anderson Act Does Not Preempt Nuisance Claims

This decision departs from all other federal circuits that have addressed the issue and, if adopted by other courts, represents a significant expansion of potential liability for operators in the nuclear energy industry....more

Distressed Download - July 2015

First Circuit Rules Bankruptcy Code Preempts Puerto Rico's Recovery Act - On Monday, July 6, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the February 6, 2015 order and injunction of the Puerto Rico District...more

Miners & Marijuana

As in other industries, mining companies must contend with employees and contractors using or being under the influence of illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana is one of the most prominent substances detected in drug...more

Preliminary Injunction Arguments Pour Into Litigation Against BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Since our last update on federal litigation in Wyoming challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands, the flurry of activity continues in advance of the June 23...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Texas Enacts House Bill 40 To Regulate Oil And Gas At State Level

The Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 40, which is intended to keep the bulk of oil and gas regulation at the state level—as opposed to myriad standards set by cities, counties, or other political subdivisions. ...more

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

Louisiana Court Rules that Migration of Chemicals from Spill Not a “Continuing Tort”

In a case that may make it more difficult for plaintiffs to maintain years-old toxic tort cases in Louisiana, a state appellate court ruled that a 1983 chemical spill did not constitute a “continuing tort.” ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Lets Natural Gas Act Preemption Seep Away

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., No. 13-271 (April 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 7-2 opinion that state law antitrust claims against defendant natural gas pipeline companies did not fall within the field of...more

Supreme Court Finds No Pre-emption in Natural Gas Act Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held in ONEOK Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., that the Natural Gas Act (NGA) does not pre-empt state-law antitrust suits over manipulation of natural gas indices. The court’s decision has important...more

Energy Bulletin (US)

Transportation Department acts on safety issues regarding crude and ethanol shipped by rail. The US Department of Transportation on April 17 issued regulatory changes it believes will address “some of the issues...more

Supreme Court’s Holding in Oneok v. Learjet Could Lead to New Risks for Market Participants

On April 21, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Oneok v. Learjet, holding that “Respondents’ state-law antitrust claims are not within the field of matters pre-empted by the Natural Gas Act” even though the claimed violations...more

Supreme Court Preserves States' Power to Protect Consumers But in the Process Blurs Federal Preemption Analysis

The Supreme Court once again showed that, when it comes to the antitrust laws, the consumer is king. In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, the Court was asked to decide where state antitrust laws end and federal regulation begins. The...more

Supreme Court Rejects Pre-Emption Claim in State Antitrust Action

On April 21, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a divided opinion declining to find federal pre-emption by the Natural Gas Act (NGA) of certain state antitrust claims. In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., a group of manufacturers,...more

House Subcommittee to Revise Draft TSCA Reform Bill for May 14 Markup

Legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), already introduced in the Senate, has taken a step forward in the House of Representatives as well. ...more

SCOTUS Holds Natural Gas Act Does Not Preempt State Law Antitrust Claims

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., Case No. 13-271 (Apr. 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Natural Gas Act did not preempt retail customers’ state law antitrust claims against interstate gas pipeline operators for...more

Supreme Court Rejects FERC’s Preemption Argument and Permits State Antitrust Claims Against Interstate Pipelines to Proceed

On April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in ONEOK, Inc., et al., v. Learjet, Inc. et al holding that state antitrust claims are not pre-empted by the Natural Gas Act. This important decision put the brakes on an...more

Supreme Court Decides Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc.

On April 21, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., No. 13-271, holding that state-law antitrust suits challenging retail rates for direct sales of natural gas are not field pre-empted by...more

What is Your Texas Legislature Doing for You Today?

The Texas legislature has been busy on energy. House Bill 40, similar to House Bills 539 and 540, steamrolled through the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 122 to 18. Reminds us of A L pitchers not...more

California Issues Emergency Regulations Restricting Underground Injection in Connection with Oil and Gas Recovery

The California Department of Conservation (“Department”) proposes to adopt emergency regulations purported to bring California’s underground injection control program into compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act...more

Gas Lines to Pipelines: The Case for Comprehensive Federal Energy Legislation

We’ve struggled with the consequences of an insufficient federal energy policy for nearly half a century. From the gas lines of the 1970s to the Keystone XL pipeline controversy of the past several years, the federal and...more

Court Decisions Halt Momentum on Local Oil and Gas Regulations

Action Item: Oil and gas operators should be aware that courts recently have been paring back on the power of local municipalities to regulate their operations. ...more

FCC Releases Full Text of Order Preempting State Laws Limiting Municipal Broadband

On March 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission released the text of its order preempting provisions of North Carolina and Tennessee law that allow municipalities to provide broadband service but otherwise limit the...more

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