Energy & Utilities Updates

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FERC Rule Gives Gen-Tie Owners Safe Harbor From Third-Party Transmission Requests

On March 19, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 807, a rule that makes it easier for developers of non-utility transmission lines that connect power projects to the grid to avoid having to...more

Legislature Approves $1 Billion Drought Relief Legislation; Governor Brown Expected to Sign

California Legislature Enacts Bill Package on Drought - On Thursday March 26, 2015, the California Legislature adopted legislation which it describes as allocating approximately $1 billion to emergency drought relief...more

MN PUC Approves First Minnesota Multiyear Plan, But Work Remains on Implementation

Yesterday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (the “Commission”) met to address the first general rate case filed under section 216B.16 subd. 19 of the Minnesota Statutes. Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota...more

Shooting for Effective Anti-Corruption Compliance: A Look at Recent Developments in Brazil

A recently disclosed bribery scandal related to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, along with other anti-corruption developments in Brazil, has reinforced the importance of implementing effective compliance policies and...more

Delay to registration under the Heat Network Regulations

In our post on 20 March we explained the implications of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 and in particular the need for heat suppliers to register before 30 April 2015. In amendment regulations of...more

State of Wyoming Joins Independent Producers In Opposition To Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint today in Wyoming federal district court asking the court to set aside recently finalized federal regulations related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and public lands....more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. EPA, a Clean Air Act case involving hazardous air pollutant regulations, with implications for fossil fuel-fired power plant owners and operators in...more

MATS in the Supreme Court–Toxic to EPA?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unreasonably decided not to consider the cost of regulation when the EPA determined it was “appropriate and necessary” to...more

North Dakota And Others Look To Challenge New Federal Fracking Regulations

Less than one week after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its Final Rule governing hydraulic fracturing practices on federal lands, North Dakota will proceed to explore the state’s legal options for challenging...more

Schlumberger Faces More Than $232.7 Million in Penalties and Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Violations of U.S. Sanctions

On March 25, 2015, Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings, Ltd. (“SOHL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oil-field services company (collectively “Schlumberger”), agreed to plead guilty to...more

Long-awaited regulations for fracking on federal land: what they mean for business

This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US and internationally....more

IRS Issues Fourth Production Tax Credit Guidance

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued the expected Notice 2015-25, which supplements its earlier notices on the same subject and provides additional guidance to renewable energy facility developers and investors when...more

Cyber Vulnerability in Wind Turbines

It has been reported that a wind turbine which is deployed across the energy sector worldwide has been hacked. Due to a software bug, an attacker can get the user name and password from the browser. This can allow admin...more

Ohio Wind Developer and FWS Successfully Defend Incidental Take Permit for Endangered Indiana Bat

A proposed Ohio wind farm cleared another legal hurdle last week when Judge Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (“FWS”) issuance of an incidental...more

Falling prices at the pump put a premium on energy IP

Crude oil prices, which have declined over 60 percent in the past six months, are at recent record lows. The impact of the price decline is being felt throughout the energy sector. Commentators agree that with few exceptions,...more

Measures to improve energy performance of non-domestic buildings: Scottish implementation timetable announced

Following recent consultation, the Scottish Government has confirmed the timetable for the publication and implementation of regulations to be made under section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009....more

What’s a Court to Do When An Agency Admits Error? Vacate? Remand?

In Black Warrior Riverkeeper v. ACOE, decided this week by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court was faced with a quandary. “On the eve of oral argument”, in a case challenging The Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide...more

California Legislature Debating 2015 Climate Leadership Legislation

During his fourth inaugural address just three months ago, California Governor Jerry Brown announced an ambitious new plan to address the impacts of climate change in California over the next 15 years. The groundbreaking plan...more

Final Rules Released for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Tribal Lands

The Bureau of Land Management contends that its new rules are consistent with state regulations and industry standards, but stakeholders believe that the rules are unnecessary or simply miss the mark. ...more

Energy Companies’ Interest in Drones Gains Momentum as FAA Reacts to Comments on Proposed Small UAS Rules

On March 24, 2015, NextEra Energy became the latest energy company granted a Section 333 Exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration. NextEra Energy, whose subsidiaries Florida Power & Light and NextEra Energy Resources...more

Texas small hydro project loses exemption

What happens to a proposed hydroelectric project takes longer than anticipated to be built, due to difficulties with project financing and severe flooding? As the developer of a proposed project in Texas recently found out,...more

Alberta Judgment a Strong Reminder to Exercise Caution When Claiming Litigation Privilege Protection

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently released its decision in TransAlta Corporation v. Market Surveillance Administrator (TransAlta v. MSA), ordering TransAlta Corporation (TransAlta) to produce hundreds of documents...more

USGS’s Increase of Texas’s Earthquake Risk Level: Commercial Real Estate and Insurance Implications

Before 2008, the greater Dallas Fort Worth area, known as the Fort Worth Basin, was almost entirely void of seismic activity. Between 1950 and 2008, the only seismic activity on record was an insignificant event that experts...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

South Carolina Legislative Update

Several of the South Carolina Senate Finance Committee’s budget subcommittees met last week to hear from various agencies on appropriations. The Senate sent the House several bills, including one bill extending the time in...more

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