Energy & Utilities Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.
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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

California Greenhouse Gas Mandates Keep Coming— Governor Orders 40 Percent Reductions Below 1990 Levels by 2030

On April 29, 2015, California’s Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order to set a new interim target for reducing the state’s emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. In March 2015,...more

Antitrust & Competition Newsletter - April 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That State Action Immunity Does Not Apply to State Boards If the Board Is Controlled by Active Market Participants - On Feb. 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in a 6-3 decision, that a state...more

DOT Issues Final Rule for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

On May 1, 2015, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) long awaited (and already highly controversial) final rule strengthening standards for trains carrying flammable...more

NERC's Polite Review of the Clean Power Plan: A "Challenge"

When the draft of EPA's Clean Power Plan was promulgated in the Federal Register last June, one of the critical questions raised by those in the electricity space was: what about reliability? If you shut down all those coal...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

CEQA Judicial Outcomes: Fifteen Years of Reported California Appellate and Supreme Court Decisions

This report analyzes all published opinions from 1997 through 2012 litigated to the California Court of Appeal or the California Supreme Court concerning the analytical validity of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Governor Threatens to Hold Land Bonds - In a memo sent this week to lawmakers on the...more

FERC Policy Statement Regarding Pipeline Recovery of System Modernization Costs

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (the “Policy­­­.Statement”), opening...more

California Governor Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030

In an Executive Order issued yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown set “a new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is...more

What Did April Bring?: FERC Extends Out-of-Market Reliability Measures but Wants Market-Based Solutions

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) recently published two orders that approved capacity and reliability measures for the Independent System Operator New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”) and the New York Independent...more

Keystone XL’s Opponents Won’t Derail Canadian Oil Trains to the Gulf Coast

The U.S. Gulf Coast—with its 1.4 million barrels per day of coker[*] refining capacity geared to maximize output of high-value lighter products from lower-cost, heavy, high-sulfur crude oil feedstocks—is an ideal market for...more

Your Texas Legislature at Work, Part 2

The Texas legislature is still busy on energy issues. Is that good or bad? It depends on your situation; oil patch thieves won’t like it. Wind Energy - Senate Bill 931 would blow away the Renewable Portfolio...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Maryland Natural Gas Facility

On April 24, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community v. FERC, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approval of Dominion Transmission’s...more

Governor Brown Announces New 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target for California

This morning, California Governor Jerry Brown announced Executive Order B-30-15, setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The 2030 target acts as an interim goal...more

The Federal Government Continues to Prosecute Royalty Underpayment Claims Under the False Claims Act

Earlier this month, John Walsh, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, announced that upwards of $66,000 had been recovered from Slawson Exploration Company (Slawson) in a settlement for alleged violations under the...more

Mixology 101: Blending Trade Secret Protections and Fracking Chemical Reporting

Whether you live in the East, the Great Plains, the Southwest, or the Rocky Mountain West, the oil and gas industry’s use of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in oil and gas development is something you have likely heard a...more

"Managing Related-Party Transactions With Yieldco and MLP Vehicles After El Paso Pipeline"

Sponsors generally form a yieldco or a master limited partnership (MLP) because the structure of these permanent capital vehicles allows for the issuance of equity to investors at a lower cost of capital, providing a...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

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Over City’s Inclusionary Housing Set-Aside

On April 8, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose (Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County et al.), S212072, a case with statewide...more

FERC Rule on Coordination of Natural Gas and Electric Scheduling Finalized as Industry Interdependency Grows

The electric industry is becoming increasingly reliant upon natural gas as a fuel source in the midst of our nation’s abundant natural gas resources and aggressive regulatory efforts to reduce the environmental impact of...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

Environmental Alert: "Potential Seismic Activity from Injection Wells Prompts Railroad Commission of Texas to Order Hearings"

On Friday, April 24, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) ordered hearings regarding two waste injection well permits. The hearings are to address an alleged connection between the injection wells and seismic activity in...more

Does Voter Initiative Drain Water Providers' Power to Respond to Drought?

As reported on Nossaman's Endangered Species Law & Policy blog, on April 1, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown issued a landmark executive order mandating water cutbacks for urban residents to address the state's historic drought....more

Product Law: Legal regime for electronic products in Germany set to change

By way of the Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Directive 2012/19/EU; so-called WEEE Directive), the EU has required its Member States to adapt their electrical and electronic equipment law until 2014....more

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