Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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Freedom to Contract Prevails in New Mexico

Is freedom to contact a good thing for everybody? First Baptist Church of Roswell v. Yates Petroleum Corp. says yes, and confirms that the public policy in New Mexico is freedom to contract. In this case, it was to avoid the...more

Should You Pay for Something You’re Not Getting? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Will Take Up Shedden v. Anadarko E&P Company, L.P.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether an oil and gas lessee’s refusal to pay a “bonus” on acreage that the lease supposedly conveyed to it, but that the lessor did not own at the time of leasing and had not...more

Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules That Emission Of Locomotive Diesel Particulate Matter Is Not Disposal Under RCRA

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on August 20, 2014, upheld a lower court’s ruling and rejected an attempt by several environmental groups to use the citizen suit provision under the...more

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two...more

Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Appeals Act 13 Ruling to State Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PPUC) is asking the state Supreme Court to review a July ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that strips PPUC of its authority to review and approve local drilling...more

You Can’t Estop the Government — Even When It Wants to Be Estopped

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that arguably explains everything from why the Tea Party exists to why otherwise calm and sane executives suddenly lose all their hair. Perhaps most astounding,...more

Non-Incumbent Transmission Developers Win with Court’s Affirmance of FERC’s Order No. 1000

Non-incumbent transmission developers scored a big win last week. As we previously reported here, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld FERC’s Order No. 1000. Among other things, Order 1000 mandated that a regional...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenges to FERC’s Order No. 1000

The court turned back all challenges to FERC’s order, which imposed major regional transmission planning requirements, concluding that FERC has adequately justified the order and acted within its statutory authority....more

Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute

Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., No. 7:12-cv-00133-O (N.D. Tex. Jul. 14, 2014) - Northern District of Texas dismisses bad faith claims against insurer and adjuster in dispute over coverage for...more

In Wyoming, a Higher Burden for Chemical Disclosure Exemption?

In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the burden of justifying the use of trade secrets...more

Real Estate Group Newsletter

In this issue: - “United States Environmental Protection Agency Proposes Carbon Dioxide Emissions Limits for Existing Power Plants” - “New York Adopts Rule Allowing Parties to Agree to 'Accelerated...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Order No. 1000, FERC’s Landmark Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation Rulemaking Order

On August 15, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously affirmed Order No. 1000, a landmark set of rules approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2011 to...more

California District Court Dismisses ESA Section 7 Case for Failure to Allege that Agency Action Took Place on the "High Seas"

On August 12, a judge for the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss claims alleging that a federal agency violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to consult with federal...more

CO2 is Good

In French vs. Occidental Permian, Ltd. the Texas Supreme Court held that costs associated with injection of carbon dioxide into a reservoir in a tertiary recovery operation were properly deducted from royalties. This...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that the Army Corps of Engineers' Jurisdictional Determination Does Not Constitute a Reviewable "Final Agency...

On July 30, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the issuance of a jurisdictional determination (JD) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is not a final agency action subject to...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewables provide 56 percent of new U.S. generating capacity in first half of 2014: Electric Light & Power - Jul 21: Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower provided 55.7 percent of...more

Recent Ninth Circuit ESA Decision May Be Headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

On July 14, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District v. Natural Resources...more

CO2 Separation Anxiety—Is the cost of separating CO2 from casinghead gas a “production” or “post-production” cost for purposes of...

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Texas concluded that the cost of removing carbon dioxide (“CO2”) from casinghead gas after completing enhanced oil recovery operations is a “post-production” cost, thus clarifying...more

Kern County’s CEQA Mitigation Measure For Wind Farm Project Relying On FAA Review and Determination of Aviation Safety Impacts Is...

Alleged land use conflicts between newly proposed land uses and existing nearby airports are nothing new, and can produce heated CEQA battles as project opponents often raise “life safety” issues as potential project impacts....more

Fifth Circuit Reins In Trend of Expanding ESA Liability for Remote Harm

The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in The Aransas Project v. Shaw, No. 13-40317 (5th Cir. June 30, 2014), clarified two points relating to the element of causation in claims under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). ...more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 5, Issue 8 - August 2014

In This Issue: - Department Releases New Nonresident Audit Guidelines to Address Gaied - Nuclear Power Plant That Produces Steam and Water to Generate Electricity Is Not Eligible for Investment Tax...more

The SJC Gives “Great Deference” to the Energy Facilities Siting Board. That’s An Understatement

In two related decisions last week, the Supreme Judicial Court issued three important rulings, and handed the Brockton Power Company one major problem in its long-running effort to build a combined-cycle gas plant in...more

The Slow Grind of Justice for EPA's Carbon Emissions Regulations

It was inevitable that EPA's Clean Power Plan, regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants was going to generate law suits. Even if the suits are ultimately unsuccessful, an injunction against the Plan's adoption...more

Illinois Appellate Court’s Expansive Interpretation of a Taxing Ordinance Swallows a Sale for Resale Exemption

The First District of the Illinois Appellate Court, in Ford Motor Company v. Chicago Department of Revenue, 2014 IL App (1st) 130597 (June 27, 2014), recently held that Ford Motor Company (Ford) owes City of Chicago vehicle...more

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