Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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US Supreme Court stays Clean Power Plan

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued an order staying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan regulations limiting carbon emissions from electric power plants. As a result, the rule's effect...more

EPA and DOJ Cannot Sugarcoat This: SCOTUS Stays the Clean Power Plan

On February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court stayed EPA’s Clean Power Plan rule. No matter how much EPA and DOJ proclaim that this says nothing about the ultimate results on the merits, the CPP is on very shaky ground at this...more

United States Supreme Court Grants Stay of EPA's 111(d) Clean Power Plan Rule

On February 9, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted a stay of EPA's 111(d) Clean Power Plan rule imposing emissions limits on existing power plants. This stay effectively blocks the implementation of this highly...more

Supreme Court Halts Clean Power Plan Implementation Pending Judicial Review

Taking what many are calling an unprecedented step, the Supreme Court yesterday, in a 5-4 “party line” vote, granted a stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP), halting the compliance...more

TransCanada Challenges Denial of Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline

As previously reported in the Trade & Manufacturing Alert, on November 6, 2015, President Obama officially rejected TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. As proposed, the pipeline would have transported...more

“Who Decides” Whether Class Arbitration Is Available?: The Third Circuit Provides New Guidance in Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC v....

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the “Court”) has spoken again on the issue of “who decides” whether parties must arbitrate a dispute on a classwide basis. In 2014, the Court ruled that “unless the parties...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - California extends mandatory water cuts despite growing snowpack - Sacramento Bee - Feb 2 - California’s drought regulators agreed Tuesday to extend water conservation mandates...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

Recent Decisions Applying the Covalt and Hartwell Test

Two California Courts of Appeal recently reviewed decisions involving the California Public Utilities Commission in a pair of cases that build on the principles established by the California Supreme Court in Covalt and...more

Thirty States and Numerous Other Interested Parties Seek an Immediate Supreme Court Stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

On January 26, 2016, 29 states and state agencies, including Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Mississippi (the “29 States”), submitted an application (the “29 States Application”) to the United States...more

Supreme Court Rules that FERC Wholesale Markets Can Compensate Demand Response Providers

In late January, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association, et al., 577 U.S. __, slip. op. (2016) upholding Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)...more

Court in BP Oil Spill Litigation Denies Standing for Special Purpose Entities Created Solely for Litigation

A January 4, 2016 opinion in the Southern District of Texas by Judge Keith Ellison (“Op.”) in the In re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, MDL No. 4:10-md-2185, has taken up the issue of whether plaintiffs can properly assign...more

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and...more

Supreme Court Affirms FERC Demand Response Authority

Last week, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling affirming that federal regulators may encourage large electricity users to reduce consumption at peak times in exchange for price breaks, a practice known as “demand...more

Supreme Court Update: Montgomery V. Louisiana (14-280), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission V. Electric Power Supply Association...

The decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana (14-280) was a biggie, and not just because it retroactively applied the Court's 2012 holding that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth...more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

Prognosticating the Ozone Standard Litigation: EPA to Win, Environmental Petitioners to Place, Murray Energy to Show

Last week, the “Public Health and Environmental Petitioners” challenging EPA’s decision not to reduce the ozone standard below 0.070 ppm filed their “Non-Binding Statement of Issues.” My crystal ball still tells me that the...more

Ohio Supreme Court: Form Oil and Gas Lease Not Void as Against Public Policy

Earlier this week, in an unsurprising but nevertheless meaningful decision, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the standard form oil and gas lease at issue was not “perpetual,” and thus was not void as against...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Kamala Harris Puts Exxon Under Her Microscope: California AG Reportedly Has Launched Review of Oil Giant’s Statements On Climate...

Students of history know that fighting a two front war is a hazard to be avoided. According to the L.A. Times, however, that is precisely the dilemma that now faces Exxon Mobil: dual investigations from attorneys general on...more

Renewable Energy Update - January 2016 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - The Verdict Is In: CPUC Preserves Net Metering In California - Solar Industry - Jan 28 In a 3-2 vote this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its long-awaited...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: A Legislative Outlook

Over the next eight weeks, we will provide a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector in a series of alerts. In this series, attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds FERC Jurisdiction Over Demand Response

On January 25, 2016, in a 6-2 decision delivered by Justice Kagan, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Federal Power Act to require wholesale market...more

US Supreme Court Holds FERC Has Jurisdiction Over Demand Response

Decision brings more clarity to jurisdictional boundaries between state public utility regulatory commissions and FERC set forth by the Federal Power Act. On January 25, the US Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, ruled in...more

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