Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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Federal Court Orders DOT to Respond to Sierra Club’s Unsafe Tank Car Lawsuit

A Federal Court has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOT) to respond to a lawsuit filed by three environmental organizations—Earthjustice, Sierra Club and ForestEthics—in which the parties asked the court to order...more

News Flash: Cap-and-Trade Remains the Most Efficient Way to Reduce Emissions

Notwithstanding Congressional gridlock on climate change legislation, cap-and-trade remains the tried and true efficient method for reducing air emissions. Although the acid rain provisions of the Clean Air Act are the most...more

FERC settles 3rd Southwest blackout case

A California public utility has settled claims by federal electricity regulators related to the September 8, 2011, blackout in the southwestern United States. Following an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory...more

Uncertainty Prevails as Illinois Delays a Decision on Fracing Regulations

Last week, Illinois’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted to push back its decision about whether to approve proposed rules governing horizontal fracturing operations until November 6. The delay promises to fuel...more

An Update on Recent Oil- and Gas-Related Decisions in Ohio

Due to increased drilling activity in the Utica shale formation, state and federal courts in Ohio and the 6th Circuit have recently issued decisions related to local drilling regulations, drilling permits, leasing, indemnity...more

Delay Strikes Down Another Plaintiff

Why am I always reporting on plaintiffs who wait too long to file their lawsuit? In the latest Texas case, Trahan v. Mettlen, the Trahans sued in 2010 on a 2006 warranty deed....more

Environmental Groups Seek to Derail Bakersfield Crude-by-Rail Project

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit challenging Kern County’s approval of the first substantial oil-by-rail expansion project at a California refinery, alleging that the comprehensive Environmental Impact...more

Court Dismisses Request That NEB Review Upstream and Downstream Effects of Pipeline

On May 16, 2014, the National Energy Board received a motion from the City of Vancouver, among others, requesting that the List of Issues for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project hearing be expanded to include environmental...more

Class Action Disgorgement Case Dismissed Against PG&E as Remedy Sought Would Interfere with Filed Rates

Companies in regulated markets, such as insurance and energy, are increasing litigating issues surrounding the “filed rate doctrine,” or in other words, whether they can be sued in a class action where the remedy sought...more

American Pipe Tolling Inapplicable In Texas Negligent Misstatement Case

The Southern District of Texas found that negligent misstatement claims filed more than two years after the last alleged misstatement were time-barred and that the applicable statute of limitations was not tolled under...more

Discovery Order Issued in “SolarCity” Cash Grant Litigation — Treasury to Provide Benchmarking Materials

On October 6, 2014, Judge Eric G. Bruggink of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued an order on the disputed production of documents and interrogatory responses requested from the U.S. Department of the Treasury by...more

Faulty Property Description Haunts Louisiana Servitude

Halloween is approaching, so let’s talk poltergeists – troublesome spirits that haunt a specific location. Where do they come from? In Quality Environmental Processes, Inc. v I.P. Petroleum Company, Inc., it was from a faulty...more

Kansas Appellate Court Disallows Strict Liability Claims for Refinery’s Alleged Discharge of Pollutants

In City of Neodesha v. BP Corporation North America, Inc., 2014 WL 4116576, which involved BP’s successful defense of claims relating discharges from its refinery, the Court of Appeals of Kansas affirmed the denial of the...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders 10/14 (Six Petitions Granted)

Because there are no opinions and no grants in the Supreme Court's order list this morning, this is a good opportunity for me to do the promised post on the petitions granted in the October 3, 2014 order list. ...more

Supreme Court Oral Argument in Dart Cherokee Basin v. Owens

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument this week in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, No. 13-719. This case involves whether a defendant must provide evidence with its notice of removal under the Class Action...more

What a Shock?! Nebraska’s Early Challenge to EPA’s Clean Power Plan Is Dismissed

Opponents of EPA’s Clean Power Plan have not been willing to wait until a final rule has been promulgated before challenging EPA’s authority. On Monday, Nebraska’s challenged was dismissed – not surprisingly – as premature....more

District of Arizona Rethinks NEPA’s Zone of Interests in Light of Recent Supreme Court Opinion on “Prudential” Standing

On September 30, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona (Campbell, D.J.) issued an order in Yount v. Salazar, Nos. 11-8171 et al., 2014 WL 4904423 (D. Ariz. Sept. 30, 2014). As part of this order,...more

EPA Really Does Have Authority To Withdraw Specifications Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Last year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA has authority to withdraw its approval for the specification of sites for the disposal of fill material, even after the Army Corps has issued a permit for the...more

The Atmosphere Is a Public Trust. So What?

The last frontier of citizen climate litigation has been state-based litigation alleging that states have a public trust obligation to mitigate climate change. As I have previously noted, I’m skeptical that these cases are...more

Lessons Learned from the Fourth Circuit’s Decision to Vacate Class Certification in Coalbed Methane Royalty Underpayment Cases

As oil and gas production continues to increase domestically, the possibility for class action exposure is an increasing concern. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently issued its decision in EQT...more

Ohio Appeals Court Finds Leases To Be Valid

On September 26, 2014, the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Seventh District issued its opinion rejecting a trial court opinion in a statewide class action that had invalidated thousands of oil and gas leases based on a commonly...more

"Opening shot" in negotiations: when does "without prejudice" protection apply?

In Rochester Resources Ltd & ors v Leonid Lebedev & anr [2014] EWHC 2185 (Comm), 2 July 2014, the High Court found that a draft set of Particulars (a Complaint), produced in advance of U.S. Litigation and sent to the other...more

On to the Supreme Court? The D.C. Circuit Denies FERC’s Request for Rehearing En Banc of its Decision to Vacate FERC’s Demand...

On September 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s request for rehearing en banc of the D.C. Circuit’s decision to vacate FERC’s...more

UPDATE: Punitive Damages for Jones Act Seamen are not “Pining for the Fjords, they’re Dead”!

On September 25, 2014, the en banc Fifth Circuit, in McBride v. Estis Well Serv., L.L.C., No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2014), concluded in a brief opinion that the Supreme Court’s decision of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp.,...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014

Pollution Exclusion Doesn’t Bar Coverage for Worker Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals That Were Not “Dispersed”: Why it matters - A federal district court in Texas strictly construed a pollution exclusion in...more

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