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Energy & Utilities Conflict of Laws

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

What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas: Considerations When Discovery of Privileged Communications Is Sought in a...

In most instances, discovery disputes over applicability of a privilege are litigated in the same jurisdiction where the privileged relationship arose, and the availability of that privilege is clear. But what happens when a...more

Appellate Court Holds That Constitution Overrides Statutory Exemption Related to Proposition 218 Assessments; Reclamation...

by Downey Brand LLP on

In a reversal of a lower court decision, the Third District Court of Appeal has held that the California Constitution’s provisions related to Proposition 218 override a statutory exemption that a school district argued...more

Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

On Feb. 12, 2017, the Butte County, California, sheriff ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding California’s Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in the dam’s emergency...more

Riding Currents into New Markets: What Power Generation Developers and Contractors Should Watch Out For

The CPV St. Charles Energy Center, a new 725 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Maryland, went online earlier this month. The U.S. Supreme Court analyzed federal preemption with respect to state regulation of power...more

FERC Dismisses Electric Cooperatives’ Maryland Community Solar Program PURPA Case as Premature

On November 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order dismissing a petition for declaratory filed by two Maryland electric cooperatives requesting a FERC finding that regulations governing...more

Electric Cooperatives Seek FERC Determination on PURPA Preemption of Maryland’s Community Solar Program

On August 23, 2016, two Maryland electric cooperatives filed a Petition for Declaratory Order asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to find that the Maryland Public Service Commission’s (MPSC) recently...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #4

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawmakers and Governor Brown claim major victory on climate change bills - Sacramento Bee - Aug 24 - California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a pair of bills to sustain the...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain West Coast Case Law Highlights

COLORADO CITY FRACKING BANS PREEMPTED BY STATE LAW - City of Longmont v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 573 (Colo. 2016), 2016 Colo. LEXIS 442; City of Fort Collins v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 586 (Colo....more

FCC Thwarted in Efforts to Preempt State Broadband Laws

by Perkins Coie on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has struck a major blow to the FCC’s efforts to remove barriers to broadband service and promote competition in broadband markets. In State of Tennessee v. FCC, the court...more

Regulators Nationwide Weigh in on CPUC Litigation

by Nossaman LLP on

In May, we posted a blog on litigation filed by telecom providers and trade associations to prevent the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from requiring Plaintiffs to turn over competitively sensitive data to a...more

A Foolish Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds: So Said Emerson, So Says EPA

On Wednesday, EPA issued a final rule amending its “Regional Consistency Regulations.” The new rule provides that EPA will only follow adverse judicial decisions in the areas of the country where such judicial decisions are...more

Patronage Capital Case Successfully Removed to Federal Court

In December 2015, two plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against Pennsylvania’s REA Energy Cooperative, Inc. The complaint, which was filed on behalf of current and former cooperative members, asserted that REA must...more

The federal-state energy regulatory divide: The new order after Learjet, EPSA and Hughes

by Dentons on

In three recent decisions (the Three Decisions), the US Supreme Court (the Court) drew a sharp dividing line between the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) and that of the states to...more

Recent Complaints Highlight Continued Friction between State Policy Goals and Federally Regulated Wholesale Power Markets

On June 24, 2016, two complaints were filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission or FERC”) that highlight the continued tension between state policy initiatives and the mandatory centralized capacity...more

The Toxic Substances Control Act Overhaul: What You Need to Know

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” into law, making comprehensive changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This step comes after years of...more

Understanding the Re-Vamped TSCA: Federal Preemption Gives Uniform Standards

by Reed Smith on

The reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the first major environmental law passed since 1990. President Barack Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2576) into law on...more

Implications for the Power Sector of Recent Rulings by U.S. Supreme Court and FERC

One of the most important issues currently facing the power industry is the potential conflict between federal and state roles in power supply planning. Two recent developments at the federal level bear directly on this...more

Three Strikes and the Commonwealth Is Out: The Natural Gas Act Preempts Article 97

Last week, Judge John Agostini ruled that the Natural Gas Act preempts Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which otherwise would have required a 2/3 vote of the Legislature before Article 97 land could be conveyed...more

Fracking Scores with Two Colorado Supreme Court Opinions

by Liskow & Lewis on

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a hotly debated topic in many states. In New York and Pennsylvania, anti-fracking groups have obtained a statewide ban on fracking and the allowance of local authority to regulate...more

Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Fracking Bans that Conflict with State Law

by Stoel Rives LLP on

On May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued opinions in two separate cases challenging local bans on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). A win for the oil and gas industry in the state, the Supreme Court held that the...more

Supreme Court Invalidates Maryland Power Plant Subsidy Program and Reaffirms FERC’s Exclusive Authority Over Wholesale Capacity...

On April 19, 2016, for the second time in three months, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over the formation of wholesale rates in...more

Supreme Court Rejects Maryland Power Plant Subsidies, But Signals Permissible Ways for States to Incentivize New Plants

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

In recent years, Maryland attempted to subsidize new power plants by guaranteeing prices for generating capacity at wholesale auctions administered by PJM Interconnection L.L.C. (PJM). Tuesday, the Supreme Court unanimously...more

The Supreme Court - April 2016 #3

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on April 19, 2016: Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, No. 14-614: Congress, though the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. §791a et seq., vested...more

Supreme Court Hands FERC Win on Authority Over Capacity Markets

by Stinson Leonard Street on

With its decision on Tuesday, April 20 in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, the Supreme Court issued its second significant holding of the year on the reach of federal authority over interstate wholesale sales markets. The...more

Supreme Court Confirms State Limits on Wholesale Power Generation - Federalism vs. States' Rights Again at Issue in Court's Third...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 19, 2016, issued its decision in the third and final energy case this term. In Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, et al., the Court clarified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC)...more

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