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MSHA Increases Scrutiny

If you operate or work at a metal/nonmetal mine be ready for significant changes on how the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will enforce its workplace examination standards.The MSHA recently issued a policy...more

Massachusetts Legislature Ends Active July with Budget Overrides

After a busy final few weeks of activity, the Massachusetts Legislature departed for its summer recess with a new budget and progress on several priority policy issues. In addition to overriding $97 million in Governor...more

Louisiana Federal Court Rejects Expert Testimony Tying Gasoline to AML

Underscoring the importance of the distinction between a product and its component parts, a federal court in Louisiana refused to allow expert testimony that exposure to gasoline caused acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) in a...more

MSHA Workplace Examination “Clarification” Places Enforcement Target Squarely on Operators

Over the years, the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) has tried on two different occasions to overhaul the workplace examination standard at 30 CFR §56/57.18002 by issuing program policy letters. The agency’s primary...more

Miners & Marijuana

As in other industries, mining companies must contend with employees and contractors using or being under the influence of illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana is one of the most prominent substances detected in drug...more

Congress Considers More Whistleblower Protections for Oil Industry

Several lawmakers in Congress are proposing a bill to expand whistleblower protections for those in the oil industry working on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). These workers are playing key roles in oil and gas...more

Post Session News

Minimum Wage Hike for Airport Workers - On Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission backed a $10 an hour minimum wage for about 2,800 employees of airline subcontractors. Commission members voted 11-4 for...more

Special Session Set For Today

After weeks of negotiations, speculation, and a late night caucus, Governor Mark Dayton called the Special Session for today at 10 a.m. The six bills on the approved agenda are the three budget bills that Dayton vetoed at...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. Budget Negotiations Run Hot and Cold - Late last Friday evening, the Appropriations Committee...more

Employee Ownership of Patentable Inventions

A startup in the oil-and-gas service sector sought to improve downhole well stimulation technology. After a few years, differences between the three founders culminated in the ouster of Mr. Groves, one of the founders. Mr....more

Despite Fewer Citations Issued Since 2008, the Percentage of “Significant and Substantial” Citations Is Holding Steady

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently released mining industry and enforcement data that reflects noteworthy changes the industry has experienced over the last six years. Of particular significance in the...more

Bennett Jones Spring 2015 Economic Outlook

This spring Outlook is structured in three sections. The first section sets out our view of the economic outlook commencing with a very short summary of recent world economy dynamics, followed by a review of the outlook for...more

Baytex: ABQB Grants Rectification

In Baytex Energy Ltd. et  al. v. The Queen (2015 ABQB 278), the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench considered whether rectification and/or rescission were available to address mistakes that could result in the taxpayer being...more

OSHA Adds Employers in the Upstream Oil and Gas Drilling Industry to Its Severe Violator Enforcement Program

On February 11, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced revisions to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (“SVEP”). Under SVEP, employers in designated...more

Environmental Notes - May 2015

In this Issue: - Virginia’s Draft State Water Resources Plan - Frequent Questions: Form R Part II - Manufacturers and Temporary Workers - Farms and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act...more

IRS Publishes Proposed Regulations Addressing Fracking Services by MLPs

On May 6, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed regulations [REG-132634-14], which if finalized would clarify that income from certain oil and natural gas fracturing (“fracking”) services is “qualifying...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

This week, in a press conference at the state capitol building with House and Senate leaders, Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) announced that North Carolina had paid off the $2.8 billion debt it owed to the federal government for...more

Pa. Toxic Tort Settlement Shows Potential Danger in Benzene Exposure Lawsuits

A settlement recently reached between U.S. Steel Corp. and the widow of a Pennsylvania man allegedly exposed to benzene may fuel use of toxic tort lawsuits to sue over benzene exposures. ...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

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 04/2015

All week, both chambers and their respective finance committees have been working toward tonight’s third deadline of the session, by which committees must act favorably on major appropriation bills....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. Democrats Take their Budget Plan on the Road While Governor Pushes For Constitutional Amendment...more

Oil Field Employers Post-McMaster: Still Searching for Clarity on the TCA’s Impact on the Motor Carrier Act Exemption

In McMaster v. Eastern Armored Services, Inc., No. 14-1010 (March 11, 2015), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued one of the first federal appellate court opinions discussing the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of...more

NC Legislative Update for April 2015

This Week - In the midst of bill filing deadlines, some time was reserved for entertainment and fun this week on April fool’s Day. The NCGOP arguably won top honors, duping many across the state on social media when it...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. Supplemental Budget Bill Approved, On Governor's Desk - On Tuesday lawmakers approved a...more

Supreme Court’s Perez Decision Shines the Light on Federal Agencies’ Authority to Use “Interpretations” (Often called Shadow...

Over the last three decades, federal agencies have increasingly used “interpretations” to “explain” what a formal regulation means, rather than to go through the more expensive, complicated and slow process of changing the...more

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