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Clean Air Act Ruling May Curb Suits

Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could be a major hurdle for plaintiffs in...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

Taking the Fight to the Ice: Ontario Court of Appeal allows enforcement action against Canadian subsidiary for environmental...

In Yaiguaje v Chevron Corporation, 2013 ONCA 758, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that Ontario has jurisdiction to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment against a Canadian subsidiary that was not a party to the foreign...more

The Eyes of Texas are upon a Subsurface Trespass Case

The Texas Supreme Court is now poised to decide whether subsurface migration of fluids from an approved injection well may constitute an actionable trespass under Texas common law. Recently accepting a petition for review in...more

The Top 6 At 12: Highlights Of The Top Climate Change Legal Stories In The Second Half Of 2013

2013 has drawn to a close; here is our take on the top six climate change legal stories in the last six months. 1. Climate Change Assessments - Blockbuster legislation may have been evaded once more but that has not...more

The Fuss Over Fracking: An Examination of the Insurance Issues Associated with Hydro-Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” is a drilling process used to extract underground oil or natural gas trapped in hard to reach shale rock formations deep in the earth. The process involves well...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 19, 2013

California plans tighter control of hydraulic fracturing, but not enough for some - New York Times - Dec 13: California oil and gas companies using hydraulic fracturing to tap the nation’s largest oil shale formation...more

Citizens Are Not Harmed By the Concept of Pollution Trading: A Challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Is Dismissed

On December 13, the District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed plaintiffs’ challenge in Food and Water Watch v. EPA to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL’s discussion of pollution trading and offsets. As I had previously...more

Texas Supreme Court Set to Hear Case Involving Subsurface Trespass Claim

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear a suit that could determine whether landowners in the state have a cause of action for trespass when water from underground injection wells migrates onto their property. The...more

"The Weakest Link For Climate Change Plaintiffs"

In a case seeking to compel the Washington Department of Ecology and two regional agencies in the state of Washington to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the...more

Was Asbestos Used in Your Drilling Mud Program?

With the bankruptcy of dozens of traditional defendants in asbestos litigation, plaintiffs' attorneys have been creative in pursuing claims in previously untapped areas. One such area is alleged oilfield worker exposure via...more

Litigation Risks in Texas Are Reduced –The Merits of New Trial Orders by Texas Courts Are Now Subject to Appellate Review

Significant oil and gas exploration and development has occurred and continues to occur in South Texas. Whenever an injury, death, or environmental damage results from these operations, a defendant energy company have often...more

Despite Bell, State Law CO2 Liability Claims Are Doomed

“Therefore, the court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

Another Judicial Assault On GHG Emissions

The federal courts barred federal common law nuisance actions to obtain money damages or injunctive relief. American Elec. Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011)(holding nuisance claims seeking injunctive relief...more

Whatever Happened To State Law Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims? Still No Music After Bell

“Therefore, the Court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

The Ninth Circuit Dismisses Suit on Greenhouse Gas Regulation: Science Not Sufficient To Support Causal Link To Plaintiffs’ Injury

On October 17, 2013, the Ninth Circuit ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to consider a challenge to Washington’s failure to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the state’s five oil refineries under the Clean Air Act....more

Third Circuit Decision Finding No CAA Preemption of State Law Nuisance Creates Apparent Split With Fourth Circuit

A recent case from the Third Circuit has muddied the waters for emissions facilities complying with Clean Air Act (“CAA”) permits. In Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, 2013 WL 4418637 (Aug. 20, 2013), the Third Circuit...more

Louisiana is Walking on Eggshell Skulls

Ground zero for climate change and rising sea levels in the United States is not a status to which any state aspires. Florida distastefully remembers 2005 when four hurricanes — Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne — roared...more

PG&E to Settle San Bruno Pipeline Explosion Claims

Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will pay out $565 million in legal settlements and other claims stemming from the 2010 natural gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif., that killed eight people and devastated a...more

Lone Pine Orders Called Into Question In Colorado

A Lone Pine order is a case management tool often utilized by courts in complex multi-party toxic tort cases to organize plaintiffs’ claims and to focus the parties on key issues early in the litigation. A Lone Pine order...more

Court Decision Emphasizes the Importance of a Preventive System in Discharging Environmental and Health and Safety Obligations

In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Justice convicted Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc. and 1367229 Ontario Inc. (the Companies), and their directors, Shay Ben-Moshe and Valery Belahov (the Directors), of multiple...more

Second Circuit Affirms Exxon Judgment, Rejects Clean Air Act Preemption Argument

Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay up, so said a three judge panel of the Second Circuit late last month. Opening the door to a flood of litigation concerning the gasoline additive MTBE, the Second Circuit affirmed a jury verdict...more

South Texas Oil and Gas Companies’ Safety Violations Result in Workers’ Deaths

Julio Barrera, a 25-year-old father with another baby on the way, noticed the derrick tower he was supposed to climb for work was moving, but he was told he would be fired if he didn’t go up. The tower swayed and fell to the...more

United Kingdom: Minerals Matter - Summer 2013

Summer is finally here and with it comes the latest edition of Minerals Matters. In this edition we have covered a wider range of topics than ever before reflecting the breadth of expertise held within the DLA Piper Mining...more

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Tort Litigation: Global Warming Litigation Goes Cold

Within a matter of just a few days, the federal courts put an end to climate change litigation, including one case that had originated in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina....more

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