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Sustainable Development Update - May 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Energy efficiency is a must for California buildings moving forward - Los Angeles Daily News - May 14 - Energy efficient homes like those at Skylar at Playa Vista in Los...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Voter support for clean energy policies up since last presidential election - Solar Industry Magazine - May 18 - A new survey by Lazard Ltd., a financial advisory and asset management...more

Neither a Will Nor Gift Deed?

This narrative about a daughter gone bad is for title examiners, landmen and moralists. Business development persons, skip straight to the lesson. The background Elvira owned a home and lived with Johnny. Elvira and...more

Here We Go Again: Fractional Royalty or Fraction of a Royalty?

“Blood may be thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both.”  J. R. Ewing. This family dispute among Ethel’s descendants arose when Ethel’s will employed double fractions in bequeathing royalty interests to her children....more

West Coast Real Estate Update: May 2016 #2

San Francisco Requires Solar Panel Installation on New Buildings - Last month, the City of San Francisco passed an ordinance requiring all new buildings to include solar energy systems. California law currently requires...more

Significant Developments in Canadian Energy – For the month of April 2016

Conventional - April 21, 2016 – The Alberta government announced the technical formulas that will be used to calculate royalties and payout cost allowances on oil, natural gas, propane and butane starting in 2017....more

Attention Home Improvement Contractors: CA Bill Singles Out Solar Contractors

California Assembly Bill 2699 (Gonzalez) is a bill to watch if you are a home improvement contractor that solarinstalls solar energy systems or, for that matter, a contractor in California. AB 2699 would, among other things,...more

“Production in Paying Quantities”: Louisiana Appellate Court Decides When and What Should be Considered in Determination

The Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, in Middleton, et al. v. EP Energy E&P Company, L.P., et al., concluded that, in considering whether mineral leases terminated for failure to produce in paying quantities, a fact...more

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

When Joint Bidding Is Not Bid Rigging

Last week we discussed the pitfalls of joint bidding for oil and gas properties. We didn’t say you can’t do it. It’s like domestic life: There are ways you can tell your beloved that dress makes her look  …, well, never mind....more

West Coast Real Estate Update: April 2016 #1

Residential Communities: Calderon Process for HOAs Likely to Be Extended Again - The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary in early April unanimously passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1963 to extend the pre-litigation...more

The Peril in Joint Bidding for Properties

Wondering what was behind the Department of Justice indictment of the late Aubrey McClendon? The charge was conspiring to rig bids for oil and gas properties in Oklahoma. Read the McClendon indictment and engage in the parlor...more

Emerging Trends in Tax Credit Finance: Expansion of Renewable, Development, Housing Programs

On December 18, 2015, the landscape improved for individuals and businesses looking to invest in affordable housing, economic development and renewable energy projects. Congress passed and the President signed into law the...more

Washing Out a Lessee By Email

Behold Mr. Clean. Even he can’t remove a pesky stain as skillfully as the landman who framed the conversation in a way that washed out a lessee. See Anadarko Petroleum Corporation v. TRO-X, LP Did the lessee retain any...more

Colorado House Votes Down Bill Giving Local Authorities Power Over Fracking

Two Democrats joined the Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives on April 4, 2016, to defeat a bill that sought to assert local government control over oil and gas drilling. Drilling operations in Colorado have...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

Financial Services Weekly News - March 2016 #5

Regulatory Developments - SEC Issues FAST Act IM Guidance - The SEC published an IM Guidance Update highlighting two exemptions from registration under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Advisers Act) that...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

My Compliments to DTE

DTE acts quickly and reasonably to settle Milford bypass case. Since I previously wondered whether DTE was engaging in chicanery by providing a construction document that identified the proposed location of the easement...more

State Well Permit Prevails Over Local Zoning – Again

The state laws of Louisiana regulating oil and gas exploration and production will trump local regulations. See St. Tammany Parish Government v. State of Louisiana, Office of Conservation. (Forgive us for that word that...more

Oil and Gas Gathering Contracts: Contracts Running With the Land or Running On Empty?

In a much anticipated ruling, Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman has granted the motion of Sabine Oil and Gas Corporation (No. 15-11835, USBC SDNY) to reject certain executory contracts with Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering, LLC...more

What Happens to a Bundled Production Payment When a Lease Terminates?

Must a production payment out of four oil and gas leases be proportionately reduced if two of the leases expire because production ceased? In Apache Deepwater, LLC v. McDaniel Partners, Ltd., the Texas Supreme Court says yes....more

Tenth Circuit holds that environmental contamination case doesn’t require remand under Class Action Fairness Act’s “local...

Although the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) permits most significant class actions to be heard in federal court, the law requires district courts to remand so-called “local controversies” to state court. A “local...more

"Recent Case Highlights Opportunity for Distressed Exploration and Production Companies"

On March 8, 2016, a bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York issued a much-anticipated decision, In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation, that will undoubtedly influence the reorganization strategies of certain...more

Pennsylvania Jury Awards $4.2 Million in Groundwater Contamination Case

On Thursday, a federal jury in Pennsylvania ordered Cabot Oil & Gas to pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two Pennsylvania families who sued in 2009 alleging that the Texas-based company’s drilling operations...more

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