Energy & Utilities Transportation

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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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Army Corps jurisdictional determinations subject to pre-permit judicial review, Eighth Circuit says - Allen Matkins - Apr 13: EPA and Army Corps of Engineers imposition of federal...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term. This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law. Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted...more

Coast Guard Proposes to Revise LNG Deepwater Port Regulations - Changes Would Affect Regulations Governing LNG Imports and Exports...

On April 9, 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register seeking public comments on a proposed overhaul of its existing regulations implementing the Deepwater Port Act of...more

Energy Bulletin (US)

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Oil companies may need to prepare for more regulation of rail shipments of...more

The Next Six Weeks in Congress

The House and Senate return this week from the annual Spring Recess, with the Senate scheduled to be in session for the next six weeks and the House in session for three weeks, off for one week, and then returning for another...more

A Skimmed Plan Nord: Keeping in Line with Quebec’s Current Economic Landscape

The Quebec government first launched its Northern Plan, le “Plan Nord”, in 2011 with great fanfare. The Plan Nord seeks to develop Quebec’s vast territory north of the 49th parallel, which covers 72 per cent of the province...more

U.S. Climate Policy That Will Actually Matter in the Short Term

Lost in a series of higher-profile actions concerning his Administration’s climate change initiatives, President Obama’s Executive Order on Floodplain Management will have a profound impact on any future federally-funded...more

Arbitration Roundup

Emilio v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., Case No. 14-732-cv (2d Cir. Nov. 12, 2014) (affirming denial of motion to vacate award; district court did not err by finding that arbitrator did not exceed powers nor manifestly disregard law...more

Recent Crude Oil Train Derailments Intensify the Spotlight on Rail Safety and the Value of Oil Pipelines

Few of us can erase from our memories the imagery of fires blazing at the scenes of crude oil train derailments in West Virginia in early February and in Illinois earlier this month. The fact that these trains carrying Bakken...more

Renewable Energy Update - March 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus: Carbon Emissions Stop Rising for First Time in 40 Years - Renewable Energy World - Mar 16: Global emissions were unchanged last year. This was the first time in four decades that emissions...more

Crude-by-Rail Still Outcompetes Pipelines in the Bakken

With low oil prices and producers slashing the rig count in the Bakken shale, it is fair to ask whether crude-by-rail will be able to compete with pipelines in the region. The bottom line is that crude-by-rail is likely to...more

Energy Companies’ Interest in Drones Gains Momentum as FAA Reacts to Comments on Proposed Small UAS Rules

On March 24, 2015, NextEra Energy became the latest energy company granted a Section 333 Exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration. NextEra Energy, whose subsidiaries Florida Power & Light and NextEra Energy Resources...more

EPA Releases Notice On The GHG Emissions Of Pennycress Oil

On March 12, 2015, Christopher Grundler, Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, signed the Notice Of Opportunity to Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and...more

California Crude Trains: How Much Oil Is Actually Coming In and Where Is It Coming From?

California has become ground zero for legal opposition to crude-by-rail projects. Opponents decry derailments, toxic vapors, and other ills. Yet despite the dire images painted by crude-by-rail’s opponents, the reality on the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown, top lawmakers unveil emergency drought legislation: Los Angeles Times - Mar 19: Governor Jerry Brown and top lawmakers from both parties announced Thursday a $1 billion...more

Coal and Transportation Companies Challenge Ninth Circuit Decision Limiting CWA Permit Shield Defense

On March 3, 2015, Aurora Energy Services, LLC and the Alaska Railroad Corp. filed a petition for writ of certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split regarding the scope of the Clean Water...more

Is California Really Going to Mandate an 80% Reduction in Greenhouse Gases Below 1990 Levels by 2050?

The California Supreme Court has elevated the stakes even further on what has already developed into a critically important question for the future of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation in the state. On March 11, 2015, the...more

Energy and Infrastructure Companies Aren’t Waiting for the FAA’s New Drone Rules

With a little over one month to go in the comment period on the FAA’s proposed rules for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and facing the prospect of at least another year before those rules...more

CEQA Alert UPDATE: Petitions for Review Filed in Greenhouse Gas and ICCTA Preemption Cases

As previously reported, two decisions by California’s Fourth Appellate District in late 2014 highlighted CEQA compliance challenges facing local governments charged with implementing state and local greenhouse gas emissions...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, March 2015.

EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Updates EDSP Comprehensive Management Plan: On February 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP)...more

Energy Industry News and Trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Oil companies may need to prepare for more regulation of rail shipments of...more

Texas Legislature Takes Further Aim at Local/Municipal Fracking Bans

On Tuesday, March 11, 2015, the Texas Legislature’s 84th Session gained another bill directed at combating future local and municipal fracking bans. State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Chairman of the Texas House Energy...more

New Pipeline Safety Rules: What You Need to Know

Executive Summary - New regulations for pipeline construction, safety and transportation issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is an agency of the Department of...more

ISO and RTO Responses to FERC Data Requests Fail to Provide Clear Support for Proposed Gas Day Rulemaking

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently employed the somewhat unusual device of issuing data requests to electric power industry participants in an attempt to obtain information that might support a...more

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