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Supreme Court's Petition Denial in Clean Air Act Pre-emption Case Reinforces Threat From Common Law Claims

The United States Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari earlier this month after the Iowa Supreme Court held in June that the plaintiffs' nuisance claims were not pre-empted by the Clean Air Act (CAA) in Freeman v....more

Proof and Causation Matter: District Court Declines to Penalize ExxonMobil in Texas Citizen Suit

On Wednesday, Judge David Hittner, of the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in a decision long enough to require two separate pdfs, declined to impose an injunction or penalties (plaintiffs sought...more

Proving An Operator’s Gross Negligence: Is Intention Required?

Establishing an operator’s gross negligence requires “a degree of intentionality”, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Bernum Petroleum Ltd v Birch Lake Energy Inc, 2014 ABQB 652 [Bernum]....more

Minerals Matter - Autumn 2014

Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters. Whilst the economic picture has certainly improved over the last six months, there have been a number of stops and starts along the way. Data suggests further...more

Kentucky Federal Court Holds Tort Claims Not Preempted by Clean Air Act

State common law tort claims based on air emissions from a power plant are not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The court agreed to...more

American Pipe Tolling Inapplicable In Texas Negligent Misstatement Case

The Southern District of Texas found that negligent misstatement claims filed more than two years after the last alleged misstatement were time-barred and that the applicable statute of limitations was not tolled under...more

Supreme Court Roundup: Recent Environmental Law Rulings and Pending Cases

Scaling back considerably from the October 2012 Term, the United States Supreme Court issued only a few rulings affecting environmental law during the October 2013 Term. With significant pronouncements regarding EPA’s Clean...more

New Wave of State Law Air Pollution Torts?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Bell v. Cheswick could pave the way for more state common law air pollution tort suits and greater exposure for emitters. A new wave of state common law air pollution...more

Which Ground for Federal Jurisdiction is the Safest in Dredging Cases?: Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood...

The Eastern District of Louisiana recently denied the Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (Plaintiff) Motion to Remand its suit against 92 oil and gas companies back to state...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Petitions Challenging Proposed NY-NJ Gas Pipeline

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed petitions brought by the City of Jersey City, NJ, and various environmental organizations challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's ("FERC") order granting a...more

Supreme Court Allows Third Circuits GenOn Opinion to Stand: State Law Actions Not Preempted By the Clean Air Act

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of Kristie Bell v. GenOn, where the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Clean Air Act did not preempt state common law actions seeking damages for air pollution....more

U.S. Supreme Court Allows to Stand Ruling That Sources of Air Pollutants are Subject to State Common Law Tort Claims

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not review a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowing state common law tort claims against sources of air pollutants. This spells uncertainty...more

Responding To Litigation Risk From Climate Change - Informed Decision Making

In the last few weeks, several major organisations, including the OECD and the US federal government, have released reports on the need to deal with climate change risk. Significantly, the world's largest global insurance...more

Energy Newsletter - May 2014

In This Issue: - Important Case on Subsurface Trespass Pending before the Texas Supreme Court - U.S. Fifth Circuit: The CWA and OPA Preempt State Law Claims for Pollution Incidents on the OCS - Texas...more

Restoring the Duty of Care Analysis to Negligence Claims in Third-party Proceedings

The Alberta Court of Appeal has provided some helpful guidance on the scope of third-party claims in O’Connor Associates Environmental Inc v MEC OP LLC, 2014 ABCA 140, narrowing the scope and application of the decision of...more

Texas Jury Awards $3 Million in Hydraulic Fracturing Lawsuit

A jury in Dallas County, Texas, awarded nearly $3 million on April 22, 2014, in a suit contending that Aruba Petroleum, Inc., as well as other operators and service providers, had caused “environmental contamination and...more

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

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

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

"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

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

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