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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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia Court Of Appeals Upholds Class Certification In Air Pollution Case

The Georgia Court of Appeals, on July 16, issued its opinion affirming the Effingham County Superior Court’s decision to certify a class consisting of the owners of properties neighboring Georgia-Pacific’s Savannah River...more

Colorado Ruling Raises Stakes in Fracking Litigation and Beyond

In an Independence Day gift to plaintiffs, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp., No. 12CA1251 (July 3, 2013), that Colorado law does not allow pre-discovery Lone Pine orders, often used by...more

9-0 Supreme Court Victory for Shell in Alien Tort Statute Case

In what The New York Times has called “the most important business decision of the current term,” Quinn Emanuel obtained a landmark 9-0 victory for Shell Oil in the U.S. Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.,...more

Not on the Rink in My Backyard - Ontario Court Rejects Bid to Enforce Ecuadorian Judgment Against Chevron Corp.

It is well-known that for 20 years Chevron Corp. has been engaged in litigation with residents of the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador over alleged environmental and health damage arising out of oil exploration activities by...more

Jarndyce v. Jarndyce Has Nothing On Comer v. Murphy Oil: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal

Readers of this blog will recall the bizarre history of Comer v. Murphy Oil. In 2005, Plaintiffs brought tort claims against major GHG emitters, claiming that those emissions, by causing global warming, led to plaintiffs’...more

Fifth Circuit Knocks Out Climate Change Liability Lawsuit Again

Res judicata is one of those phrases learned in law school that seemed of limited utility. How often is someone going to bring the same claim twice?...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Extraterritorial Lawsuit Against Shell Oil

The United States Supreme Court, in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, recently restricted the scope of the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 (“ATS”), a 224-year-old law often used to invoke jurisdiction in suing...more

Ontario Court Dismisses “Speculative” Challenge to a Prospective Wind Turbine Project

In Wiggins v. WPD Canada Corporation, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims for injunctive relief and $16.6 million in damages against a prospective (not yet approved) wind turbine project,...more

Texas Court Allows Defamation Claim Against Landowner to Proceed

On Monday, Texas’s Second District Court of Appeals partially affirmed a District Court order allowing Range Resources Corporation’s (“Range”) defamation and business disparagement claims against a landowner to...more

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