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Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

Quicksands and Cutting Edges of the Law: Do Municipal Utility Customers possess Due Process and Vested Rights to Continued...

Sometimes, I read a court’s opinion and put it aside because it is thought provoking beyond its facts and outcome. The case of United States Cold Storage, Inc. v. Town of Warsaw, __ N.C. App. ___, 784 S.E. 2d 575 (April 5,...more

District Court Judge Assigned in Conflict Minerals Rule Case

How time flies! This month, the litigation relating to the U.S. SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule enters its fourth year. The litigation has been quiet for the better part of the last year, after the SEC’s petition seeking...more

Robinson Township v. Commonwealth – Is Any of Act 13 Left?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck four additional portions of Act 13 of 2012 in its much anticipated second decision in the Robinson Twp. v. Com. litigation (Robinson IV) on September 28, 2016. While the decision and its...more

The Saga of Pennsylvania's Act 13 Comes to an End

With a bang, rather than a whimper, the saga of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 appears to have finally come to an end. On September 28, 2016, nearly three years after giving teeth to the long-dormant environmental rights amendment to...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues New Decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth Case

On September 28, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision in the Robinson Township v. Commonwealth case, in which petitioners challenged numerous provisions of Act 13 of 2012, 58 Pa. Con....more

Clean Power Plan has its day in court - Will the D.C. Circuit uphold EPA’s landmark CO2 regulations?

In a marathon day-long session before a packed courtroom (and a number of overflow rooms) on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard oral arguments in a litigation challenging the...more

Nasi joins Texas and West Virginia attorney generals at TPPF event about Clean Power Plan

Mike Nasi, partner in our Austin office, joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey at a Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) event to discuss the Clean Power Plan rules in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawmakers and Governor Brown claim major victory on climate change bills - Sacramento Bee - Aug 24 - California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a pair of bills to sustain the...more

Municipal Condemnation of Privately Held Utilities Continues to be a Hot Issue, but at what Cost?

In January, I spoke at a conference in Austin about efforts by municipalities to condemn privately-held utility companies. At the time, I figured it would be a one-off presentation on a pretty niche issue, even for eminent...more

Greater Flexibility in Challenging Pipeline Takings

The standards contained in the Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act allow greater flexibility to trial judges when evaluating the necessity of a pipeline taking than other takings. Since initially writing this post, as a...more

Plains All American Case Dismissed – Federal Court Determines Holder Must Develop Factual Record Before Challenging Kelmar...

On August 16, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted Kelmar’s and Delaware’s motions to dismiss in Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., v. Cook, et al. The court determined that the Plaintiff (1)...more

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains Deferential: The Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21 Survives Review

Late last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to the Army Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21, which allows small surface mining projects to proceed without individual permits under § 404. ...more

Solar Industry Update:  What’s on the Back of My Ballot? What Amendment 4 Is All About

If you vote by mail, then you’ve likely already received your August 30 primary ballot with a proposed amendment to the Florida constitution on the back. It is Amendment 4, and it is the only amendment on the primary ballot....more

Do the Provisions of the Judicial Code Automatically Apply in Eminent Domain Cases? The Commonwealth Court Recently Said No.

On June 22, 2016, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decided the case of Township of Millcreek v. Angela Cres Trust of June 25, 1998, 1725 C.D. 2015, which decided whether 42 Pa.C.S. § 5505 applies to eminent domain cases. ...more

Arizona Supreme Court Affirms Corporation Commission’s Constitutional Authority

The Arizona Supreme Court has affirmed the broad constitutional powers of the Arizona Corporation Commission, in an opinion issued on August 8, 2016. The decision comes in Residential Utility Consumer Office v. Arizona...more

Albany County Supreme Court Vacates New York PSC Reset Order Related to Retail Electric Supply Companies

A New York Supreme Court recently vacated the New York Public Service Commission’s order that would have significantly altered the structure of the New York retail electric market. Although vacated, the matter has been...more

Alameda Fracking Ban: All Bark with No Bite

On July 19, 2016, Alameda County, California (“County”) became the first county in the Bay Area to approve a ban on hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”). The County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the ban through...more

Federal Court Grants Full Civil Trial to FERC Enforcement Target

The decision will likely affect the strategies of enforcement targets in electric market manipulation cases. For the first time, a federal district judge has held that a review of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s...more

DC Circuit Ruling Threatens to Topple FERC Tax Allowance Policy

Court rules that FERC policy permitting a tax allowance for pass-through entities may unjustifiably permit “double-recovery” of tax expense. On July 1, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued...more

US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit delays oral arguments in Clean Power Plan litigation

On May 16, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that it was delaying scheduled June 2 oral arguments before a three-judge panel in litigation over the Clean Power Plan. Instead, the DC...more

Business Litigation Report - June 2016

Federal Circuit Recognizes New, but Limited, Privilege for Patent Agent Communications - Introduction - Patent agents are licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and...more

Mine Commission Upholds Safety Agency’s Demand for Records in Split Decision

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld a judge’s decision favoring the government over a Western Kentucky coal operator who had refused to honor a directive to provide federal authorities with a...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Need to Manage Community Relationships

Imagine this scenario: A company operates a coal ash landfill. Local citizens protest and organize an advocacy group against it and create a Facebook page. The company responds by suing the individual members of the group for...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

On June 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Federal Commerce Commission’s recently enacted rules that enforce “net neutrality” as to Internet Service Providers. ...more

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