Constitutional Law Energy & Utilities

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Wolverine Pipeline Capitulates in Response to Necessity Challenge

In return for dropping a necessity challenge, Wolverine Pipeline agreed to substantially modified easement and paid the attorney fees incurred in pursuing the challenge. As I have previously noted, greater flexibility...more

Denbury v. Texas Rice "Texas Rice II": The Texas Supreme Court Affirms Common Carrier Status

On Friday, January 6, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas v. Texas Rice Land Partners (“Texas Rice II”), reversing the 9th Court of Appeals and reinstating the trial...more

Oil Pipeline Rate Regulation under Review by FERC – Is There a Place for the Consumer Voice?

Oil pipeline rates must be just and reasonable and may be challenged by their customer shippers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA). FERC has observed through monitoring...more

Quality Built Homes Revisited: The Court of Appeals Weighs In On Critical Issues

If you happen to work in local government, are a developer who has worked with a local government, or simply have an interest in the world of municipal water and sewer services, you are no doubt aware of the North Carolina...more

Value Trends of Gas Stations and Car Washes

In a previous post, “What is ‘Just Compensation’ For Gas Station Acquisitions,” we explored various methods for valuing gas stations and car washes in an eminent domain action, including a recommendation by a gas station...more

Italian Constitutional Court declares the question of constitutional legitimacy on the “Spalma-Incentivi” Decree ‘groundless’

On December 7, 2016 the Italian Constitutional Court (the “Constitutional Court”) rejected the appeal filed by four solar energy operators against Art. 26, paragraphs 2 and 3 of Italian Law Decree no. 91, dated June 24, 2014,...more

German Nuclear Phase-Out Legislation is Partly Unconstitutional

The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (FCC) on December 6 ruled that while the phase-out of nuclear energy (enacted in 2011) is in compliance with the constitution, Germany’s energy suppliers which operate nuclear power...more

New York’s high court finds jurisdiction over foreign bank on basis of correspondent bank account activity

In a ruling that three dissenting judges warned would “have grave implications for correspondent banking relationships,” New York’s Court of Appeals has reinstated claims against a Swiss bank after concluding that its alleged...more

Securing Rights-of-Way to CO2 Pipeline Corridors in the United States

In the previous article in this series The Future of Carbon Dioxide Injection EOR in the United States, we discussed the sources and cost of CO2 supply for enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) in the United States and the benefits...more

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies CAFA Jurisdiction Continues After Dismissal of Class Claims

On November 22, the Eleventh Circuit clarified that Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) jurisdiction is not eliminated when the class claims are dismissed before the class is certified. The plaintiff, an Alabama trucking...more

California Cities To Tax Streaming Video?

Many cities in California are considering the expansion of their Utility User Tax (UUT) to streaming video services. Such an expansion may be inconsistent with the cities’ existing ordinances, be invalid under Proposition 218...more

Tentative Decision Favors Private Utility Company in Takeover Bid

One of the hot issues in eminent domain these days involves the government’s efforts to take over privately-run utility companies. The argument typically is that the government — which has no profit-making motive — can run...more

Endangered Fish v. Humans: The Fight Over Competing Water Needs

The struggle to allocate scarce water resources between endangered and threatened fish and humans is not new. But droughts in the Southwest, which lower stream flows, and population increases, which raise demand, have...more

Due Process Required for Environmental Remedy Selection: Appellate Division Rules NYSDEC Must Afford Responsible Parties an...

Hodgson Russ LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP successfully challenged the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) ability to implement a remedy without first providing a party an opportunity for a...more

Financing Increased Demand On Pre-Existing Services Constitutes “Additional Services”

California Court Decision Rules on Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 - Community Facilities Districts formed by a landowner vote may be used to finance increased demand on pre-existing services, a California...more

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

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