Residential Real Estate Energy & Utilities

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Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

When Joint Bidding Is Not Bid Rigging

Last week we discussed the pitfalls of joint bidding for oil and gas properties. We didn’t say you can’t do it. It’s like domestic life: There are ways you can tell your beloved that dress makes her look  …, well, never mind....more

West Coast Real Estate Update: April 2016 #1

Residential Communities: Calderon Process for HOAs Likely to Be Extended Again - The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary in early April unanimously passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1963 to extend the pre-litigation...more

The Peril in Joint Bidding for Properties

Wondering what was behind the Department of Justice indictment of the late Aubrey McClendon? The charge was conspiring to rig bids for oil and gas properties in Oklahoma. Read the McClendon indictment and engage in the parlor...more

Washing Out a Lessee By Email

Behold Mr. Clean. Even he can’t remove a pesky stain as skillfully as the landman who framed the conversation in a way that washed out a lessee. See Anadarko Petroleum Corporation v. TRO-X, LP Did the lessee retain any...more

Colorado House Votes Down Bill Giving Local Authorities Power Over Fracking

Two Democrats joined the Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives on April 4, 2016, to defeat a bill that sought to assert local government control over oil and gas drilling. Drilling operations in Colorado have...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

Financial Services Weekly News - March 2016 #5

Regulatory Developments - SEC Issues FAST Act IM Guidance - The SEC published an IM Guidance Update highlighting two exemptions from registration under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Advisers Act) that...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

My Compliments to DTE

DTE acts quickly and reasonably to settle Milford bypass case. Since I previously wondered whether DTE was engaging in chicanery by providing a construction document that identified the proposed location of the easement...more

State Well Permit Prevails Over Local Zoning – Again

The state laws of Louisiana regulating oil and gas exploration and production will trump local regulations. See St. Tammany Parish Government v. State of Louisiana, Office of Conservation. (Forgive us for that word that...more

Oil and Gas Gathering Contracts: Contracts Running With the Land or Running On Empty?

In a much anticipated ruling, Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman has granted the motion of Sabine Oil and Gas Corporation (No. 15-11835, USBC SDNY) to reject certain executory contracts with Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering, LLC...more

What Happens to a Bundled Production Payment When a Lease Terminates?

Must a production payment out of four oil and gas leases be proportionately reduced if two of the leases expire because production ceased? In Apache Deepwater, LLC v. McDaniel Partners, Ltd., the Texas Supreme Court says yes....more

Tenth Circuit holds that environmental contamination case doesn’t require remand under Class Action Fairness Act’s “local...

Although the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) permits most significant class actions to be heard in federal court, the law requires district courts to remand so-called “local controversies” to state court. A “local...more

"Recent Case Highlights Opportunity for Distressed Exploration and Production Companies"

On March 8, 2016, a bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York issued a much-anticipated decision, In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation, that will undoubtedly influence the reorganization strategies of certain...more

Pennsylvania Jury Awards $4.2 Million in Groundwater Contamination Case

On Thursday, a federal jury in Pennsylvania ordered Cabot Oil & Gas to pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two Pennsylvania families who sued in 2009 alleging that the Texas-based company’s drilling operations...more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 3.14.16

Even as oil prices are rebounding and bringing some welcome hope to battered markets, the Journal worries that “this rally could lead to its own demise,” as higher prices “will likely encourage shale producers to ramp up...more

R&I Update: Hot Topics in Oil and Gas Restructurings, Volume 2 Can Gathering Agreements Be Rejected as Executory Contracts?

“The carnage is going to be terrible,” cried a recent Dallas Morning News headline. “It’s a hellacious problem,” lamented another article. It’s no secret the energy sector has come upon hard times. Oil prices are down 70...more

Bankruptcy Court Rules Gathering Agreements Can Be Rejected - Potential Significant Impacts on Midstream Companies

On March 8, 2016, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”) ruled from the bench in In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. in a case of first impression that a midstream gathering agreement...more

An Update on Reopening TCE Sites in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection plans to begin contacting some owners of properties with closed trichloroethylene (TCE) remediation sites and requiring them to conduct testing, following a review of...more

Sabine Court Gives 'Non-Binding' Ruling That Gathering Agreements Are Not Covenants Running with the Land Under Texas Law

After extensive briefing and hearing oral arguments related to Sabine's motion to reject two gathering agreements with Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering as well as two gathering and handling agreements with HPIP Gonzales...more

Rating Agency Developments

On March 2, S&P updated its criteria for rating certain U.S. RMBS backed by pre-2009 originated mortgage loans. On March 1, Moody’s updated its rating methodology for U.S. public electric utilities with generation ownership...more

USDA Pairs with Lean and Green Michigan to Approve First PACE Loan

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as part of the USDA’s Rural Development mission area, announced its intention to approve a Property Assessed Clean Energy loan (“PACE” loan) to provide energy...more

MPSC Approved Wolverine Pipe Line Project in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties

Wolverine Pipe Line Company received the administrative approval that is a prerequisite to it acquiring necessary property rights and constructing its project. On June 17, 2015, Wolverine Pipe Line Company filed anApplication...more

Kansas Tax Authority Confirms Only a Utility may Sell Power in Kansas

In its first opinion letter of the year, the Kansas Department of Revenue (DOR) confirmed that under Kansas law only a utility can sell power to a residential customer. The text of the letter references the request as being...more

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