Transportation Energy & Utilities

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Recent Crude-by-Rail Developments

The transportation of crude oil by rail continues to be a key issue for rail and energy industry stakeholders as well as policy makers. Below is a summary of recent developments. 1. DOT Takes Six Crude-by-Rail Safety...more

DOT Issues Final Rule for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

On May 1, 2015, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) long awaited (and already highly controversial) final rule strengthening standards for trains carrying flammable...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

CEQA Judicial Outcomes: Fifteen Years of Reported California Appellate and Supreme Court Decisions

This report analyzes all published opinions from 1997 through 2012 litigated to the California Court of Appeal or the California Supreme Court concerning the analytical validity of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or...more

FERC Policy Statement Regarding Pipeline Recovery of System Modernization Costs

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (the “Policy­­­.Statement”), opening...more

California Governor Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030

In an Executive Order issued yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown set “a new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is...more

Keystone XL’s Opponents Won’t Derail Canadian Oil Trains to the Gulf Coast

The U.S. Gulf Coast—with its 1.4 million barrels per day of coker[*] refining capacity geared to maximize output of high-value lighter products from lower-cost, heavy, high-sulfur crude oil feedstocks—is an ideal market for...more

Energy Bulletin (US)

Transportation Department acts on safety issues regarding crude and ethanol shipped by rail. The US Department of Transportation on April 17 issued regulatory changes it believes will address “some of the issues...more

Environmental Alert: "Potential Seismic Activity from Injection Wells Prompts Railroad Commission of Texas to Order Hearings"

On Friday, April 24, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) ordered hearings regarding two waste injection well permits. The hearings are to address an alleged connection between the injection wells and seismic activity in...more

Justices Spar Over Pre-Emption as High Court Allows State Law Antitrust Claims to Proceed Against Interstate Pipelines

On April 21, 2015, in a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Breyer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state law antitrust claims brought against interstate pipeline companies by a group of manufacturers and other retail buyers...more

SC Public Policy Update - April 2015 #2

HOUSE - The House of Representatives spent the last two weeks working in committees and trying to get bills passed out of the House prior to the May 1st cross-over deadline. For a bill to be considered during this...more

Ohio Cuts Alternative Fuel Mandate In Transportation Budget

On April 1, 2015, the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich (R), signed the 2016-2017 Transportation Budget Bill (Sub. H.B. 53). The state transportation budget does not include a requirement on alternative fuel use in the state...more

FERC Finalizes Rule on Natural Gas and Electric Scheduling Practices

The reforms are aimed to address natural gas and electric scheduling concerns resulting from the increase in gas-fired generation, to provide greater flexibility to industry participants, and to better ensure reliable and...more

FERC Revises Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Nomination Timelines

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a much-anticipated final rule modifying some of the scheduling practices used by interstate natural gas pipelines to better coordinate the scheduling...more

What is Your Texas Legislature Doing for You Today?

The Texas legislature has been busy on energy. House Bill 40, similar to House Bills 539 and 540, steamrolled through the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 122 to 18. Reminds us of A L pitchers not...more

Oil Field Employers Post-McMaster: Still Searching for Clarity on the TCA’s Impact on the Motor Carrier Act Exemption

In McMaster v. Eastern Armored Services, Inc., No. 14-1010 (March 11, 2015), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued one of the first federal appellate court opinions discussing the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Army Corps jurisdictional determinations subject to pre-permit judicial review, Eighth Circuit says - Allen Matkins - Apr 13: EPA and Army Corps of Engineers imposition of federal...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term. This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law. Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted...more

Coast Guard Proposes to Revise LNG Deepwater Port Regulations - Changes Would Affect Regulations Governing LNG Imports and Exports...

On April 9, 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register seeking public comments on a proposed overhaul of its existing regulations implementing the Deepwater Port Act of...more

Energy Bulletin (US)

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Oil companies may need to prepare for more regulation of rail shipments of...more

The Next Six Weeks in Congress

The House and Senate return this week from the annual Spring Recess, with the Senate scheduled to be in session for the next six weeks and the House in session for three weeks, off for one week, and then returning for another...more

A Skimmed Plan Nord: Keeping in Line with Quebec’s Current Economic Landscape

The Quebec government first launched its Northern Plan, le “Plan Nord”, in 2011 with great fanfare. The Plan Nord seeks to develop Quebec’s vast territory north of the 49th parallel, which covers 72 per cent of the province...more

U.S. Climate Policy That Will Actually Matter in the Short Term

Lost in a series of higher-profile actions concerning his Administration’s climate change initiatives, President Obama’s Executive Order on Floodplain Management will have a profound impact on any future federally-funded...more

Arbitration Roundup

Emilio v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., Case No. 14-732-cv (2d Cir. Nov. 12, 2014) (affirming denial of motion to vacate award; district court did not err by finding that arbitrator did not exceed powers nor manifestly disregard law...more

Recent Crude Oil Train Derailments Intensify the Spotlight on Rail Safety and the Value of Oil Pipelines

Few of us can erase from our memories the imagery of fires blazing at the scenes of crude oil train derailments in West Virginia in early February and in Illinois earlier this month. The fact that these trains carrying Bakken...more

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