Energy Sector

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. EPA, a Clean Air Act case involving hazardous air pollutant regulations, with implications for fossil fuel-fired power plant owners and operators in...more

Long-awaited regulations for fracking on federal land: what they mean for business

This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US and internationally....more

Cyber Vulnerability in Wind Turbines

It has been reported that a wind turbine which is deployed across the energy sector worldwide has been hacked. Due to a software bug, an attacker can get the user name and password from the browser. This can allow admin...more

Ohio Wind Developer and FWS Successfully Defend Incidental Take Permit for Endangered Indiana Bat

A proposed Ohio wind farm cleared another legal hurdle last week when Judge Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (“FWS”) issuance of an incidental...more

Falling prices at the pump put a premium on energy IP

Crude oil prices, which have declined over 60 percent in the past six months, are at recent record lows. The impact of the price decline is being felt throughout the energy sector. Commentators agree that with few exceptions,...more

Energy Companies’ Interest in Drones Gains Momentum as FAA Reacts to Comments on Proposed Small UAS Rules

On March 24, 2015, NextEra Energy became the latest energy company granted a Section 333 Exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration. NextEra Energy, whose subsidiaries Florida Power & Light and NextEra Energy Resources...more

Texas small hydro project loses exemption

What happens to a proposed hydroelectric project takes longer than anticipated to be built, due to difficulties with project financing and severe flooding? As the developer of a proposed project in Texas recently found out,...more

Gas Lines to Pipelines: The Case for Comprehensive Federal Energy Legislation

We’ve struggled with the consequences of an insufficient federal energy policy for nearly half a century. From the gas lines of the 1970s to the Keystone XL pipeline controversy of the past several years, the federal and...more

Change of control: developments in the United Kingdom

Why is change of control an issue? In addition to contractual provisions amongst joint venture parties, change-of-control restrictions are often also included in a country’s petroleum laws....more

FERC Lightens Compliance Load for Power Traders

In a time of increasing compliance requirements and enhanced regulatory scrutiny of power trading activities, a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) order brought some compliance relief to power traders and...more

EPA Releases Notice On The GHG Emissions Of Pennycress Oil

On March 12, 2015, Christopher Grundler, Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, signed the Notice Of Opportunity to Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and...more

Fourth Circuit Continues Trend toward Narrowing Scope of CERCLA Arranger Liability

Action Item: With federal courts moving toward limiting arranger liability under CERCLA, companies that sell new or used products containing hazardous substances should heed the guidance of those courts and take certain...more

FERC 2014 State of the Markets report

U.S. energy markets overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2014 were impacted by extreme weather and changes in the mix of electric generation resources, according to a report by Commission staff....more

IRS Issues Additional Guidance on Beginning of Construction Rules for Renewable Projects

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-25 (Notice) on March 11, 2015, to provide further guidance on meeting the beginning of construction requirements for wind and other qualified facilities (biomass,...more

Energy Update - March 2015

This week marked the first policy deadline for policy bills. The Senate Energy and Environment Committee spent considerable time this week working through policy measures, including SF 1431 (Marty-D), the Senate Omnibus...more

European Commission Plans to Vet Gas and Energy Contracts and Its Approach to Russian Suppliers

A proposal to grant the European Commission a role in vetting gas supply contracts across the EU has been met with fierce resistance from the member states. The current proposal is another element of the EU’s broader...more

Court Decisions Halt Momentum on Local Oil and Gas Regulations

Action Item: Oil and gas operators should be aware that courts recently have been paring back on the power of local municipalities to regulate their operations. ...more

NNI Publishes Supplement to President's 2016 Budget

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) published on March 11, 2015, its supplement to the President’s 2016 budget submitted to Congress. NNI states that the supplement serves as the NNI annual report....more

Department of Energy Releases Wind Vision Report: Accelerating Growth Offers a Promising Future

Recently, the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy issued Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States. The report, a follow up to the 2008 20% Wind Energy by 2030, looks at the future of wind...more

Compliance Responses to Economic Downturns: A Focus On The Energy Sector – Part Two

II. Doing Less with Less - The current economic downturn in the energy space seems to follow a pattern, with businesses’ exhibiting predictable Pavlovian responses. When oil prices drop precipitously, companies who are...more

Supreme Court’s Perez Decision Shines the Light on Federal Agencies’ Authority to Use “Interpretations” (Often called Shadow...

Over the last three decades, federal agencies have increasingly used “interpretations” to “explain” what a formal regulation means, rather than to go through the more expensive, complicated and slow process of changing the...more

USA Synthetic Fuel Corporation Files Bankruptcy; Will Pursue A Sale

On March 17, 2015, following the lead of Quicksilver Resources Inc., USA Synthetic Fuel Corporation filed its own voluntary chapter 11 case in Delaware. The case is docketed as case no. 15-10599, and has been assigned to...more

Entergy Sues New York’s Public Service Commissioners, Alleging Constitutional Violations in Awarding an Out-of-Market Contract to...

New York is under fire, like Maryland and New Jersey before it, for allegedly advantaging an incumbent generator competing in Regional Transmission Organization markets with an out-of-market contract. Entergy has sued the New...more

Energy Technology Connections Newsletter: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - March 2015

Our March edition of Energy Technology Connections brings you recent industry highlights, the latest news from Capitol Hill, and a list of upcoming energy industry events. In our Leaders in the News section, we congratulate...more

REMIT Registration: What do you need to know?

The EU Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT)1 came into force on 28 December 2011. It establishes an insider trading, market manipulation, disclosure, registration and transaction reporting...more

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