Energy Sector

News & Analysis as of

Iowa Modifies its Renewable Energy Tax Credit Regime

The governor of Iowa has signed into law House File 645 (the “Act”) modifying statutory provisions related to Iowa’s renewable energy tax credits, effective June 26, 2015. There are four primary changes, three of which are...more

Activists ask Court to Scrap EIR and Stop Fracking

Today, July 30, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”). CBD claims, among other things, that DOGGR...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Price-Anderson Act Does Not Preempt Nuisance Claims

This decision departs from all other federal circuits that have addressed the issue and, if adopted by other courts, represents a significant expansion of potential liability for operators in the nuclear energy industry....more

New Battleground Emerges in New York Fracing Debate

When New York officially banned hydraulic fracturing in late June 2015, many assumed the long-heated political debate was over and there would be no fracing in New York unless the courts overturned the ban. In less than a...more

Competition News July-August 2015

French merger control: The Competition Authority agrees to approve the prospective acquirer of assets sold by the purchaser - On May 15, 2015, the Competition Authority authorized, subject to certain conditions, the...more

DOE Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass Project

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Northern Pass Transmission, LLC’s proposed 187-mile transmission line across the United States-Canada border in New...more

Fate of Injection Wells in Historically Exempt Aquifers Comes Closer to Determination

A lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California took a positive turn for energy producers last week as Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez denied plaintiffs’...more

DOE Looking For Additions To Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee

As reported in last week's update, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy put out a call for nominations for candidates to join the Biomass Research and Development (R&D)...more

FERC, NERC and Business Blackout: New CIP Standards and Fictional Cyber Attacks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) July 16, 2015, proposing to approve various Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards proposed by the North...more

Drop in Commodity Pricing, Liquidity Drives ‘Upstream’ Bankruptcy Filings

What are the characteristics of the energy companies that are seeking bankruptcy protection at this point in the current cycle? A: With respect to “upstream” sector companies that have sought bankruptcy protection over...more

‘Seller Capitulation’ Fueling Increase in Sale of Energy Sector Assets

What are the key issues confronting the energy sector today that investors – particularly private equity investors – need to be aware of as they look for energy investment opportunities? A: We see increasing signs of...more

The Importance of Independence: The Ninth Circuit Provides Helpful Clarification on Connected Actions in the Energy Project...

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a right-of-way for an access road over Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land to connect a wind project to a state highway did not trigger formal consultation under the...more

Potential Upstream Investment Under the New Iranian Petroleum Contract

The signing of the JCPOA regarding Iran nuclear sanctions may usher in a new era of major international investment in the Iranian oil and gas industry....more

Lloyd’s Report Highlights Risk of Cyberattacks on National Power Grid

A sophisticated cyberattack on the U.S. power grid could cause nearly $250 billion in economic losses and, under the most severe circumstances, cost more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, according to a recent report...more

FERC Rejects Requests for Clarification but Provides Additional Details Regarding Pipeline Modernization Surcharge Mechanisms

On July 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued an order (“July 16 Order”) denying the request by the Process Gas Consumers Group (“PGC”) and the American Forest and Paper...more

Finalized Iran Nuclear Deal Outlines Changes for U.S. and EU Sanctions

On July 14, 2015, negotiators from Iran, the EU, and the P5+1 countries —China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany—announced that they had reached a consensus on the final text of the Joint...more

Fracking, Trigger Warnings, and a Safe Room

First, an apology. I have brought shame to my own self and this blog for failing to invoke trigger warnings about activities I will mention again, after the appropriate trigger warning. (I had no idea there were so many.)...more

IRS Establishes 80% Threshold for Energy Companies to Apply When Determining Whether “Substantially All” of a Major Component Has...

On July 6, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large Business and International Division issued a Directive1 to IRS agents regarding how to determine when a major component pertaining to steam or electric generation property...more

…But Coal Bed Gas Is Not The Same As Natural Gas

In a PA Superior Court opinion handed down after the Sissons v. Stanley case (109 A.3d 265, described in the previous blog posting), the court ruled that a reservation of gas rights in a 1932 deed, reserving to the grantor,...more

UPDATE – Indonesia’s New Draft Oil & Gas Law

Indonesia has recently made public a full copy of its draft oil and gas law for review and parliamentary discussion. By way of update to our client alert of 21 April 2015, we can now review the further revised and full...more

Overview of Sanctions Relief in Nuclear Deal with Iran

On July 20, 2015, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted resolution 2231 endorsing the final nuclear deal agreed between the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (US),...more

Energy & Environment Update - July 2015 #3

Energy and Climate Debate - With just two or three weeks before the August recess – two for the House, three for the Senate – Congress has a full schedule. The Senate will devote much of this week to the Highway bill,...more

American Wind Energy Association Seeks Revisions to Generator Interconnection Rules

On June 19, 2015, the American Wind Energy Association (“AWEA”) filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for a rulemaking to revise the FERC’s pro forma Large Generator Interconnection...more

U.S. renewable energy share highest since 1930s

In 2014, about 9.8% of the total energy consumed in the U.S. came from renewable energy sources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This represents the highest share of total domestic energy supply...more

An Oft-Forgotten Detail in Infrastructure Deals – Telecom Licenses

Much of the nation’s infrastructure, from energy to transportation, depends upon telecommunications for safe and efficient operation. The facilities that provide such communications services generally are proprietary...more

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