Energy Sector

News & Analysis as of

District Court Dismisses Challenge to Biological Opinions In Light of Circuit Court’s Exclusive Jurisdiction

Primarily relying on precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and D.C. Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine recently dismissed an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit challenging two...more

Five Key Takeaways from Key Energy’s SEC FCPA Settlement

The SEC, last week, announced its $5 million settlement with Key Energy. As always, FCPA settlements contain important examples of enforcement priorities and policies. Key Energy’s recent settlement is an example of the...more

Fueling Freedom: Explaining the Value of Fossil Fuels

Which of these statements makes sense to you: A. “Never before have the rulers of a society intentionally driven it backwards to scarcer, more expensive, and less efficient energy.” B. “Communism is the optimal...more

Greater Flexibility in Challenging Pipeline Takings

The standards contained in the Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act allow greater flexibility to trial judges when evaluating the necessity of a pipeline taking than other takings. Since initially writing this post, as a...more

Successful procurement challenge against the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

On 29 July the High Court handed down its judgment in the high-profile Energy Solutions (ES) v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) case.  The case concerned the competition to become the “Parent Body Organisation” (PBO)...more

FERC Weighs PURPA Changes: What Do Renewable Energy Stakeholders Need to Know?

For a law originally passed in response to the energy crisis of the 1970s, The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) has received a lot of recent attention from Congress and advocates for both investor-owned...more

“Holy Grail” of Renewable Energy Storage is Fast-Approaching

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created its Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) division to fund energy storage projects conducted by scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the Lawrence Livermore and...more

Renewable Energy Update - August 2016 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Kick-off for California offshore - reNEWS - Aug 16 - The U.S. has taken a major step forward in offshore wind development in the deep waters off the coast of California. The Bureau of...more

DOE Clarifies Whistleblower Protections in Proposed Rule Revision

Department of Energy contractors and subcontractors may be subject to additional civil penalties. The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently published proposed revisions to its procedural rules for nuclear activities in...more

FERC Requires New England Generators to Reveal How Bids Formulated

On August 8, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order on remand from the D.C. Circuit on FERC’s approval of ISO New England’s (ISO-NE) 2013-14 winter reliability program, results, and rates....more

Comprehensive Massachusetts Bill Enacted to Drive Energy Storage and Offshore Wind Generation Resources

Recently, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law an omnibus energy bill H.4568 that will provide Massachusetts electricity customers with the benefit of electricity produced by offshore wind and hydropower...more

Control-of-Well Insurance: The Words of the Policy Control

Gemini Insurance Company at al v. Drilling Risk Management Inc construed control-of-well and redrill/extra-expense provisions in an insurance contract. The question and the rule - The question was whether an...more

Wage and Hour Claims Surge in the Oil and Gas Industry

Since 2012, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) reports that it has recovered over $40 million in back wages for employees in the oil and gas industry.  Employers in the industry can expect claims to rise as the DOL...more

White House Issues Final Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in NEPA Reviews

After more than six years of review and the issuance of several draft guidance documents, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published on Aug. 5, 2016, its final guidance on considering greenhouse gas...more

Farewell to R2D2 and Key Energy FCPA Resolution – Part II

Yesterday I began a what I thought would be a two-part series on the Key Energy, Inc. (Key Energy) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action. However (and as usual), I got carried away so today I will review the...more

Court of Appeal Lifts Stay in Cross Border Class Action

In Kaynes v. BP [1] (referred to herein as “Kaynes”) the Court of Appeal for Ontario (“ONCA”) recently lifted a stay of a class proceeding in which the Plaintiff is seeking damages for alleged misrepresentations made to...more

Renewable Energy Update - August 2016 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - California's regional electricity grid plan on hold - Los Angeles Times - Aug 8 - Governor Jerry Brown’s plan for a regional electricity grid is being put on hold this year, and...more

Alabama Joins Challenge to EPA's Rule Limiting Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Alabama has joined several other states in a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule regulating emissions standards for certain...more

Farewell to John Saunders and Welcome to Key Energy FCPA Resolution – Part I

John Saunders died last week. He was a reporter at ESPN and the host of the Sunday talking heads show, the Sports Reporters. The tributes for Saunders came from far and wide. By all accounts, he was one of the most beloved...more

Shocker from EIA – Lifting the Crude Export Ban Results in More Crude Exports

“Since the removal of restrictions on exporting U.S. crude oil in December 2015, the number of countries receiving exported U.S. crude has risen sharply. These exports have occurred despite a sustained narrow price premium of...more

The Social Cost of Carbon Passes Its First Judicial Test

Earlier this week, the 7th Circuit affirmed the Department of Energy’s new energy efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment. This is a big deal in its own right, simply because the numbers are really...more

Sustainable Development Update - August 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - Burgeoning green building materials market set to reach $255B by 2020 - Construction Dive - Aug 3 - The global green building materials market is on pace to hit $255 billion by...more

CARB Releases Final Proposed Amendments to Cap-and-Trade Regulations; Formal Comment Period Commences

The California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) timeline toward amending California’s cap-and-trade regulations progressed with the release of its final proposed amendments and supporting documentation August 2, 2016. Formal...more

The Impact of PROMESA on Creditors

On June 30, 2016, the United States Senate passed the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act” (“PROMESA”) and it was quickly signed into law by President Obama. PROMESA enables the Commonwealth of...more

Is it a new day for Jones Act enforcement? Maybe. A practical look at coastwise concerns

The Jones Act (46 U.S.C. § 55102) provides that the transportation of merchandise between coastwise US points is prohibited unless performed by vessels that are US-built, owned, and documented. US Customs and Border...more

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