Last week I had the pleasure of co-hosting the ACI Admiralty and Maritime Claims and Litigation conference with my friend and colleague Chris Nolan from Holland & Knight. Here are a few highlights from the conference: Continue Reading
On November 10, 2016, Judge Ann Aiken, a federal district judge in Oregon, issued a remarkable environmental law decision in which she found that a climate system “capable of sustaining human life” is a fundamental constitutional right. Juliana v. United States challenges the constitutionality of the United States’ decades-long policy on climate change. The plaintiffs, a group of 21 children and young adults, sued the United States and various government officials alleging that they have known for more than five decades “that the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels was destabilizing the climate system in a way that would ‘significantly endanger plaintiffs, with the damage persisting for millennia.’” According to the plaintiffs, the defendants have failed to take necessary action to curtail fossil fuel emissions, and the government and its agencies “have taken action or failed to take action that has resulted in increased carbon pollution through fossil fuel extraction, production, consumption, transportation, and exportation.”
In December of 2016, Republican John Kennedy won the United States Senate runoff election in Louisiana. On the campaign trail, Senator Kennedy promised to do his part in strengthening the declining oil and gas industry in Louisiana by easing restrictions imposed by the Obama Administration and fighting to bring back old jobs and create new ones in the energy sector. Now that President Donald Trump has taken office and Republicans control the United States House and Senate, Senator Kennedy has taken action.
In Gladney v. Anglo-Dutch Energy, L.L.C., the Third Circuit addressed the question of whether or not a mineral lessee must pay its lessor full lease-basis royalties for production undertaken during the effective period of a conditional allowable but prior to the effective date of a unit order. In the case, the Plaintiffs granted a mineral lease to the Defendant-Lessee that provided for a 1/5 royalty in 2009. Continue Reading
It is Work Boat Show time in New Orleans, and yesterday featured a great presentation on marine investigations. Any maritime lawyer worth her salt will tell you that the best part of the practice is getting that 0200 client call about a casualty, donning your protective gear, and racing to the ship. No other legal practice offers the opportunity to regularly perform the equivalent of emergency room medicine like maritime law. Not only is the practice exciting, but there is a great feeling that comes from knowing that your client trusts you enough to rely on you in such a high-stakes situation. Continue Reading
On November 23, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) confirmed its authorization of the construction of a $3.5 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana and rejected the Sierra Club’s request for rehearing on the matter.
In an April 15, 2016 Order, FERC authorized Magnolia LNG, LLC to site, construct, and operate a new LNG terminal and liquefaction facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana designed to export 8 million metric tons of domestically-produced natural gas per annum, with a capacity equivalent to pipeline receipts of up to 1.4 billion standard cubic feet per day (Magnolia LNG Project). Continue Reading
On November 11, 2016, the EPA published a proposed rule designed to update its Renewable Fuel Standards Program and support the growth of renewable fuel use. With the stated goal of removing barriers to production and distribution of renewable fuels, the proposed rule has three main components:
(1) Updated Regulatory Structure to Address Biofuel Processing at Multiple Facilities – In some circumstances, biofuel producers can decrease the costs of production by processing feedstock at one facility and converting that material—called a biointermediary—into a biofuel at another facility. Continue Reading
In DePerrodil v. Bozovic Marine, Inc., No. 16-30009, 2016 WL 6810728, at *1 (5th Cir. Nov. 17, 2016), a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently limited the effect of the collateral source rule in a maritime employee’s personal injury action against a non-employer. DePerrodil held that the collateral source rule allows a plaintiff, in a maritime personal injury action against a third party, to recover only the amount of medical expenses paid by the plaintiff’s employer’s Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”) insurer. Continue Reading
The Third Circuit recently released an unpublished opinion making clear that when a pipeline company expropriates a servitude, the servitude is “perpetual,” and a Court cannot impose a term on that servitude. The Third Circuit also held that a landowner must prove any damages over and above the fair market value of the property, and cannot award an additional amount simply because the landowner is upset that the property is being expropriated. Continue Reading
On September 30, 2016, Governor John Bel Edwards sued Attorney General Jeff Landry to compel him to approve several contracts between the Governor’s office and private legal counsel. In his Petition, the Governor alleged that the Attorney General’s role in approving the Governor’s contracts with private legal counsel is a ministerial duty that the Attorney General improperly refused to perform and requested that the Court order the Attorney General to approve the contracts at issue. Continue Reading