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American Bar Association

Energy Litigation

Case Notes


TX Supreme Court: CO2 Removal Is Postproduction Cost

The Texas Supreme Court recently decided whether certain expenses related to enhanced oil-recovery efforts are production costs or postproduction costs when calculating a royalty.


NY High Court Says Municipalities May Ban Fracking

New York's top court recently ruled that municipalities may ban fracking as part of their "home rule" authority to regulate land use.


SCOTUS Upholds in Part EPA's Ability to Regulate GHG Emissions

The EPA is likely to continue promulgating rules aimed at curbing GHG facility emissions in the near future.


Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Transport Rule

A win for the EPA and the Obama administration.


Trader Has No CAA Duty to Correct Transfer of Invalid RINs

Buyers have limited legal options if they purchase RINs from a trader with no volume obligation and those RINs later turn out to be invalid.


9th Cir. Creates Standing Challenges for Climate-Change Litigation

A recent Ninth Circuit decision has landed a potential blow to private-citizen groups seeking to bring greenhouse-gas-emission claims under the Clean Air Act.


Fifth Circuit Remands ORRI Dispute Due to Lease Ambiguity

At issue in Total E&P USA Inc. v. Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas Corp. was a 1998 federal lease affecting property on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) adjacent to Louisiana.


TX High Court Rules for Energy Co. in Accommodation-Doctrine Case

The Texas Supreme Court recently applied the accommodation doctrine in the context of a no-evidence motion for summary judgment.


El Paso Field Services, L.P. and Gulfterra South Texas, L.P. f/k/a El Paso South Texas, L.P. v. MasTec North America, Inc. and MasTec, Inc.

The Texas Supreme Court harmonized the contractual risk-allocation provisions and the due-diligence requirements found in a contract for pipeline replacement and construction.


Shell Oil Co. v. United States

Several oil companies were not entitled to indemnification in connection with $92 million in remediation costs incurred at a site contaminated with aviation fuel during World War II.


Tutle & Tutle Trucking v. EOG Resources, Inc.

A Texas Court of Appeals addressed the enforceability of an indemnity agreement in the context of a master services agreement with an oilfield services contractor.


CNH Capital America LLC v. Progreso Materials Ltd.

CNH Capital highlights the fact that creditors need to be meticulously precise when they prepare and file UCC-1 financing statements.


EME Homer City General LP v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

The D.C. Circuit found that the Transport Rule exceeded the EPA's authority.


Robinson Township., et al., v. Commonwealth, et al.

The passage of Act 13 was criticized by many as disempowering local government and limiting private property rights.


Samson Lone Star, Limited Partnership v. Hooks

The First Court of Appeals in Houston issued an opinion in an oil and gas royalty dispute that amounted to an almost total reversal of the trial court's multi-million-dollar verdict.


Highland Capital Management v. Ryder Scott Company and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

In its 2012 decision, the Court of Appeals for the First District of Houston reversed a summary judgment for the defendants.


Ensco Offshore Co., et al. v. Salazar: Court Grants Preliminary Injunction

The district court decided that the preliminary injunction would not disserve the public interest.


Court Upholds Dismissal of Fraud Claim for Manipulation of Natural Gas Prices

The Fifth Circuit addresses claims that energy traders monopolized natural gas trading.


Court Finds That Landowner Has Right to Pursue Claim Against Former Operator for Pre-Acquisition Contamination

A plaintiff landowner has the right to sue former oilfield operators for alleged property contamination pre-dating the plaintiff's acquisition of the property.


Fifth Circuit Remands Offshore Drilling Moratorium Case

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior has issued a six-month moratorium on the drilling of all new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico.


Hart v. The Boeing Co.

Plaintiffs asserted negligence and strict product liability claims related to the design and manufacture of Boeing's directional control and stabilization system.


State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association, Inc.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court unanimously overturned a 2006 jury verdict against three former manufacturers of lead pigment.


Cook v. Rockwell Int'l Corp.

Cook offers an informative perspective on procedural and substantive issues often associated with environmental contamination and chemical exposure mass torts.


Taylor v. Sturgell

The Supreme Court rejects virtual representation as a basis for nonparty preclusion.