The Texas Supreme Court, in Lightning Oil v. Anadarko, determined that Anadarko’s drilling would not be a trespass, even though the drilling would penetrate Lightning Oil’s mineral leasehold. A surface owner allowed Anadarko, an energy company, to install a horizontal well. Anadarko did not own the minerals below this surface tract; the well was to […]Read more "Texas Supreme Court Takes Flexible Approach to Subsurface Rights"
For permanent injuries to property caused by nuisance or trespass, the plaintiff must file suit within two years of the first injury, or the claim is barred by limitations. In Town of Dish v. Atmos Energy, the plaintiffs tried to claim that their injuries from noise and odors only started when the last of several […]Read more "Conclusory “Boilerplate” Affidavits Can Not Rescue Nuisance Case from Dismissal"
A landowner claimed that an energy company’s pollution damaged the property, in violation of contract terms and common law nuisance and trespass prohibitions. An arbitration panel agreed, and awarded over $20 million. The energy company tried to vacate the award in court, arguing that only the state agency that regulates contamination from oil and gas […]Read more "Regulation by State Agency Does Not Narrow Landowner Claims"
Based largely on a determination that ExxonMobil received a multi-million dollar benefit from delaying certain pollution prevention projects, a trial judge issued revised Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (“Revised Findings”) and assessed a $20 million civil penalty for Clean Air Act violations. This is the latest development in the citizen suit, Environment Texas […]Read more "ExxonMobil Hit with $20 Million Fine; Economic Benefit a Key Issue"
In Johns v. Eastman Chemical Company, a federal judge in West Virginia recently ruled that a case could go forward against the seller of a chemical to a chemical distribution company, based on alleged failures to disclose all of the hazards associated with the chemical. The ruling is a reminder that chemical sellers should err […]Read more "Chemical Seller Beware – Disclosure Is Mandatory"
In his Executive Order (“EO”) relating to the Clean Power Plan, President Trump rescinded a 2013 directive, EO 13653, along with other Obama era orders. EO 13653 directed federal facility managers to consider ongoing effects of climate change as they develop and implement plans to maintain and protect federal assets. Does this mean that private […]Read more "President Trump’s Climate Change Action Will Not Lower the Standard of Care Regarding Climate Change Preparedness"
In August 2016, a jury convicted Pacific Gas & Electric (“PG&E”) of five counts of record keeping violations, and one count of obstructing an agency investigation. The judge has now sentenced PG&E, assessing the maximum fine of $3 million and setting some severe probation terms. Complying with those terms will more than double the economic […]Read more "Probation Terms Increase the Pain to Convicted PG&E"