After a year filled with blockbuster rulings, energy litigation will again grab the spotlight in 2017, with an eagerly awaited decision on the legality of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan — the Obama administration's signature climate change regulation — taking center stage.
Here are the cases that energy attorneys will be watching this year.
Challenge to EPA's Methane Rule for Oil and Gas Infrastructure
Several states and oil and gas industry groups are fighting a methane rule issued in May by the EPA for new and modified oil and gas infrastructure, regulations that are a linchpin of the Obama administration's efforts to slash methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.
The challengers are arguing that the EPA doesn't have the CAA authority to issue the rule, which also requires reductions in volatile organic compound and methane emissions from fracked and refracked oil wells. But the challengers may ultimately not have to convince the D.C. Circuit to overturn the rule.
The states are represented by their respective attorneys general. North Dakota is also represented by Paul M. Seby of Greenberg Traurig LLP.