Energy & Environmental Law

COA affirms IURC has no jurisdiction over gas vendor

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A northern Indiana business that filed a complaint with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission when its gas bills were higher than expected lost its appeal of the agency’s dismissal of the complaint Friday.
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Fuel company settles claims over air emissions in 3 states

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Marathon Petroleum Corp. will pay a fine of nearly $3 million and spend another $2.8 million on pollution controls at its distribution terminals in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
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House votes to block EPA regulation of streams, wetlands

May 13, 2015
 Associated Press
House Republicans on Tuesday voted to block government rules that would clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from pollution and development under the Clean Water Act.
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Farmers worry over reach of EPA water rules

May 12, 2015
 Associated Press
Government rules to clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from development and pollution are fueling political anger in the country's heartland.
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3 brothers plead guilty to massive biofuels scam

April 29, 2015
IBJ Staff
Three brothers have pleaded guilty to participating in a biofuels scam that federal investigators are calling “one of the largest tax and securities fraud schemes in Indiana history."
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SCOTUS: Energy companies must face price-fixing claims

April 21, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States says a group of energy companies can be sued under state antitrust laws for illegally manipulating natural gas prices more than a decade ago during California’s energy crisis.
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Indiana sues auto parts dealer over unpaid fine, auto fluids

March 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's environmental agency is suing an auto parts dealer who was ordered last year to pay a $10,000 fine and clean up automotive fluids and other materials at his Muncie business.
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Decades-long fight over landfill quietly concludes

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 37-year fight over a planned solid waste landfill in Anderson ended recently, concluding one of the longest environmental battles in state history. Only a few loads of trash were ever dumped at the Mallard Lake Landfill, but fortunes were spent litigating it.
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Landowners may be on hook for contamination caused by tenants

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawyers say an appeals court ruling last year means landowners who learn of contamination on their property may be held liable for damages even if they did nothing to directly contribute to the pollution.
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‘Solar gardens’ catching on, but legality unclear in Indiana

March 11, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Imagine seeing the price of gas drop 50 percent, then finding out you couldn’t take advantage because of a law that excluded drivers who lease their vehicles or whose fuel tank is on the wrong side. That’s pretty much the experience of most would-be solar energy users.
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Energy company waited too long to intervene in sale of oil and gas lease

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against an appeal in a protracted case involving the sale of oil and gas leases in efforts to recoup money for victims defrauded by First Choice Management Services. The judges held the company seeking to intervene failed to do so in a timely manner.
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Indiana gives initial OK to off-site manure ponds

September 11, 2014
 Associated Press
A state panel gave preliminary approval Wednesday to Indiana's first rules governing big stand-alone ponds and lagoons built to hold manure trucked in from livestock farms.
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Appeals court bounces IURC ruling favoring Duke on Edwardsport plant

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission failed to comply with laws and regulations when it approved an order allowing Duke Energy to pass along to ratepayers certain construction costs for the $3 billion Edwardsport coal gasification plant in Knox County.
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Feds reach settlement for East Chicago cleanup

September 4, 2014
 Associated Press
The federal government has reached a proposed settlement under which two companies will pay for an estimated $26 million cleanup of lead and arsenic contamination in an East Chicago neighborhood.
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Gift expands Maurer-linked conservation law program to McKinney students

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Nature can’t always defend itself, but a recent gift to the Conservation Law Center in Bloomington will further the work of preserving environmental resources and open doors to more students drawn to a clinical experience in conservation law.
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Hemp's growing pains in Indiana

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Industrial hemp was legalized in Indiana when Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law this year, but you still can’t grow the crop in the Hoosier State.
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Indiana joins other states challenging EPA regulatory authority

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana has joined 11 other states in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, taking the unusual tactic of challenging the federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases rather than challenging the rule itself.
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Deveau: RCRA threatens validity of brownfield redevelopment

August 27, 2014
During the past 12 months a troubling trend has developed in the area of brownfield redevelopment. In several routine property transactions, buyers, sellers and lawyers have had the unpleasant experience of having their deals scuttled by a questionable application of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
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Duke can charge ratepayers for time construction delayed on Edwardsport plant

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed grant of Duke Energy Indiana’s request to include the amount spent during an 80-day delay in construction of the coal gasification plant in Edwardsport in a rate adjustment rider. Several parties intervened, claiming construction delays attributable to Duke should not be chargeable to ratepayers.
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Justices limit existing EPA global warming rules

June 23, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday placed limits on the sole Obama administration program already in place to deal with power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
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Lessor entitled to judgment that oil and gas lease expired

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Partial summary judgment for the lessor was affirmed Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals in a contract dispute involving an oil and gas lease of land in Sullivan County.
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Indiana joins brief seeking to halt EPA-led plan to clean up Chesapeake Bay

February 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
Decades of squabbles over cleaning up one of America’s most historic but polluted waters resulted in an agreement between states and the federal government that supporters say could restore the Chesapeake Bay to a swimmable, fishable national treasure. But if Indiana and other states without a direct stake in the Chesapeake have their way, the cleanup hashed out between bay states and the Environmental Protection Agency will be stopped.
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'No-more-stringent' measure stirring controversy

February 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill winding through the Statehouse would alter Indiana environmental regulatory process by shifting most of the authority to enact new rules from the executive branch to the Legislature.
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A bottleneck is bedeviling Indiana's mighty wind turbines

February 26, 2014
Dan Human
Gusts blowing across Interstate 65 north of Lafayette one recent day were powerful enough to shake cars but impotent to budge the blades of the giant wind turbines dotting the sparse landscape. On an ideal day for generating electricity, the colossal pinwheels were eerily still, and for the most unlikely of reasons. They’d been turned off.
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Pashos: Is cost-of-service regulation relevant in today's world?

February 26, 2014
Today, public utilities are experiencing significant cost increases, due to issues such as federal environmental and other mandates, and the need to upgrade decades-old infrastructure. These cost pressures, combined with fast-paced technology, market changes and other states’ experimentation with retail deregulation, are causing policymakers and others to ask whether cost-of-service regulation remains relevant or whether deregulation might be a preferable alternative.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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