State attorneys general target energy policy issues.
Larry Eisenstat (email@example.com) is the head of Dickstein Shapiro’s energy practice. Fred Lowther (firstname.lastname@example.org) heads the firm’s corporate and finance practice; Bernard Nash (email@example.com) leads the firm’s state attorneys general practice; and Divonne Smoyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a partner in the firm’s state attorneys general practice. The authors acknowledge the contributions of Aaron Lancaster and Christopher Allen.
Energy companies are facing numerous challenges from state attorneys general (AGs), who increasingly use their political influence and legal authority to impact a wide range of issues—from greenhouse-gas emissions to infrastructure projects. As energy issues top the list of legal and policy priorities, energy companies must understand the scope of these activities and make efforts to work constructively with AGs to avoid becoming targets of investigations and litigations.
Traditionally, the federal government has dominated environmental regulation. AG activity in this field is a relatively new trend spurred by politics and citizen concerns, often without an effective counter-balancing message from the energy industry. The result has been a proliferation of novel legal strategies through which AGs attempt to regulate emissions and protect consumers through litigation. Lawsuits are being filed arguing pollution damage from outside their states. Public nuisance and securities fraud laws are used as the basis for litigation on climate change. Energy companies have been sued for price gouging and manipulation. And new construction projects are being scrutinized for their impact on the environment.