March 21, 2007

March 21, 2007

Published Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Trial Court Sets Aside Jury Verdict in Mass Flooding Litigation
On March 15, 2007, Judge John A. Hutchison, Judge of the Circuit Court of Raleigh County, West Virginia, set aside the jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs residing in the Mullens subwatershed, which was rendered against two land holding companies, Western Pocahontas Properties, LLP and Western Pocahontas Corporation.

The jury trial, which took place in March, April and May of 2006, was the first trial related to a number of cases which were consolidated before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel, arising from flooding occurring in July, 2001. Judge Hutchison's ruling sets aside a jury verdict which was considered a dangerous precedent for all land holding companies, and all natural resource extraction companies operating in West Virginia and elsewhere in the Appalachian Region.

See full text of Judge Hutchison's decision on What's New at the EMLF website at, plus commentary on the Mass Flooding Litigation by Tim Miller, Robinson & McElwee, Charleston, WV. Tim's chapter about the litigation that followed the severe flooding in southern West Virginia in July 2001 appears in volume 26 of the Energy & Mineral Law Institute and is also available free to EMLF Members in the Members Only section of the EMLF website or for purchase by nonmembers from the White Papers online.

28th Annual Institute - May 13-15, 2007
Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina

Flatwoods, WV Program Draws 321 Attendees
The March 8 program in Flatwoods, WV on the oil and gas lease and descent and distribution drew a record number of landmen and attorneys from throughout the Appalachian Basin and the eastern U.S.

Flatwoods -- described as being equally inconvenient to everyone -- and a stellar group of speakers headed up by program chairman Sean Cassidy provided a great educational experience along with the chance to get together with friends in the industry.

EMLF Law Student Scholarships
Deadline for student applications is April 13, 2007 for the 2007-08 academic year. Applications can be downloaded from the EMLF website.

AEP Announces Carbon Capture and Sequestration Project
American Electric Power has announced it will install carbon capture on two coal-fired power plants, the first commercial use of technologies to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing plants.

The first project is expected to complete its product validation phase in 2008 and begin commercial operation in 2011, at AEP's 1300-megawatt Mountaineer Plant in New Haven, W.Va., using Alstom’s Chilled Ammonia Process. The captured CO2 will be designated for geological storage in deep saline aquifers at the site.

2008 Winter Workshops on Energy Law
EMLF has signed a contract with the Sundial Beach & Golf Resort on Sanibel Island, Florida, for the January 24-26, 2008 Winter Workshops on Energy Law.