By

Kenneth Irvin

31 March 2017

NAESB to Create a Mexican Addendum for Purchases and Sales of Natural Gas in Mexico

On Wednesday March 30, 2017, the North American Energy Standards Board (“NAESB”) Wholesale Gas Quadrant (“WGQ”) Contracts Subcommittee voted to move forward with the development of a Mexican Addendum to the NAESB Base Contract for the Purchase and Sale of Natural Gas.  Developing a Mexican Addendum should make Mexico a more desirable market for natural gas trading by providing greater certainty about the legal structure of gas trades.

As part of the 2017 NAESB WGQ Annual Plan, the WGQ Executive Committee proposed, and the Board approved, a proposal to review whether to develop a Mexican Addendum.  In December 2016, WGQ members voted not to pursue a Mexican Addendum.  However, that meeting was not well-attended and several parties who had advocated for creating a Mexican Addendum were not present.

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare
27 March 2017

Energy Enforcement Update

Politico Morning Energy reported this morning FERC WAIT MAY BE COMING TO AN END—“an informed tipster tells ME that those names — Neil Chatterjee, Robert Powelson and Kevin McIntyre — are expected to become official within in the next week.”  FERC has been without a quorum for nearly two months, hamstringing its ability to act on contested gas and electric rate filings, and infrastructure projects.  Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski has vowed to prioritize FERC nominees before her panel once the White House releases them, but getting them confirmed will likely still take several weeks, notwithstanding the two-week recess next month.

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • Department of Energy scrutinizing natural gas import and export reporting;
  • Judge in Powhatan/Chen proceeding grants leave to file amicus brief on de novo review;
  • Judge in ETRACOM case rules that “de novo review” means an ordinary civil action;
  • TOTAL responds to plaintiffs in class action proceeding;
  • Wyoming Pipeline Authority files then withdraws request for rehearing of FERC delegation order; and
  • Sidley to host roundtable on FERC energy and capacity market technical conference.

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare
01 March 2017

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • Fifth Circuit schedules oral argument, and FERC and TOTAL file pleadings regarding Appointments Clause;
  • Plaintiffs in class action against TOTAL file response related to oral argument;
  • CME Group Exchanges expand reach of manipulation and fraud rules;
  • FERC and Silkman file joint discovery plan in district court, and court sets scheduling conference; and
  • Judge holds motion hearing in FERC district court case against Barclays.

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare
06 February 2017

Energy Enforcement Update

In this enforcement update, we cover:

  • GDF SUEZ Energy Marketing settles with FERC for alleged market manipulation;
  • Covanta Haverhill settles with FERC regarding ISO-NE generator operations;
  • FERC delegates authority to its staff in absence of quorum;
  • CFTC orders The Royal Bank of Scotland to pay $85 million for attempted manipulation of ISDAFIX benchmark;
  • FERC and ETRACOM file reply briefs regarding scope of review in district court;
  • FERC refers pipeline matter to Office of Enforcement for further investigation;
  • Judge grants City Power request for discovery in district court proceeding;
  • Judge in Silkman proceeding determines that “de novo review” under Federal Power Act means an ordinary civil action; and
  • FERC answers TOTAL motion for leave to respond and response in FERC proceeding

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare
27 January 2017

Energy Enforcement Update

In this enforcement update, we cover:

  • CFTC’s enforcement division issues new advisories on cooperation;
  • FERC and ETRACOM file briefs regarding scope of review in district court;
  • FERC revises PJM FTR forfeiture rule and discusses cross-product manipulation;
  • Citigroup Global Markets Inc. settles spoofing charges with the CFTC;
  • DOJ settles with Duke Energy for violating premerger notification and waiting period requirements; and
  • TOTAL files motion for leave to respond and response in FERC proceeding.

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare
12 January 2017

Secretary of Energy Moniz provides insights on the Obama Administration’s energy legacy and importance of national laboratories at National Press Club

On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, outbound Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in what he said was his final major speaking appearance in the capital city. Secretary Moniz emphasized the importance of the U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories and Technology Centers, and the many research and development accomplishes of the Obama administration, of which he was a part for nearly the last four years.

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare
22 December 2016

Supreme Court Affirms Insider Trader Ruling in Salman v. United States

On December 6, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a Ninth Circuit decision involving the scope of “personal benefit” required to find insider trading under the securities laws.  Salman involved an investment banker who provided inside information about pending mergers to his brother, intending that the brother would benefit from the information.  The brother traded on the tips and (without his brother’s knowledge) tipped additional friends – including Salman – who also traded.  The Court determined the facts of this case fell within the language of the 1983 Dirks decision, which found that a tipper breaches a fiduciary duty by making a gift of confidential information to a “trading relative.”  The Court did not agree with Salman’s position that only a clear pecuniary benefit to the tipper should trigger liability.

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare
21 December 2016

Law Professors File Amicus Brief on De Novo Review, and FERC Files Opposition, in Powhatan/Chen Proceeding

On December 7, a group of ten administrative law professors filed a brief of amici curiae in the Powhatan/Chen proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which criticizes FERC’s position on what constitutes de novo review under Section 31(d) of the Federal Power Act (FPA).  The brief is substantially similar to the brief filed last month on behalf of Barclays in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, which was denied by Judge Nunley.  According to the brief, “Amici have grave concerns about the legal and policy implications of FERC’s apparent view of what constitutes a district court’s ‘de novo review’ of an agency’s civil penalty assessment.”  The professors argue that FERC’s position runs counter to the traditional understanding of court enforcement actions for civil penalties and cannot be squared with the FPA’s civil penalty assessment mechanism, which gives a defendant the choice of challenging FERC’s penalty assessment in a full trial-type proceeding before either an administrative law judge or a federal district court.

(more…)

SHARE
EmailPrintShare