By

Sharon Rose

12 June 2017

Energy Enforcement Update

This enforcement update covers:

  • FERC and Department of Energy nominees clear Senate committee;
  • District court dismisses oil price manipulation complaints against multiple energy companies;
  • Barclays and FERC file Second Amended Joint Status Report and Court schedules settlement conference;
  • Fifth Circuit affirms dismissal of TOTAL’s declaratory judgment action against FERC;
  • Supreme Court limits SEC disgorgement to 5-year statute of limitations;
  • Kraft Foods moves to compel documents from CFTC; and
  • Fifth Circuit vacates judgment involving overly broad privilege standard and related protective order.

(more…)

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19 May 2017

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s Enforcement Update covers:

  • Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee to consider FERC nominees;
  • Ninth Circuit affirms dismissal of RICO class action against JPMVEC;
  • FERC to host technical conference on developments in natural gas index liquidity and transparency; and
  • Plaintiffs appeal dismissal of class action against TOTAL.

(more…)

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08 May 2017

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s Enforcement Update covers:

  • Judge in Barclays case denies FERC motion to affirm civil penalties;
  • CFTC orders civil penalties and trading bans for former Citigroup Global Markets Inc. traders in spoofing case;
  • CFTC Acting Chairman Giancarlo appoints James McDonald as Enforcement Director;
  • FERC Enforcement and City Power reach settlement agreement; and
  • Judge dismisses plaintiffs’ class action complaint against TOTAL.

(more…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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