By

Kenneth Irvin

22 May 2020

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Proposes Limiting Policy on Tariff Waivers

On May 21, 2020, FERC issued a policy statement to clarify its position regarding requests for waiver of tariff provisions.  If finalized, the Policy Statement would revise how FERC treats requests for waiver of tariff provisions.

The proposed policy relates to FERC’s statutory authority to review and approve public utility rates, as set forth in Federal Power Act (FPA) sections 205 and 206, and the parallel provisions in Natural Gas Act (NGA) sections 4 and 5.  FERC is concerned that its usual practice of waiving tariff provisions after the fact amounts to retroactive ratemaking in violation of the filed rate doctrine. (more…)

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17 April 2020

Energy Enforcement Update

With the market evolving rapidly, we are pleased to provide you with the following enforcement updates:

  • FERC extends deadlines for filing EQRs and Form No. 552 to June 1, 2020.
  • Trading company challenges PJM FTR forfeiture rule.
  • PJM submits tariff revisions to enhance rules for evaluating and managing credit risk.
  • FERC establishes paper hearing to evaluate proposed rejection in bankruptcy.
  • Parties file summary judgment motions and reply briefs in FERC v. Coaltrain Energy.
  • Kraft conditionally withdraws its motion for sanctions in CFTC v. Kraft Food Group, Inc.
  • Settlement discussions continue in FERC v. Richard Silkman et al.
  • Comments filed on the request for technical conference and petition for rulemaking to update credit and risk management in the ISO/RTO markets.
  • FERC issues Order 860-A on Connected Entity Information.
  • Fourth Circuit finds FERC’s action timely in FERC v. Powhatan Energy Fund, LLC.
  • CFTC approves proposed rule on position limits for derivatives.
  • FERC issues notice of intent to revoke MBR authority to thirteen entities for failure to file EQRs.
  • FERC approves a Stipulation and Consent Agreement between the Office of Enforcement and Emera Energy Incorporated.

(more…)

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02 April 2020

FERC Issues Series of Orders Related to COVID-19

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, Sidley is helping clients navigate the potential consequences to energy markets and attendant legal risks. The following frequently asked questions address actions by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on April 2, 2020 in response to the current market conditions. This document updates energy regulatory FAQs published by Sidley on March 20, 2020.

(more…)

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19 March 2020

FERC, NERC Provide Industry Guidance to Ensure Grid Reliability Amid Potential Coronavirus Impacts

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) announced yesterday they are taking steps to ensure that operators of the bulk electric system can focus their resources on keeping people safe and the lights on during this unprecedented public health emergency.

(more…)

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20 May 2019

Energy Enforcement Update

This update covers:

  • FERC rescinds policy on Notices of Alleged Violations.
  • Judge denies motion for new trial for first trader convicted of spoofing.
  • CFTC charges former natural gas trader with fraudulently mismarking trades.
  • CFTC’s Division of Enforcement issues first Public Enforcement Manual.
  • FERC approves settlement with Dominion Energy.
  • DOJ publishes new guidance on evaluating corporate compliance programs.
  • CFTC staff issues research report on impact of automated orders in futures markets.
  • CFTC settles case against Kraft Heinz and Mondelez International.
  • Powhatan and FERC file appellate briefs on statute of limitations.

(more…)

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16 May 2019

Exploring the Impact of Increased Chinese Tariffs on LNG Growth

On Monday, May 13, China proposed to increase the current tariff of 10% to 25% on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exported from the United States. The proposed increase would go into effect on June 1 in response to the proposed increase on certain Chinese goods imported into the U.S. While this may have limited immediate impact on LNG exports from the United States for LNG plants that have already been constructed (there have been only two cargos of LNG sold to China from the United States this year), it has the potential to slow the growth of LNG exports, including reduced LNG off-take and equity investments in the United States from Chinese entities. China is currently the largest importer of LNG in the world, having surpassed Japan in 2018. The U.S. is projected to be the third-largest LNG exporter, with much of those exports forecasted to go to China.

(more…)

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21 February 2019

DOE Deputy Secretary Attends German LNG Conference

On February 12, 2019, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, participated in a German LNG Conference hosted in Berlin by German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.  The group was joined by high-level government and industry leaders, including Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Dr. Fatih Birol.  (more…)

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24 January 2019

Energy Enforcement Update

In our first enforcement update for 2019, we cover a range of issues (including some news from the end of 2018):

  • FERC opens investigations into rates charged by three interstate natural gas companies;
  • Powhatan and Chen file opening appellate brief;
  • Judge suspends CFTC case against Kraft because of the partial government shutdown;
  • FERC increases maximum civil penalties for violations;
  • FERC approves settlement between FERC Enforcement and Algonquin;
  • Judge rules that FERC action against Silkman/CES is not time-barred by statute of limitations; and
  • Judge finds CFTC fails to meet burden on manipulation claims against DRW and Wilson.

(more…)

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16 January 2019

Implementation of Amended Section 203(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Power Act

On November 15, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a rulemaking to revise its regulations relating to mergers or consolidations by a public utility.  See Implementation of Amended Section 203(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Power Act, 165 FERC ¶ 61,091 (2018).  These regulations would implement a law signed on September 28, 2018 establishing a $10 million threshold on transactions that will be subject to FERC’s review and authorization under section 203(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Power Act (FPA).  Previously, there was no dollar value threshold for FERC review of public utility “merge or consolidate” transactions under FPA section 203(a)(1)(B).  See 16 U.S.C. § 824b(a)(1)(B).  (more…)

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28 December 2018

U.S. Department of Energy issues policy statement eliminating the “end use” reporting provision in authorizations for the export of liquefied natural gas

On December 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a policy statement eliminating from any future export authorization orders the requirement that exporters report where LNG was “received for end use.’’  The relief is a nod to market participants who expressed concerns that exporters often have limited visibility into where their natural gas is ultimately consumed.  The policy now will only require that exporters report where the natural gas was “actually delivered.”  DOE issued an accompanying blanket order, DOE/FE Order No. 4322, to remove the end use provision from existing authorizations.

(more…)

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