By

Kenneth Irvin

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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27 November 2018

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • FERC issues 2018 Report on Enforcement showing continued focus on fraud and market manipulation;
  • CFTC Enforcement Director discusses Enforcement trends and CFTC releases Annual Report on enforcement;
  • CFTC orders Commerzbank AG to pay $12 million for swap dealing violations and misleading statements to the CFTC;
  • Former commodities trading executive arrested for scheme to defraud employer by hiding trading losses; and
  • CFTC and Kraft file oppositions to motions for summary judgment.

(more…)

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18 October 2018

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • CFTC announces Insider Trading & Information Protection Task Force;
  • FERC approves settlement with Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. related to capacity payments;
  • Second Circuit upholds New York zero emission credits for nuclear facilities;
  • Petrobras pays over $1.7 billion to settle corruption charges with U.S. and Brazilian authorities;
  • Judge denies Powhatan and Chen motion to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds;
  • CFTC finds Mizuho Bank, Ltd. engaged in spoofing of Treasury futures and Eurodollar futures;
  • CFTC finds that proprietary trading firm Geneva Trading USA, LLC engaged in spoofing;
  • FERC Enforcement requests that Commission vacate Order to Show Cause to Footprint; and
  • CFTC orders futures trader and trading firm to pay $2.3 million in penalties for spoofing and manipulative scheme.

(more…)

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17 September 2018

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • Commodity Trading Adviser (CTA) violation settled with CFTC;
  • CFTC and Kraft file motions for summary judgment;
  • CFTC files 12 enforcement actions addressing registration, position limits, recordkeeping, supervision and reporting;
  • Seventh Circuit upholds Illinois zero emissions credits for nuclear facilities;
  • Judge denies class action lawsuit alleging antitrust violations in New England gas market;
  • CFTC Staff issues report on impact of U.S. tight oil on NYMEX WTI futures contract;
  • CFTC orders BNP Paribas to pay $90 million penalty for attempted manipulation and false reporting of U.S. Dollar ISDAFIX benchmark swap rates; and
  • FERC issues notice of intent to revoke MBR authority to five entities for failure to file EQRs.

(more…)

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30 July 2018

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • FERC issues Order Approving ENPM Stipulation and Consent Agreement;
  • Footprint Elects De Novo Review in FERC Show Cause Proceeding;
  • CFTC Announces Its Largest Ever Whistleblower Award of Approximately $30 Million, and First Award to a Foreign Whistleblower;
  • CFTC Staff Issues Research Report on Sharp Price Movements in the Commodity Futures Markets
  • SEC and CFTC Announce Approval of New MOU

(more…)

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28 June 2018

Lucia v. SEC: Implications for FERC ALJs

In Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Supreme Court held 7-2 that Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) administrative law judges (“ALJs”) are “officers of the United States” subject to the Constitution’s appointments clause, rather than employees.  The June 21, 2018 opinion for the Court was by Justice Kagan, and has implications for ALJs at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). (more…)

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25 June 2018

Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • FERC issues Order to Show Cause to Footprint for alleged tariff violations and submission of false information;
  • The Supreme Court denies TOTAL petition for writ of certiorari;
  • FERC settles with Duke Energy regarding alleged violation of FERC market behavior rule on communications;
  • CFTC orders Société Générale S.A. to pay $475 million penalty to resolve charges of alleged LIBOR and Euribor manipulation; and
  • U.S. Department of Justice announces new policy on coordination of corporate penalties.

(more…)

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