By

Terence Healey

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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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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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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