2019 Cross-Border Energy Update: U.S., Canada and Mexico

Thursday, June 13, 2019
Hilton Post Oak | 2001 Post Oak Blvd | Houston, TX
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Networking
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Program / Breakfast will be served

Join representatives from three countries for a discussion of issues currently impacting energy trade among the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Led by representatives of BLG (Canada), Creel (Mexico) and Sidley (U.S.), this half-day program will explore:

  • The prospects for eliminating transportation bottlenecks from Canada to the U.S., including Keystone XL and Enbridge Line 3
  • The future of gas transportation to Mexico in light of delays in cross-border pipelines and the change in government in Mexico
  • Key issues in cross-border oil and gas sales, including re-export of US-origin gas as LNG
  • The current and likely future impact of trade actions by each of the three governments, including the uncertain future of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and impacts of steel tariffs

With the value of energy trade between the U.S. and its North American neighbors exceeding US$125 billion in 2017 and continued optimism for growth opportunities through 2019, our panelists will discuss the critical issues and offer perspectives for all participants in the North American market.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

CLE credit is pending for this program.

To register, or for more information, please contact hnevents@sidley.com.

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Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Clean Water Act groundwater case settlement proposed, potentially ending Supreme Court review
  • EPA issues draft interim cleanup guidelines for PFAS in groundwater
  • EPA reaffirms its stance that glyphosate does not pose risk to human health and is not carcinogenic
  • Virginia will not join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues certificate for natural gas pipeline expansion in Northeast

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2019 Spring Energy & Commodities Conference

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Sidley Austin | 1501 K Street N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20005
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Registration / Lunch & Keynote
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Program
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Networking Reception

Government shut-down, climate change, inverse condemnation, energy & commodity regulation and enforcement – 2019 looks to be a pretty tumultuous year with lots of change.

Please join us for an in-depth discussion on evolving regulatory, transactional and business issues facing U.S. and international energy and commodities market participants.

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Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Courts dismiss challenges to advisory panel membership policy.
  • Groups sue EPA for overdue spill regulations.
  • Environmental groups threaten suit over oil dispersant guidelines.
  • Court: Clean Air Act does not preempt odor nuisance claims.
  • Court holds that long-defunct companies may still face CERCLA liability.
  • New York close to banning plastic bags.
  • Environmental groups sue Iowa, asserting constitutional right to clean water.
  • Court strikes down Arctic drilling executive order.
  • Court rejects foreign policy objection to denial of Clean Water Act certificate.

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Oil and Products Pipeline Declaratory Orders Suggest Changes to FERC Policy

On March 27, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a trio of declaratory orders responding to uncontested Petitions for Declaratory Order (“PDOs”) that sought regulatory certainty for three distinct crude oil pipeline projects with contract commitments. The decisions, which governed filings made by Enterprise Crude Pipeline LLC (“Enterprise”) (Docket No. OR18-27-000), EnLink Crude Pipeline, LLC (“EnLink”) (Docket No. OR18-38-000), and EnLink Delaware Crude Pipeline, LLC (“EnLink Delaware”) (Docket No. OR19-3-000), consisted of one denial (Enterprise) and two approvals with conditions (EnLink and EnLink Delaware). Together, these three decisions suggest a notable departure from FERC’s prior declaratory order precedent, which had tended to approve uncontested PDOs without conditions. When coupled with another three declaratory orders issued on March 11, 2019, FERC’s latest round of declaratory orders indicates a trend towards greater scrutiny of pipeline projects regulated under the Interstate Commerce Act (“ICA”).

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FERC Issues Wide-Ranging Call for Comments in Review of its ROE Policy

On March 21, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) initiated an Inquiry Regarding the Commission’s Policy for Determining Return on Equity (“ROE”) that was published in the Federal Register on March 28, 2019.  FERC is seeking comments on this Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) in eight general areas, including the role its base ROE plays in investment decision-making, and whether FERC should reevaluate how it uses the discounted cash flow (“DCF”) methodology to set ROEs for jurisdictional rates.  The DCF methodology has guided cost-of-service ratemaking at FERC since the 1980s.  It is used to ascertain an investor’s required return for investing in a firm, and is applied using a proxy group of firms that face similar risks to the entity whose ROE is being determined, which defines a “zone of reasonableness” for the ROE.  The use of a proxy group is intended to satisfy the “Hope” and “Bluefield” standards (named for a pair of 20th Century U.S. Supreme Court cases) that an ROE is commensurate with returns on investments in other enterprises having corresponding risks to assure confidence in the financial integrity of the enterprise to allow it to maintain its credit and attract capital. Comments on the NOI are due on June 26, 2019 and Reply Comments are due on July 26, 2019.

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