Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities General Business

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Shell Pays Big for Double Dipping with the UST Fund

Last week, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced that it permanently banned 100 of Shell Oil Company’s underground storage tank (UST) claims from the California UST Cleanup Fund...more

August 2016 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses new FAA reauthorization legislation, DOT awards for U.S. carrier scheduled service to Cuba, DOT’s decision to address consumer notification requirements...more

Albany County Supreme Court Vacates New York PSC Reset Order Related to Retail Electric Supply Companies

A New York Supreme Court recently vacated the New York Public Service Commission’s order that would have significantly altered the structure of the New York retail electric market. Although vacated, the matter has been...more

SBM Offshore N.V. signs five party $340M leniency agreement to resolve Petrobras bribery allegations in Brazil

SBM Offshore N.V. has reached a $340M settlement with both criminal and administrative prosecutors in Brazil to resolve allegations of bribery relating to the Petrobras scandal, the first deal of its kind in Brazil and a...more

One Small Step… Alberta Energy Regulator Makes Change to Interim Measures

HIGHLIGHTS - The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has considered feedback on the interim measures put in place in Bulletin 2016-16 and issued revisions and clarifications in Bulletin 2016-21.....more

Transmission Planning and Construction Right of First Refusal Ruled Unduly Discriminatory, Not Mobile-Sierra Protected

The provision contained in incumbent electric utility tariffs—conferring on the holder the right of first refusal (ROFR) to construct additions to the high-voltage electrical grid, regardless of who conceived of and proposed...more

The AER Makes Waves with its Response to the Redwater Decision

HIGHLIGHTS The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued Bulletin 2016-16 which has put in place interim measures in response to the Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Redwater Energy Corporation (Re) (Redwater) - ...more

CPUC Implementation of the Renewables Portfolio Standard Beyond 2020 Begins

The California Public Utilities Commission is revving itself up to take on the task of putting together a whole new set of procurement requirements to implement the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)-related provisions of...more

US Supreme Court upholds wholesale demand response

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued an opinion upholding regional electricity grid operators' ability to operate wholesale demand response programs under federal authority. In that opinion, FERC v. Electric...more

Supreme Court Questions FERC Authority to Regulate Electricity Market Demand Response to Bolster Grid Reliability

Ensuring the reliability of the electric power grid in times of extreme weather and other times of peak usage is critical to avoid interruptions in power and black outs. Reflecting on the 2014 Polar Vortex, the paramount...more

Walton EMC Prevails in “reconstruction in substantial kind” Georgia Territorial Act Case

A hearing officer of the Georgia Public Service Commission recently decided in favor of Walton EMC in a Territorial Act dispute with Georgia Power over the right to provide electric service to a CVS drugstore in Athens,...more

Blog: New GAO Report On Conflict Minerals Compliance

By coincidence, the same day that the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit struck down (again) a portion of the conflict minerals rule (see this post), the GAO issued a report to Congressional Committees entitled “SEC...more

BP Case May Again Test Limits of FERC’s “In Connection With” Enforcement Jurisdiction

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law Judge last week issued an Initial Decision finding that BP America (BP) and certain related BP entities violated FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule. Following a...more

CPUC Likely to Hold Verizon Responsible for its Share of Costs Related to Underground Communications Facilities

The California Public Utilities Commission will decide whether Verizon is improperly shifting costs to California cities by refusing to pay its share of expenses related to the installation of underground service facilities....more

Are your sponsorship and hospitality controls enough to satisfy the FCPA? Maybe not

On May 20, 2015, the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) settled an administrative proceeding with global mining /commodities producer BHP Billiton, resolving allegations that the company violated the books and records...more

Georgia Public Service Commission Renders Initial Decision in Favor of Jackson EMC in Territorial Dispute with Georgia Power

The Georgia Public Service Commission recently rendered an initial decision in a dispute between Jackson EMC and Georgia Power under the so-called “grandfather clause” of the Georgia Territorial Act. Under the grandfather...more

FERC approves Iberdrola-UIL merger

Federal utility regulators have issued an order authorizing transactions the merger of utilities affiliated with Iberdrola, S.A. and UIL Holding Corporation. Iberdrola is a Spanish-owned utility holding company, owning...more

Public Service Commission Affirms Hearing Officer’s Decision in Carroll EMC Territorial Act Dispute

The Georgia Public Service Commission (the PSC or Commission) recently adopted a hearing officer’s initial decision in a “reconstruction in substantial kind” case under Georgia’s Territorial Act. That case, previously...more

Tariff Compliance Is Not Enough: FERC Imposes Nearly Thirty-Five Million Dollars in Penalties and Disgorgement against Powhatan...

On May 29, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an Order against Powhatan Energy Fund, LLC and its trading partners, Dr. Houlihan Chen, HEEP Fund, LLC and CU Fund, Inc. (together, “Powhatan”). FERC...more

Texas Supreme Court: Companies Shielded from Defamation Claims for Statements in Internal Investigation Reports

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court joined the majority of jurisdictions in holding that a company enjoys an absolute privilege when providing the Department of Justice (DOJ) with an internal investigation report containing...more

SEC Charges Australian Mining Company for FCPA Violations Arising from Its Hospitality Program at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

On May 20, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a $25 million settlement with Australian mining company BHP Billiton (the "Company") to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) charges...more

Such a fact pattern does not a $5 million penalty make

Or so says one dissenting FERC Commissioner in the recent Maxim Power enforcement proceeding. On May 1, 2015, FERC issued an order assessing civil penalties (the “Order”) of $5 million against Maxim Power Corporation and its...more

Water District Case Clarifies California Public Records Act Exemption for Utility Customers

“Customer” Includes a Business or Corporation, Judge Rules - The Public Records Act exempts from required disclosure the identities of commercial, as well as individual, utility customers, according to a recent...more

Colorado Court Ruling Confirms Role of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Resolving Royalty Disputes

It is not uncommon for royalty disputes between mineral lessors and operators to increase as oil and natural gas prices decrease. Before mineral lessors go running to the courthouse in Colorado, however, and before operators...more

Going from A to A+: SEC Approves Amendments to Regulation A

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously adopted final rules to amend Regulation A, as mandated by Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). Whereas the existing...more

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