General Business Energy & Utilities

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Tax Policy Issues Prepare for a Rumble on the Gridiron

The clock is running out on the 113th Congress. While the calendar says we are not quite at the two-minute warning, with a truncated September congressional schedule and the campaign season taking up much of the fall, the...more

Red Notice Newsletter - August 2014

Welcome to the August 2014 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, the former CEO of an aviation company pleads guilty to participating in an...more

Freedom to Contract Prevails in New Mexico

Is freedom to contract a good thing for everybody? First Baptist Church of Roswell v. Yates Petroleum Corp. says yes, and confirms that the public policy in New Mexico is freedom to contract. In this case, it was to avoid...more

Should You Pay for Something You’re Not Getting? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Will Take Up Shedden v. Anadarko E&P Company, L.P.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether an oil and gas lessee’s refusal to pay a “bonus” on acreage that the lease supposedly conveyed to it, but that the lessor did not own at the time of leasing and had not...more

BIS Publishes Rule on Export Prohibitions to Russia

On August 6, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of the Treasury published a rule on export prohibitions to Russia on items for use in its energy sector. The rule also added one person, United...more

FERC Proposes to Streamline Market-Based Rate Program

On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a notice of proposed rulemaking ("NOPR") proposing to revise its policies for applications to sell energy, capacity, and ancillary services at...more

Russia Sanctions: Impact on Financial Institutions in the US, EU and Japan

New sanctions targeting Russia have been implemented in the US, EU and Japan. Although the consequences of breaching the sanctions are severe, navigating the rules is not straightforward. Transactions and business lines will...more

An Update on Aviation Regulatory Matters Involving DOT, FAA, TSA, Customs and Other Federal Agencies

Department of Transportation - - Regulatory ..DOT Extends Comment Period on Passenger Protection Rulemaking: DOT published a notice on August 6 extending the comment period for its Transparency of Airline...more

The Whole World Is Watching Mexico In the Fight Against Corruption

I have written about business solutions to legal problems, such as the FCPA, in the energy industry here in Houston. Noted compliance practitioner Scott Killingsworth made similar observations on compliance covenants in...more

Non-Incumbent Transmission Developers Win with Court’s Affirmance of FERC’s Order No. 1000

Non-incumbent transmission developers scored a big win last week. As we previously reported here, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld FERC’s Order No. 1000. Among other things, Order 1000 mandated that a regional...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenges to FERC’s Order No. 1000

The court turned back all challenges to FERC’s order, which imposed major regional transmission planning requirements, concluding that FERC has adequately justified the order and acted within its statutory authority....more

Ebola and its effect on shipping contracts

More than 1000 people have died in West Africa following the current outbreak of Ebola which began in March 2014. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the worst affected countries but deaths have now also been reported in...more

Bankruptcy Auctions 101

A recent bankruptcy auction of a Texas power plant by Optim Energy LLC provided an important lesson for potential bidders at bankruptcy auctions and their representatives on the importance of developing a clear bidding...more

Solar Installer Alert: Commerce Dept. Reduces Preliminary Antidumping Duty Rates for Solar Products from Taiwan

The International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce (“ITA”) on August 18 issued a notice amending its Affirmative Preliminary Determination for antidumping (“AD”) duties against certain crystalline...more

Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute

Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., No. 7:12-cv-00133-O (N.D. Tex. Jul. 14, 2014) - Northern District of Texas dismisses bad faith claims against insurer and adjuster in dispute over coverage for...more

New EU Sanctions Target Russian Oil Sector, State-Owned Banks and Military Exports

The European Union (EU) enacted Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 (the Regulation), which contains ‘Stage 3’ sanctions against Russia. These sanctions resemble – but in other ways are different – from the latest US...more

Bankruptcy Auctions Present Opportunities to Acquire Energy Assets with Limited Risk

Energy industry bankruptcies of all types are expected to increase, offering an opportunity for companies to acquire assets for their operating portfolios while taking advantage of the bankruptcy process. We have received...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Order No. 1000, FERC’s Landmark Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation Rulemaking Order

On August 15, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously affirmed Order No. 1000, a landmark set of rules approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2011 to...more

Mexican President Signs Historic Energy Reform into Law

On Monday, August 11, 2014, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a package of energy secondary laws passed by the Mexican Congress (the “Legislation”) that will overhaul the Mexican oil and natural gas, petrochemical,...more

Appeals Court Validates FERC Regional Planning Mandate as Reasoned Evolution of the Open-Access Electricity Transmission System

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order No. 1000 mandate that going forward the high-voltage electric transmission grid be planned and fairly financed regionally by all of its operators and beneficiaries,...more

KiOR Faces Significant Challenge Moving Forward

In an August 11, 2014, filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, cellulosic biofuel company KiOR, Inc. (KiOR) reported that without any new financial commitments, the Company only has enough funding to operate...more

"US Imposes New Licensing Requirements on Exports to Russia of Oil and Gas Equipment and ‘Dual-Use’ Items"

On August 6, 2014, in response to continuing developments in Ukraine, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a new final rule that significantly expands restrictions on U.S. exports to...more

REMIT Draft Implementing Acts Further Define Data Reporting Obligations

On 8 July 2014, the European Commission’s DG Energy published an updated draft of the implementing acts on data reporting under the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (“REMIT”)....more

CO2 is Good

In French vs. Occidental Permian, Ltd. the Texas Supreme Court held that costs associated with injection of carbon dioxide into a reservoir in a tertiary recovery operation were properly deducted from royalties. This...more

Recent UK Proposals Emphasise Importance of REMIT Compliance for Energy Firms

Two recent actions demonstrate the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) continuing commitment to enforcing the European energy laws and the need for vigorous compliance efforts by market participants. Last month, the Office of Gas and...more

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