General Business Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
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FERC Takes Modest Step Forward in RTO/ISO Price Formation

Taking the first formal step in its year-long effort to examine price formation issues in the wholesale energy and ancillary services markets operated by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators...more

Mining & Metals: Weathering the storm no more: Mining companies, including the sector's giants, need to act decisively and swiftly...

Will sustained stress unmake the mining & metals markets? A year ago, the first wave of distress in the mining & metals sector provided the industry’s major and mid-size players with something to think and talk about. It...more

FERC Seeks to Expand Electricity Market Surveillance with New Data Reporting Requirements

On September 17, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to expand the obligations of Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators...more

Oil Supplier Appeals Conoco’s Right To Buy Stake In Refinery Unit

In a long-standing dispute between Venezuelan state-owned Oil Company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (“Petroleos”) and ConocoPhillips, a New York district court judge upheld ConocoPhillips’ acquisition of a 50% stake in a Texas...more

Tax Review - September 2015

We are proud to present the next edition of our “Tax Review” which contains a selection of rulings and interpretations that had been issued or published in August 2015. We hope you will find the information provided here...more

Amendment to the Energy Law Act – application of the REMIT Regulation

I. Amendment to the Energy Law Act - On 26 September 2015 the President of Poland signed the amendment to the Energy Law Act of 10 April 1997. This act introduces measures necessary for the application of Regulation no....more

SEC Settles FCPA Action With Hitachi

The SEC filed a settled FCPA books and records and internal controls action centered on a firm which used a subsidiary partially owned by a foreign political party to influence the award of government contracts. Specifically,...more

Limitations of Liability: Do they work in the Alberta Oilpatch?

Let’s consider that contract you’re about to sign. Does it contain a limitation of liability? And if so, are those even enforceable? It’s been several years since we last wrote about limitations of liability and exclusion...more

Iran Sanctions Relief: Opportunities and Challenges for US and EU Financial Institutions

Although US and EU sanctions targeting Iran are not likely to be lifted before early 2016, there are a number of issues which US and EU-based financial institutions should be aware of in preparation for sanctions relief as a...more

Auction set for NJ offshore wind sites

The U.S. government has scheduled an auction for the rights to lease two areas of federal ocean space off New Jersey for offshore wind energy development. The auction, to be held November 9, 2015, will be the fifth...more

Pacific Northwest Utilities Seek Key FERC Declarations Regarding New Regional Market

Two weeks ago, a diverse group of electric industry entities in the Pacific Northwest filed a Petition for a Declaratory Order asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to decide issues raised by establishing a...more

Procurement Pulse - September 2015

Draft regulations have been issued for consultation, to implement both the Utilities Directive and the Concessions Directive - expected to be in force April 2016. There has been some interesting case law on application of...more

Maine considers net metering alternative

The Maine Office of the Public Advocate has proposed a new mechanism to encourage the development of solar energy capacity in the state. Under Maine’s existing law, customers with onsite generation may choose “net energy...more

North Carolina offshore wind advances

Federal efforts to lease ocean sites off the North Carolina coast for offshore wind development advanced last week, when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a report finding that there would be no significant...more

NH regulation of solar PPAs, leases

If a solar energy company installs solar panels on its customers' roofs, and sells those customers the power they produce, will it be regulated like a public utility under state law? A petition by Vivint Solar, Inc. has...more

A Busy Summer for Environmental and Land Use Law

In the past three months, we have witnessed a breathtaking series of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the California Supreme Court that have provided important rulings and...more

FCA Publishes New Market Watch Focusing on Commodities Traders and Market Abuse

On September 3, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published issue 49 of Market Watch, its newsletter on market conduct and transaction reporting issues. In it, the FCA sets out its findings following a thematic review it...more

ICSID Tribunal Upholds High Threshold for Granting Provisional Measures and Ordering Security for Costs

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal recently reaffirmed the high threshold for granting provisional measures in investor-state disputes, including in the context of making an order...more

ACER reports on its activities under REMIT

ACER has published its third annual report. This covers its activities during 2014 for the implementation and monitoring of the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT). The report looks at...more

Maine PUC considers community energy projects

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is evaluating the viability of proposed community-based renewable energy projects that remain under development. Maine has run a community-based renewable energy program since 2009. ...more

District Court Confirms Netting/Setoff Practices

In a recent decision related to the SemCrude bankruptcy, the federal district court upheld the Bankruptcy Court’s rulings on the efficacy of certain common risk-mitigation tools used in the energy trading and marketing...more

US District Court Orders SEC To Revise Resource Extraction Issuer Rule

On September 2, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts ordered the SEC to file with the District Court in 30 days an expedited schedule for promulgating a final resource extraction issuer disclosure rule as...more

9th Circuit Remands Two California Energy Crisis-Related Settlements for Reconsideration by FERC

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued an opinion remanding a series of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders approving, with modifications, two settlements related to...more

Iran Deal “Clears” Congress, But No Sanctions Relief Yet

On September 10, 2015, Senate Democrats in the U.S. Congress blocked a vote on a widely anticipated resolution to reject the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) regarding Iran’s nuclear program. On September 11, the...more

Supreme Court of Canada Addresses Recognition, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Chevron Case

In a much anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has released its decision in Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje, addressing recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The SCC unanimously held that for a Canadian...more

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