General Business Energy & Utilities

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News & Analysis as of

FERC Confirms Distribution Cooperatives Must Purchase QF Output

A distribution cooperative must purchase the electrical output made available to it by a qualifying facility (QF), notwithstanding restrictions in the cooperative’s all-requirements contract with its generation and...more

Update on Petrobas Scandal – Recent Arrests of Construction Company Executives

The sprawling Petrobas corruption scandal continues to grow and stretch across Brazil’s political and economic landscape. Prosecutors handling the case continue to reach new targets and arrest more individuals who profited...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

Master Limited Partnerships: Proposed Tax Regulations Scale Back Activities Giving Rise to Qualifying Income

The Treasury Department (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (Service) have issued proposed tax regulations (Proposed Regulations) that provide guidance on, and significantly scale back, the types of activities...more

Updated: CFTC Clarifies Regulation of Forward Contracts with Embedded Volumetric Optionality

With recent release, the CFTC hopes to eliminate market uncertainty on forward contracts with embedded volumetric optionality. UPDATE (June 18, 2015): On May 12, 2015, the CFTC adopted the Proposal as proposed (as used...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 171-FCPA Enforcement in the Energy Industry [Video]

In this episode I discuss enforcement of the FCPA in the energy industry, it genesis and the business response by the energy industry. ...more

Philadelphia Amends Fuel Oil Ordinance, Allows Use of Old Oil After New Standards Take Effect July 1

An amendment to Philadelphia Code relating to the use of No. 2 fuel oil—the most widely used oil for heating, industrial operations, and emergency generation, was signed into law by Mayor Michael Nutter on June 18. This...more

Distressed Downloads - June 2015

A Battle in the Making in the Oil and Gas Sector: Second Lien vs. High Yield Debt - In the oil and gas industry, there is a storm brewing between holders of second lien debt and unsecured high yield bonds. These...more

Blog: This Year’s Conflict Minerals Filings Show Some Improvement, According To Early Review

An early review of conflict minerals filings for the 2014 reporting period shows improvement in “detail, clarity and quality,” according to this article in BNA. As reported by Elm Sustainability Partners, a conflict minerals...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 15. The number of member nations now under increased scrutiny from European Union regulators who are aggressively hunting for violations of the EU’s “state aid” rules. The possible violations arise from...more

Court Arrives at Fair Market Value of Gas Property

In Texas, lost profits can’t be recovered as damages unless proven to a “reasonable certainty”. Question 1: What does that mean? Question 2: Does it matter if the deal is in Bulgaria? Let’s get rid of the...more

Eletrobras Hires U.S. Law Firm to Conduct FCPA Investigation

On June 10, Eletrobras, Brazil’s state-run power company, announced that it had hired Hogan Lovells to investigate potential violations of the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws and corporate policies. The focus of the...more

Drilling Down on Transparency: Quebec Introduces Bill Requiring Reporting For Mining, Oil & Gas Industries

On June 11, 2015, Quebec’s Minister for Mines introduced a bill before the Quebec National Assembly that proposes to impose mandatory reporting requirements on businesses operating in the mining and oil and gas sectors. The...more

LEAP 3.0: The Streamlined and Updated Master Agreement

The Leadership for Energy Automation Practices (“LEAP”) published its new master agreement, the LEAP Master Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of Physical Commodities Version 3.0 (the “LEAP 3.0”) on June 10. This agreement...more

Tax Amnesty Hits the Midwest (and Beyond)

With many state legislatures wrapping up session within the past month or so, there has been a flurry of last-minute tax amnesty legislation passed. Nearly a half-dozen states have authorized upcoming tax amnesty periods....more

China Proposes “RoHS 2” Framework for Comment

On May 15, 2015, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) released a latest Draft for Comments (“May 2015 Draft”) of the “Management Methods for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in...more

Alaska Supreme Court Says Exploration is a Transfer of Interest in State Land, Cannot Be Allowed Without Full Public Notice and...

The Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nunamta Alukestai v. Pebble Limited Partnership, No. 7011 (Alaska filed May 29, 2015) significantly alters the permitting process for projects within the jurisdiction of the...more

FERC Approves PJM's Capacity Performance Proposal

On June 9, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its long-anticipated order where it conditionally accepted PJM Interconnection, LLC's proposal (PJM) to restructure its Reliability Pricing Model (RPM)...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

Competition News, June 2015

It is a cardinal rule of antitrust that – absent very limited exceptions – parties can do business, or refuse to do business, with whomever they choose. The Supreme Court solidified that premise in United States v. Colgate &...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds that "Reasonable Certainty" Requirement Applies to Claims for "Lost Market Value"

Texas law is well-settled that lost profits can be recovered only when the amount can be proven with "reasonable certainty." A recent Texas Supreme Court case has made clear that this requirement cannot be circumvented by...more

ESMA Guidelines on the application of Sections C6 and C7 of Annex I to MiFID I

EMSA has recently published Guidelines on which commodity derivatives fall within the definition of "financial instrument" for the purposes of MiFID I. The Guidelines give clarity on the status of forwards, and guidance on...more

Update: Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act Now In Force

The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) came into force on June 1, 2015. ESTMA is designed to reduce international corruption by enacting reporting obligations with respect to payments made to foreign and...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

The "Preliminary Agreement" – Framing or Frustrating the Deal?

Preliminary Agreements come into play when structuring and negotiating a broad spectrum of transactions and agreements. They are embraced by many market participants and are, at best, tolerated by others. They have been the...more

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