Consumer Protection Energy & Utilities

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Your Cyber Minute: Lessons learned from the automotive sector  [Video]

The internet of things has presented new challenges across all industries. Hear partners Harriet Pearson and Tim Tobin discuss what others can learn from automotive in this sharing of best practices. ...more

Using Joint Venture Analysis to Limit Antitrust Risks of Energy Sector Collaborations

In an antitrust case where two competitors admittedly engaged in concerted action to block a third competitor’s access to a natural gas gathering system, a federal appeals court recently upheld summary judgment for the...more

Task Force Report and NIST Revisions Highlight Need for Increased Private-Sector Cybersecurity Efforts

New technologies enhance the capabilities and efficiency of the energy industry. But these technologies also bring increasing cyber risks to the industry, the economy, and national security. Recognizing that critical energy...more

PHMSA Increases Pipeline Safety Requirements

On January 23, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued several revisions to its pipeline safety regulations, focusing in particular on reporting requirements for incident response....more

California to Require Domestic Water Suppliers to Test School Drinking Water for Lead

The State Water Resources Control Board recently adopted an amendment to all Domestic Water Supply Permits it issues to public water systems that supply drinking water. The amendment requires domestic water suppliers for...more

Cybersecurity 2017: The Year in Preview

Introduction - Cybersecurity was a prominent factor in 2016 in all aspects of government, business and personal affairs. Russian and other foreign national hacking has the potential to spark a new form of cold...more

PHMSA Adjusts Incident Reporting in Response to Public Comment

The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently revised submission requirements for incident reporting by operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. While the December 27, 2016 notice appears...more

Maritime Cybersecurity Regulation on the Horizon

Over the past year, various institutions and organizations—both domestic and international—have shown an interest in moving the increasingly prevalent cybersecurity conversation offshore. Domestically, both Congress and...more

Supreme Court of Illinois Says Courts Can Decide ARES Rate Disputes

Courts – not the ICC – have jurisdiction over rate cases involving an ARES, said the Supreme Court of Illinois.[1] In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Karmeier, the Court in December answered the Seventh Circuit’s...more

White House Releases Checklist to Improve Grid Resiliency

The new plan builds on efforts to improve the response to attacks and disasters but recognizes that the needed investments may require regulatory changes to ensure cost recovery by utilities....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump picks Scott Pruitt to lead EPA - New York Times - Dec 7 - President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally...more

Cybersecurity 2017 – The Year in Preview: Energy and Security

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a continuing end-of-year series. See our previous posts on trade secrets, state regulation and law enforcement, HIPAA compliance, and emerging threats. Our last post will focus on...more

Off the Grid: TCPA Class Action Settlement for Energy Utility Company

Utility companies continue to face ongoing litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that can arise from the use of automated communications with customers for purposes of marketing, customer servicing and...more

Forecasting the Trump Administration's First 100 Days

With the 2016 election in the rearview mirror, manufacturers must be mindful of the early initiatives you can expect from Congress and the new administration. With a return to one-party rule, the coming congressional term is...more

What To Know About PHMSA's New Emergency Authority Rule - October 2016

Law360, New York (October 24, 2016, 11:47 AM EDT) -- On Oct. 14, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published an interim final rule (IFR) establishing procedures to implement new imminent hazard...more

TSCA Reform Will Fundamentally Change U.S. Chemical Regulation

Astonishingly, in an election year and at a time of unprecedented partisanship, this past June, Congress adopted significant reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) with sweeping support from both sides of the...more

Pipeline Safety: PHMSA Releases New Rule on Emergency Authority

On Monday, October 3, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released an interim final rule (IFR) establishing procedures to implement new imminent hazard authority created by the PIPES Act...more

PHMSA Implements Authority to Issue Emergency Orders

Interim Final Rule allows the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to respond immediately to unsafe conditions or practices that pose an imminent hazard to public health and safety or to the...more

FCC Ruling Addresses TCPA Issues for Electric Utilities

Last month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a declaratory ruling regarding certain exceptions to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA regulates how businesses communicate with their...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Have Cyber Protection Obligations Even After Closing

As Yogi Berra used to say: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Coal plant operators shutting down their plants should remember this phrase. Even after they throw the breakers, go off the grid, are no longer contributing to the...more

FCC: No Additional TCPA Consent Required for Certain Calls to Utilities Customers

This month, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC” or “Commission”) issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying what type of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) consent is required for certain telephone calls and...more

FHA Issues Final Guidelines on PACE Assessments

The U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued final guidance in the form of Mortgagee Letter 2016-11 regarding the subordination of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. As...more

FCC Holds Educators and Utilities Making Certain Robo Calls Do Not Violate The TCPA

On August 4, 2016, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling confirming that schools and utilities making robo calls do not violate the TCPA under certain circumstances. The Ruling, addressed Petitions filed by Blackboard, Inc....more

FCC Outlines Exemptions from the TCPA for Schools and Utilities

On Thursday, Aug. 4, the FCC granted organizations representing schools and utilities significant relief from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act—a law that subjects callers to substantial penalties if they...more

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