Consumer Protection Energy & Utilities

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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

The FCC Clarifies Prior Express Consent Under the TCPA for Calls to Utility Company Customers

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) applies in many circumstances when companies use an automatic telephone dialing system (or “autodialer”) and/or pre-recorded messages to call consumers. In those situations where...more

FCC Exempts Schools and Utilities from TCPA for Emergencies

On August 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ruling applicable to schools and utilities regarding the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to robocalls and text messages to...more

FCC Ruling Clarifies TCPA for Schools and Utilities

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to communications from schools and utilities. Specifically, the Ruling...more

Power Play: Energy Utilities Score Big as FCC Approves Use of Robocalls and Texts Under the TCPA; Schools Get an Assist

Late last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a long-anticipated declaratory order, ruling that utility companies may make robocalls and send automated texts to their customers concerning matters closely...more

FCC OKs Certain Informational Calling and Texts by Schools and Utilities to Wireless Phones under TCPA

The FCC recently released a Declaratory Ruling with new clarifications for schools and utilities on autodialed calls and texts and pre-recorded/artificial voice calling under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") for...more

Bellerman v. Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light Co. – Lack of Injury in Massachusetts Consumer Claims

In 2014, we posted about the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Bellermann v. Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light Co. In that case, plaintiffs sought relief under the Massachusetts consumer protection statute,...more

ValueAct Settlement Marks Record Penalty in Heightened Agency Efforts Against HSR Act Violations

Where is the line drawn between acquisitions of securities made “solely for the purpose of investment” on one hand, and influencing control, thereby requiring regulatory approval, on the other hand? That is the central...more

FTC Civil Penalties on the Rise—Inflation Adjustments Increase Civil Penalty Amounts

For the first time since 2009, the potential civil penalties for violating an administrative consent order under Section 5(b) of the FTC Act is going up. The maximum civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can now...more

FTC Workshop Examines Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in Rooftop Solar Industry

On June 21, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the rooftop solar industry—also known as solar “distributed generation.” Beyond exploring a wide...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge invalidates long-fought Delta management plan Sacramento Bee - Jun 24 - In a decision that could delay or complicate Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two huge...more

Will network charges encourage the installation of residential batteries?

It remains to be seen what impact batteries will have on the operation of Australia’s electricity networks. They may become an integral part of those networks, could be used as a substitute for those networks and may...more

A Big Win for Internet Consumers

On June 14, 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling in United States Telecom Association, et al v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America. The...more

Implications of Brexit for the mining and minerals sectors

The debate surrounding Britain’s proposed exit from the EU (Brexit) has primarily focused upon its potential impact on the British economy, Britain’s international standing and its capacity for self-governance. This article...more

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