Energy & Utilities Consumer Protection

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Food-Processing Sector May Be U.S. EPA’s Next Enforcement Target

Every three years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national enforcement initiatives to focus its civil and criminal enforcement resources on specific environmental issues. On September 15, 2015,...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - California extends mandatory water cuts despite growing snowpack - Sacramento Bee - Feb 2 - California’s drought regulators agreed Tuesday to extend water conservation mandates...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...more

European Parliament, Commission, and Council reach deal on draft text of Network and Information Security Directive, the first...

European authorities reached a provisional agreement on the Network and Information Security Directive, the first-ever EU-wide cybersecurity standards. Press releases from the European Parliament, European Commission, and...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, December 2015.

EPA Issues Final Rule Adding 1-Bromopropane To EPCRA Section 313 List: On November 23, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule adding 1-bromopropane to the list of toxic chemicals subject to...more

DC Circuit to Review the FCC's Robocall Rules - Do They Unfairly Expose Utilities to Fines for Keeping Their Customers Informed...

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) limits the use of automated dialing equipment to make calls or send text messages to wireless phone numbers without the called party's express prior consent. Because utility...more

One Step Closer to the Network and Information Security Directive

On Monday, the European Parliament, Council and Commission came to an agreement on the Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive. The NIS Directive is the first pan-European set of cyber security rules and aims...more

Actual Data, Not Estimates, Are Needed for Informed Statements About Risk Associated with Radon in Natural Gas

Actual measurements and evaluation of potential exposure pathways demonstrate that claims of risk of harm due to radon in shale gas produced by hydraulic fracturing are unfounded. An October 14, 2015 edition of the...more

Brussels Regulatory Brief: September/October

On 11 September, TeliaSonera and Telenor have abandoned the proposed merger of their business units in Denmark. The contemplated transaction would have resulted in the establishment of a joint venture active in the provision...more

Department of Energy invests $34M in cybersecurity for critical infrastructure

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will invest $34M to the University of Arkansas and the University of Illinois for two projects designed to “improve and enhance” the protection of the U.S. electric grid,...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus - Royal Dutch Shell suspends Arctic drilling indefinitely: Washington Post - Sep 28: Royal Dutch Shell announced early on September 28, 2015 that it will indefinitely suspend its Arctic...more

Disclosure Of Numerous Hacks At The U.S. Department Of Energy Renews Cybersecurity Concerns In The Energy Sector

Records produced by the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) to USA TODAY under a Freedom of Information Act request revealed over 150 successful cyber intrusions into DOE computer systems between 2010 and 2014. Concerns about...more

Gov. Brown Assembles Fracking Review Panel

According to several news organizations, Governor Brown has announced plans to form a new panel to review the recent well stimulation study conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology (“CCST”)....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

Supreme Court’s Holding in Oneok v. Learjet Could Lead to New Risks for Market Participants

On April 21, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Oneok v. Learjet, holding that “Respondents’ state-law antitrust claims are not within the field of matters pre-empted by the Natural Gas Act” even though the claimed violations...more

Supreme Court Preserves States' Power to Protect Consumers But in the Process Blurs Federal Preemption Analysis

The Supreme Court once again showed that, when it comes to the antitrust laws, the consumer is king. In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, the Court was asked to decide where state antitrust laws end and federal regulation begins. The...more

Supreme Court Rejects Pre-Emption Claim in State Antitrust Action

On April 21, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a divided opinion declining to find federal pre-emption by the Natural Gas Act (NGA) of certain state antitrust claims. In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., a group of manufacturers,...more

Supreme Court Rejects FERC’s Preemption Argument and Permits State Antitrust Claims Against Interstate Pipelines to Proceed

On April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in ONEOK, Inc., et al., v. Learjet, Inc. et al holding that state antitrust claims are not pre-empted by the Natural Gas Act. This important decision put the brakes on an...more

Supreme Court Opens Door to Increased Role for State Courts and State Regulators in the Energy Sector

The Supreme Court today allowed the states a greater role in regulating the energy sector. In ONEOK, the Court held that states can regulate activities that affect both wholesale and retail transactions to the extent that the...more

California DOJ Surprises More Than 100 Retailers with Transparency in Supply Chains Act Notification

This week, the California Attorney General’s Department of Justice sent letters to a large number of retailers, notifying those retailers that they may be subject to California's Transparency in Supply Chains Act (the “Act”...more

Cyber Vulnerability in Wind Turbines

It has been reported that a wind turbine which is deployed across the energy sector worldwide has been hacked. Due to a software bug, an attacker can get the user name and password from the browser. This can allow admin...more

Not Saved By The Bell: Dismissing Classes Prediscovery

Two billion dollars. That is what the top legal counsel at nearly 350 companies spent on the defense of class actions in 2014. In addition to the cost of outside counsel, on average, companies dedicate six in-house...more

Power Surge: TCPA Litigation and the Energy Industry

Few industries have been spared from the recent wave of class actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The energy sector is no exception. ...more

Ofgem's Smart Meter Network Decision: UK gas and electricity consumer privacy gets broader protection

In February 2015, Ofgem (the UK’s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) published its Decision on Extending the Smart Meter Framework to Remote Meters (the Decision). This confirms that, following a public consultation, the...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - February 2015 #4

Going With The (Work) Flow After A Data Breach—Corporate Counsel reported on the recent King & Spalding webinar, “Data Breach: What Workflows to Expect and How to Prepare,” offering concerned in-house counsel and the...more

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