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Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.

Lack of Quorum Costs East Kentucky Power Cooperative in PURPA Dispute

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) recently restored its quorum with the swearing in of Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, but the casualties from the six-month, quorumless...more

The Drumbeat Continues: Another Court Rejects an FEIR For Not Properly Considering Climate Change

Last week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a District Court decision approving a decision by the Bureau of Land Management to approve new leases on mines that account for 20% of U.S. coal production. ...more

Wastewater Enforcement: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Garland County School Districts Enter into Consent...

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) and Jessieville School District and Fountain Lake School District (collectively, “District”) entered into an August 30th Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”)...more

Regional Haze/Nitrogen Oxide: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Proposal to Approve Arkansas State Implementation Plan Revision

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a September 11th Federal Register Notice proposing to approve a revision to the Arkansas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (“SIP”) submitted by the...more

Off-Specification Used Oil: July 27th U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Interpretive Letter

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) addressed in a July 27th letter various requests regarding off-specification (“Off-Spec”) used oil....more

Wind Farm/Transmission Line: Federal Court Addresses Whether Facility Operations Can Continue Pending NEPA Supplemental EIS...

A United States District Court (Southern District California)(“Court”) addressed a dispute as to the appropriate remedy for a constructed wind farm and transmission line (collectively “Project”) whose United States Department...more

DC Circuit Rules that FERC Must Consider Global Warming in Approving New Natural Gas Pipelines

by Snell & Wilmer on

The United States has one of the most extensive natural gas pipeline networks in the world. This vast network enables the ongoing switch away from coal-fired generation and toward a renewables and natural gas-based electric...more

FERC Failed to Adequately Consider Environmental Impacts of Downstream GHG Emissions Under NEPA Says D.C. Circuit

by Perkins Coie on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week vacated and remanded a 2016 Order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that had authorized construction and operation of the Southeast Market Pipelines...more

DOE Grid Report Pins Coal Decline Primarily on Economics of Natural Gas

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

On August 23, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) publicly released a long-anticipated study of the U.S. electrical grid titled “Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Grid Reliability.” The report followed...more

Legislature Authorizes, But Limits, Water and Sewer Impact Fees

by Smith Anderson on

Controversy and litigation have erupted in North Carolina in recent years with regard to water and sewer impact fees levied by cities and counties on new real estate development. The fees are authorized in "local bill" State...more

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies when regulatory bodies may be relied on to fulfill the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal...

by Dentons on

As the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) explained in Haida and Carrier Sekani, it is open to legislatures to empower regulatory bodies to play a role in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal peoples. Carrier Sekani...more

FERC Quorum Restored, New Chairman Named

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

On August 4, the Senate confirmed Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson as FERC Commissioners. Commissioner Chatterjee was sworn in on August 8 and Commissioner Robert Powelson was sworn in today, August 10....more

ExxonMobil Fined $2 Million for Ukraine/Russia Sanctions Violations

by Holland & Knight LLP on

On July 20, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $2 million civil monetary penalty against Exxon Mobil Corp., including its U.S. subsidiaries ExxonMobil Development...more

Cause for Concern Over Organic Fertilizer Made from Food Waste?

by Downey Brand LLP on

In December 2016, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued guidance 5034-1 that can be interpreted as approving of food waste for use in organic crop production (for example, as an input in fertilizer) without regard to...more

Texas Utility Company Sends in the Drones to Inspect 5-Miles of Power Lines

More and more utility companies are finding drones (or more formally, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)) useful, and cost effective, to inspect power lines in lieu of sending up their employees to carry out the dangerous task....more

The BKPM Is Licensing Authority In Oil And Gas Matters

by Morgan Lewis on

The Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (MoEMR) has delegated additional authorities to the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal - BKPM) in issuing certain licenses for...more

NC Legislative Update: End of Session Wrap

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

2017 Session - After 23 weeks of session, lawmakers adjourned the 2017 long session of the North Carolina General Assembly on June 30th. The Adjournment Resolution passed by both bodies reconvenes the legislature on...more

Trump to Nominate Kevin McIntyre as FERC Chairman

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

Last week, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Republican Kevin J. McIntyre to be the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC has been operating without a quorum since the...more

Canadian Government's Proposal to Reform Canada's Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Regime

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On June 29, 2017, the federal government released a discussion paper entitled "Environmental and Regulatory Reviews" ("Discussion Paper"), which proposes broad changes to the federal environmental assessment and regulatory...more

NTSB Publishes Two Rules Governing Agency Investigative Regulations

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on June 29, 2017, published a final rule covering 49 C.F.R. 831 subparts A-D and an interim final rule for 49 C.F.R. 831 subpart E, both of which are effective July 31, 2017...more

Article: June 2017: Energy Litigation Update

New Administration Leads to Pause of Major Energy-Related Litigation. In March, President Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to “suspend, rescind, or revise” several...more

California WaterFix: A Snapshot of the SWRCB Water Rights Change Hearings

by Downey Brand LLP on

After five parched years, substantial winter rains and Sierra snowpack have brought California a long-sought reprieve from drought, though not without presenting a new set of challenges. In February, nearly 200,000 residents...more

Trump to Nominate Richard Glick as FERC Commissioner

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

Last night, President Trump announced that he intends to nominate Richard Glick, the Democratic general counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as a FERC Commissioner, to fill Commissioner Honorable’s...more

Senate Committee Votes "Yea" on FERC Nominees

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee just voted on the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson to be FERC Commissioners. ...more

D.C. Circuit Concludes Again That FERC Has the Authority to Correct Its Own Errors

On May 19, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in TNA Merchant Projects, Inc. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”),1 holding that FERC has the authority to...more

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