Energy Sector

News & Analysis as of

Newly Installed FERC Chairman Norman Bay’s Past Opinions Signal Preference for Energetic Use of Commission Authority

On April 15, 2015, Norman Bay assumed the chairmanship of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). Prior to taking the chairman’s role, Chairman Bay was appointed to the Commission in July 2014 after five years of...more

Recent Settlement Under EPA’s Energy Extraction Initiative Provides Insight For Future Enforcement in the Oil and Gas Industry

Given its patchwork of regulatory authority over operations in the oil and natural gas industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a national enforcement initiative to focus its efforts. Through its...more

Colorado PUC Considers Distributed Energy Storage Challenges and Opportunities

Against the backdrop of speculation concerning Tesla’s upcoming announcement which is widely anticipated to be a distributed energy storage product, and with continuing industry reports of a burgeoning domestic and...more

Pentagon Solicits Advanced Biofuels For The Rocky Mountain/West Coast Program

On April 9, 2015, the Pentagon released the Rocky Mountain/West Coast/Offshore Bulk Fuels Annual Buy (RMW) solicitation for biofuels on the FedBizOpps website. This purchase program supports the goal set by the Secretary of...more

Administration Outlines Energy Vision in Quadrennial Report

The Department of Energy released its Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) on April 21, 2015, which includes a series of recommendations to upgrade the country’s aging energy infrastructure (from our natural gas infrastructure to...more

DOE Highlights the Need to Modernize Aging US Energy Infrastructure

The first installment of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive survey and analysis of the US energy sector provides a detailed roadmap for modernizing the energy transmission, storage, and distribution system to make it...more

FERC Finalizes Rule on Natural Gas and Electric Scheduling Practices

The reforms are aimed to address natural gas and electric scheduling concerns resulting from the increase in gas-fired generation, to provide greater flexibility to industry participants, and to better ensure reliable and...more

FERC Issues Policy Statement On Natural Gas Pipeline Modernization Cost Recovery

On April 16, 2015, FERC issued a Policy Statement in Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities, Docket No. PL15-1-000, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 (2015). Effective October 1, 2015, the Policy Statement...more

Administration Outlines Energy Vision in Quadrennial

The Department of Energy released its Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) on April 21, 2015, which includes a series of recommendations to upgrade the country’s aging energy infrastructure (from our natural gas infrastructure to...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 153-Doing Compliance in an Economic Downturn [Video]

The energy industry is in turmoil from the drop in the price of oil from $100 down to around $50 per barrel. Many energy companies have laid off up to 30% of their workforce. What can you do from the compliance perspective...more

Department of Energy Report Calls for U.S. to Modernize Energy Infrastructure, Invest in Natural Gas Pipelines

On Tuesday, April 21 the Obama Administration released the first Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”) as a component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The extensive report analyzes energy infrastructure in the United...more

FERC Issues Order No. 809 On Gas/Electric Coordination

On April 16, 2015, FERC issued a Final Rule in Coordination of the Scheduling Processes of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines and Public Utilities, Order No. 809, Docket No. RM14-2-000, 151 FERC ¶ 61,049 (2015). Recent cold...more

SCOTUS Holds Natural Gas Act Does Not Preempt State Law Antitrust Claims

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., Case No. 13-271 (Apr. 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Natural Gas Act did not preempt retail customers’ state law antitrust claims against interstate gas pipeline operators for...more

Indonesia’s New Draft Oil & Gas Law

Legislators in Indonesia have recently suggested that all petroleum production operations should effectively be state controlled, making many foreign investors in south east Asia’s largest country fear that their assets could...more

Energy & Environment Update - April 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of Treasury - Environmental Protection...more

Energy Efficiency Bill Heads to President Obama

This afternoon, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) announced that their Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 has passed the House and is now headed to President Obama for signature, according...more

Pratt’s Energy Law Report highlights Jordan Collins’ Analysis of Interior Department’s Draft Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Analysis

The April 2015 edition of Pratt’s Energy Law Report features an article from ML Strategies’ Jordan Collins on the Department of the Interior’s Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022....more

FERC Revises Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Nomination Timelines

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a much-anticipated final rule modifying some of the scheduling practices used by interstate natural gas pipelines to better coordinate the scheduling...more

Renewable Energy Update - April 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Fossil fuels just lost the race against renewables: Renewable Energy World - Apr 15: The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for...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

Troubles for Town’s Wind Turbine

In the long-running dispute between the Town of Falmouth and the neighbors to the Town’s wind turbine that powers the municipal wastewater treatment facility (WWTF), score one for the neighbors. ...more

British Columbia Provides Model for Massachusetts Carbon Pricing

On Monday, April 13, The Alliance for Business Leadership hosted “Embracing the Future: The Economic Success of British Columbia’s Carbon Pricing Policy” at Mintz Levin’s Boston office. The program outlined the economic,...more

More hydropower relicensure expected

Many U.S. hydropower projects face relicensure by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission within the next 3 years, making hydro project relicensing a hot topic. The FERC is the nation's primary federal regulator of...more

Initial Challenge to Clean Power Plan Receives Rocky Reception

Several states and Murray Energy Corp. (“Murray Energy”), supported by numerous intervenors and amici, presented oral arguments today before the D.C. Circuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed...more

Ontario to Adopt Cap-and-Trade System, Joining Quebec and California Carbon Market

The Ontario government has signed an agreement with Quebec to create a joint cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In its announcement, Ontario has indicated that it will impose a hard ceiling on the...more

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