Natural Gas

News & Analysis as of

Renewable Energy Update - April 2016 #5

Renewable Energy Focus - California utility-scale solar beat wind for first time in 2015 - Solar Industry Magazine - Apr 28 - In 2015, energy from grid-connected, utility-scale solar plants surpassed that from...more

FERC Proposes to Pierce the Corporate Veil and Impose $216 Million in Fines in Alleged Natural Gas Market Manipulation Scheme

On April 28, 2016, FERC issued an order directing Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (Total Gas), two of its traders, its ultimate corporate parent, Total S.A. (Total) and an affiliate Total Gas & Power, LTD (TGPL) to show...more

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Maryland Program that Supplements FERC-Approved Capacity Payments

In a unanimous opinion issued on April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Maryland program designed to incentivize construction of a new natural gas plant. The Court concluded that the program infringed upon the...more

Effect of Energy Policy Bills on Natural Gas Exports

Legislative Update. On April 20, the U.S. Senate passed broad legislation that covers many different aspects of the energy and environmental sectors, including changes to streamline the approval process for the export of...more

Is Coal Down For The Count

Last week Peabody Energy announced that it filed bankruptcy. Peabody is the nation’s largest coal company. The filing by Peabody comes on the heels of the January 2016 bankruptcy filing by Arch Coal, the nation’s second...more

Derivatives in Review - April 2016

Novo Banco and CDS – A Post-Mortem - The 2014 ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions updated the previous set of credit derivatives definitions to, among other things, include a credit event for “Governmental Intervention.”...more

US Senate Passes Bipartisan Energy Bill

The first broad energy bill passed in nearly a decade was passed by the Senate on April 20, 2016 with an 85-12 vote margin. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, S. 2012, responds to major changes to the energy...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (April 2016)

The new year brought with it several noteworthy developments in the fracking world. These include: a new lawsuit in connection with the Keystone Pipeline; legal action against the Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau...more

Supreme Court Affirms Invalidation of Maryland's Program to Incentivize New Power Generation

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a narrowly crafted opinion by Justice Ginsburg, has unanimously invalidated Maryland's program to promote construction of new natural gas capacity by guaranteeing new generating capacity. The...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Senators Introduce SAFE Lending Act - On April 7, 2016, several Democratic Senators introduced the Stopping Abuse and Fraud in Electronic (SAFE) Lending Act, SAFE 2016, which is designed to change the manner in which...more

Quebec’s Energy Policy: Ambitious Energy Goals for 2030

After extensive public consultations, the Government of Quebec announced Quebec’s energy policy for 2016–2030 (Policy) on April 7, 2016. By focusing on energy efficiency, innovation and renewable energy, the Policy aims to...more

"CFTC Proposes Exclusion of Certain Electric Power and Natural Gas Contracts From 'Swap' Definition"

On April 4, 2016, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed guidance that would exclude certain capacity contracts in electric power markets (capacity contracts) and natural gas peaking supply contracts from...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume XI, Issue 14

BROKER-DEALER - SEC Approves FINRA’s Proposed Expansion of Supplement Schedule for Derivatives and Off-Balance Sheet Items - On April 5, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority released Regulatory Notice 16-11...more

CFTC Proposes Dodd-Frank Relief to Certain Energy Industry Contracts

The proposal furthers an ongoing effort to minimize Dodd-Frank burdens on commercial end users. On April 4, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an order proposing guidance about the Dodd-Frank...more

CFTC Proposes Guidance Clarifying that Certain Electric Capacity and Natural Gas Peaking Contracts are not “Swaps”

The CFTC has proposed guidance that certain capacity contracts in electric power markets and certain natural gas peaking supply contracts should not be considered “swaps” under the Commodity Exchange Act. The guidance does...more

Energy & Environment Update - March 2016 #3

Energy & Climate Debate: The Senate and the House of Representatives are both on Spring Recess, with the Senate returning on April 4 and the House scheduled to return on April 12. Before breaking for recess, the...more

SC Public Policy Update - March 2016 #3

What's New - SENATE - The Senate spent the week on the floor working on a compromise to S .997, a bill by Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) that would track refugees that are located in South Carolina. Senators...more

News from Second and State

It’s finally over. Yes winter is over, but more importantly, the 2015-2016 budget impasse is too. Gov. Tom Wolf announced at a press conference on Wednesday that he will allow the $30 billion budget bill to become law without...more

Significant New Safety Requirements Proposed For Natural Gas Pipelines

On March 17, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a major proposal to revise the safety standards for onshore natural gas pipelines. The proposed rule...more

PHMSA Announces Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Rules

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a proposal to implement regulations that would add new safety measures designed to raise existing safety standards applicable to pipelines...more

SC Public Policy Update - March 2016 #2

What's New - SENATE - Senate floor debate this week was dominated by S. 997, a bill by Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) that would require refugees to register with the Department of Social Services via a public...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. State Leaders Aim to Help to Save Maine’s Paper Industry - With this week’s announcements of...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - March 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s March 17, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on March 10, 2016. Agenda items E-5, E-13, E-14, E-16 and C-2 have not been...more

Recent Bankruptcy Cases May Have a Significant Impact on the Midstream Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Industry

Two recent bankruptcy cases could affect billions of dollars of oil and gas pipeline infrastructure investments. On March 8, 2016, Judge Chapman of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York...more

Timing Is (Almost) Everything: FERC Implements D.C. Circuit Guidance on NEPA Review of Multiple Pipeline Construction Projects

In the wake of two recent D.C. Circuit decisions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has begun to implement its new policy concerning the review of natural gas pipeline construction proposals under the National...more

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