Category Archives: Energy

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CNH Issues Round 3 Bidding Guidelines for Exploration and Production in Shallow Waters

On Sept. 29, 2017, Mexico´s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) published the guidelines and model contracts for the first bidding process of “Ronda 3” (Round 3.1). Round 3.1 includes 35 exploration and production (E&P) contractual areas in shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico, with a total surface of 26,265 km2 (10,140 mi2), approximately 1,988 million … Continue Reading

New Contracting Model for Energy Transmission Lines in Mexico

On Sept. 18 2017, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) announced the new contracting model for energy transmission lines. The new model will allow the implementation of tender processes for the award and execution of contracts for the management of electricity transmission (Contracts) with private parties in order for them to carry out, on behalf of … Continue Reading

CNH Issues Bidding Guidelines and Agreements for Pemex Farm-Out (Nobilis–Maximino Project)

On Sept. 15, 2017, the Commissioners of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) held a meeting to discuss and approve an invitation to bid, the related Bidding Guidelines, and the exploration and production license model agreement (the “License Agreement”) for the selection of partner(s) for PEMEX Exploration and Production (PEP). This is the second association of … Continue Reading

Lessons of Hurricane Irma — State of Florida Focus on Hurricane Preparedness and Infrastructure

In response to the widespread impacts of Hurricane Irma in Florida (all coastlines and virtually every community), Speaker Corcoran of the Florida House of Representatives has created a new Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness. Speaker Pro Tempore Jeanette Nunez of Miami will chair the 16-member bipartisan Select Committee whose focus will be to gather … Continue Reading

Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking That Will Automatically Authorize Certain Applications To Export Small Volumes of Natural Gas

On Sept. 1, the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE/FE) issued a notice inviting public comment on a proposal which, if adopted, will authorize automatically applications to export small volumes of natural gas to non-Free Trade Agreement nations.  82 Fed. Reg. 41,570 (Notice).  As DOE/FE describes its proposal: [T]he proposed rule … Continue Reading

The Death of Public Citizen in Pipeline NEPA Analyses: Was it Ever Alive?

Last week we examined the Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision from the D.C. Circuit holding that natural gas pipeline NEPA review must consider greenhouse gas emissions impacts from power plants served by the proposed pipeline. This week, we review the decision and its impact on pipeline projects: In August, the U.S. Court … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Holds FERC Natural Gas Pipeline NEPA Review Must Consider Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts from Power Plants Served by Proposed Pipeline

Although there has been a significant shift with regard to climate change policy with the change of administrations, a recent decision at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) makes clear that the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA, enacted in 1970, remains an important weapon for those … Continue Reading

Overview of Coal Ash Disposal, Regulation and Beneficial Use

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the largest generator of coal ash in the United States. Pennsylvania is home to roughly 100 coal ash disposal facilities, three of which have been classified as “high hazard” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Throughout the country, numerous electric generating facilities … Continue Reading

EPA Solicits Comments on Regulatory Reform

On April 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a request for comments to aid EPA’s ongoing “Evaluation of Existing Regulations,” which seeks to identify regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. Comments must be submitted by May 15, so parties interested in taking this opportunity to help EPA identify regulations … Continue Reading

President Trump’s Action Impacts Pipeline Operators by Requiring U.S.-Sourced Materials and Equipment for Pipeline Construction, Retrofits, Repairs, and Expansions

On Jan. 24, 2017, President Trump took four executive actions that affect the oil and gas pipeline industry. In the first two, he directed the appropriate agencies to take expedited actions to the extent permitted by law to review and grant permits necessary to build the Keystone XL project and the Dakota Access pipeline. In … Continue Reading

Israel Posts Information and Schedule Regarding Upcoming Bidding Round for New Oil and Gas Exploration Licenses

Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources has posted on a dedicated website new information concerning the first round of bidding for offshore oil and gas exploration activity.  Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Mediterranean Sea is divided into 69 exploration areas or blocks.  The Ministry plans to conduct successive rounds for … Continue Reading

CNH Issues Bidding Guidelines and Agreements for the First Pemex Farm-Out (Trion Project)

From Jorge Aleman Juarez  of GT Mexico City and  Derek J. Anchondo of GT Houston: On July 27, 2016, the Commissioners of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (the CNH) held a meeting to discuss and approve the invitation to bid, the Bidding Guidelines, and the exploration and production license agreement (the License Agreement) for the selection of the partner(s) … Continue Reading

CEQ Issues Measured Final Guidance for Federal Agencies in their Consideration of GHG Emissions in NEPA Reviews

On Aug. 1, 2016, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Reviews. CEQ issued the guidance in an endeavor “to provide greater clarity and more consistency in how agencies … Continue Reading

Brexit: Environmental Law Implications for the Chemicals Sector

This note addresses the possible legal impact of Brexit on the chemicals sector.  It is one of a series of GTM Alerts designed to assist businesses in identifying the legal issues to consider and address in response to the UK’s referendum vote of 23 June 2016 to withdraw from the European Union.   While Brexit … Continue Reading

Coscia Gets 3 Years in Prison: The Criminalization of Trading Commodities?

Sarao, Coscia, and now the Berkshire Power Company, each charged with crimes – spoofing, fraud, false information – relating to commodity trading. Commodity traders likely have incorporated into their compliance regimes the general risk that allegations of criminal fraud could arise. These criminal matters no longer appear to be isolated instances and, instead, counsel for … Continue Reading

Massachusetts High Court Rules Leaded Gasoline is Not “Oil” Subject to Less Stringent Cleanup Requirements

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) upheld a statutory interpretation by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) that the statutory definition of “oil” does not include leaded gasoline. As a result, contamination from leaded gasoline released from a gas station was not eligible for less stringent remediation standards applicable to “oil” releases.  Based on … Continue Reading

Rejecting the Aspire Court Decision, the CFTC Proposes a ‘Private Right of Action’ Amendment to RTO-ISO Order

The RTO-ISO Order On March 28, 2013, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an Order (the RTO-ISO Order), which exempted certain electric energy transactions conducted in particular regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) from the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulations, with the exception of certain enumerated provisions – specifically, … Continue Reading

FERC’s Near-Term Electricity Menu: Actively Exploring and Tinkering

FERC has an active near-term agenda addressing important electrical issues through upcoming technical conferences, Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), and Notices of Inquiry (NOI).  We provide below a brief “menu” of these noteworthy conferences, rulemakings, and inquiries that will influence project development, energy pricing, and ancillary services. Project Development and Access Conference: Review of Generator … Continue Reading

Does FERC’s Denial of Authority to Construct Jordan Cove Signal a More Rigorous Test for Future LNG Projects?

On March 11, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied an application by Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. (Jordan Cove) for authority under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to site, construct, and operate a facility at Coos Bay, Oregon, for the exportation, principally to Asia, of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In … Continue Reading

New York Environmental Regulator Proposes Major Overhaul of Solid Waste Regulations

On Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, the New York Governor announced that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) was proposing new regulations for the handling of solid waste.  The proposed changes to the solid waste regulations contained in Parts 360, 364, and 369 seek to reorganize and rationalize the muddled set of regulations created … Continue Reading

Private Rights of Action for Exempt Energy Transactions: the CFTC EEMAC Committee Meeting

From Greg Lawrence of GT Boston and Harris Kay of GT Chicago: On May 19, 2015, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a proposed order exempting certain categories of Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) electric energy transactions from all but the antifraud and anti-manipulation provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) (the … Continue Reading

California Public Utilities Commission’s Successor Net Metering Decision and Trends in Rate-Making

On January 28, 2016, by a 3-2 vote, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) agreed to extend California’s net metering program. The CPUC’s decision rejected proposals by three of the state’s major utilities (Pacific Gas &Electric Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co., and Southern California Edison) to decrease the financial credit received by eligible … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Coalition Asks Supreme Court to Halt EPA Power Plan

A bipartisan coalition of 29 states and state agencies filed an application with the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday to immediately halt the Obama Administration’s power plan while litigation continues in the D.C. Circuit Court.   The application for immediate stay of the final EPA rule imposing far-reaching climate rules for power plants was filed by the … Continue Reading

How Cos. Can Fight Back Against Inferential Statistics

In an environmental contamination case involving the gasoline additive MTBE, the New Hampshire Supreme Court recently affirmed a trial court jury award of $236 million, based largely on statistical inferences by experts.   In short, the trial court allowed the plaintiffs to use extrapolated statistics to (1) hypothesize the existence of several thousand sites, (2) estimate … Continue Reading
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