Category Archives: Energy

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FERC Assesses Penalties for Alleged No-Risk UTC Trading Against City Power and Its Founder

Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties against City Power Marketing, LLC (City Power) and its founder and sole owner, K. Stephen Tsingas[1] (collectively, Respondents)  for violating section 222 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and section 1c.2 of the Commission’s regulations, which prohibit energy market manipulation.[2] … Continue Reading

FERC’s Reaction to CEQ’s Greenhouse Gas Guidance: For Now, Business as Usual

On June 23, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an Order Denying Rehearing of its earlier April 6, 2015 order, authorizing Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC to construct and operate natural gas liquefaction export facilities. The order is noteworthy for the Commission’s response to the arguments made by the Sierra Club that the Commission failed … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses and Remands MATS to D.C. Circuit for EPA Failure to Consider Costs

In a 5 to 4 split decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday, June 29th, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) unreasonably interpreted the federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”) when EPA decided deemed that costs were irrelevant in deciding whether to regulate hazardous air emissions from electric utility sources under section 112 of … Continue Reading

Performance Enhancement: FERC Approves Significant Restructuring of PJM’s Capacity Market

On June 9, 2015, theFederal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conditionally approved significant reforms to PJM’s capacity market, implementing the Capacity Performance Resource product, with PJM’s compliance filing due within 30 days. [1]   FERC found such reforms were necessary to address “the confluence of changes in the PJM markets, including both recent performance issues…impacted by … Continue Reading

Performance Enhancement: FERC Approves Significant Restructuring of PJM’s Capacity Market

On June 9, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conditionally approved significant reforms to PJM’s capacity market, implementing the Capacity Performance Resource product, with PJM’s compliance filing due within 30 days.1 FERC found such reforms were necessary to address “the confluence of changes in the PJM markets, including both recent performance issues…impacted by inadequate … Continue Reading

May 2015 Brings a Crop of FERC ‘Loophole’ Manipulation Civil Penalty Assessments

In May, two “loophole” penalty orders were issued regarding recent fraud and manipulation investigations conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Enforcement (OE), which are discussed below. What will June bring? To start, on June 3, the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power heard testimony, including from … Continue Reading

EPA Decision Impacts Back-Up Generators

In a decision issued on May 1, the DC Circuit vacated a U.S. EPA rule that allowed backup generators to operate up to 100 hours/year without emission controls as part of so-called emergency power demand/response programs intended to address short-term capacity shortfalls in the electrical grid.  Delaware DNREC v. EPA, No. 13-1093, (D.C. Cir. May 1, 2015).  … Continue Reading

New York Clears the Way for Permitting LNG-Refueling Stations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced on January 28, 2015 that it has finalized a new regulatory regime to allow the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling stations in all parts of the State except for New York City.  Under the agency’s final Part 570 regulations, the facilities would be … Continue Reading

The Debate Over Florida’s First Commercial Waste-to-Energy Incinerator in 2 Decades

Palm Beach County will soon commence operations of the nation’s first commercial waste-to-energy trash incinerator in 20 years.  The $670 million incinerator, located immediately north of the Solid Waste Authority’s existing facility on Jog Road, will combust approximately 3,000 tons of material per day.  The source of fuel will be tires, wood, automobile remnants, and residential … Continue Reading

Valuation of Distributed Solar

Powering your home with clean energy generated from the solar panels on your roof and selling the excess energy to the utility are appealing prospects to those attuned to environmental, energy efficiency, and self-sufficiency considerations. It is not hard to see why solar distributed generation (“DG”) has moved into the social and political electricity spotlight … Continue Reading

EPA Delays Finalization of 2014 Renewable Fuel Standards

Last Friday, November 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) said it will defer its 2014 applicable percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. The proposed standards rule, issued by EPA in November 2013, requires U.S. refiners to add 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels to the nation’s fuel supply in 2014. EPA noted … Continue Reading

Reforms Open Mexico to Foreign Investors

Written by Nicolas Borda and Craig V. Richardson. How Colorado Companies Can Benefit From Partnership With Southern Neighbor AS THE ENERGY INDUSTRY in North America shows no signs of slowing down, the Mexican federal government is eager to join the ranks of those countries benefiting from the continent’s surge of natural gas exploration and development opportunities. … Continue Reading

The intersection of the Clean Air Act and energy policy: EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants

In the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of the American Bar Association’s Trends, attorneys Michael Cooke and Christopher Bell co-author “The intersection of the Clean Air Act and energy policy: EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants”. Read more here.… Continue Reading

Cross-Border Renewable Energy Projects: Sustainable Development and Investor Protection

Cross-border renewable energy development is a rapidly growing share of the more than $200 billion per year renewable energy industry. Balancing the interests of investors seeking regulatory certainty with the interests of states in environmental protection is a significant source of potential conflict. In a joint publication by two committees in the ABA Section of Environment, … Continue Reading

The Intersection of the Clean Air Act and Energy Policy: EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards for Existing Power Plants

Written by Christopher L. Bell and Michael G. Cooke On June 18, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed greenhouse gas emission reductions rule for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. 79 Fed. Reg. 34,830. Once final, this rule will broadly affect energy generation, transmission, distribution, and use throughout the country, giving EPA the … Continue Reading

Mexican Energy Reform: The Secondary Legislation and its New Business Opportunities

This GT Alert is an update to “Mexican Energy Reform: Impact and Opportunities,” published June 4, 2014. This GT Alert describes the most relevant aspects of the secondary legislation in connection with energy matters published in the Federal Official Gazette (DOF) on August 11, 2014. Background On December 20, 2013, the DOF published the amendments … Continue Reading

Permitting Implications of UARG Decision

Last week, EPA issued guidance to its Regional Administrators that addresses some of the questions raised by the decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group  v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S.Ct. 2427 (U.S. June 23, 2014) (“UARG”).   As discussed in our posts of June 23rd and July 14th, that decision raised several issues that … Continue Reading

Mexico’s Energy Reform: Opportunities for the Energy Industry

Written by Robert J. Downing. WHY THE CHANGE? In less than six months, Mexico’s energy industry will be changed forever. To understand the resulting business opportunities, business needs to know why this happened. Mexico’s energy sector is often regarded as one of the most closed systems in the world. Declining oil production since 2004, doubling … Continue Reading

Top O&G Leasing Issues: Pooling And Pugh Clauses

Written by Douglas C. Atnipp and Frank R. Bradley III. The primary document which governs the contractual and real property rights, privileges and obligations of the landowner (i.e., lessor) and the energy company (i.e., lessee) is the oil and gas lease. Before a landowner grants an O&G lease to a lessee, he should carefully consider some … Continue Reading

Mexican Energy Reform: Impact and Opportunities

This GT Alert describes the most relevant aspects of the Initiatives of the Secondary Laws implementing the Energy Reform, submitted to the Mexican Congress on April 30, 2014. Background On December 20, 2013, the Federal Official Gazette (DOF) published the amendments to the Mexican Constitution for energy-related matters (the Constitutional Amendments). These amendments became effective … Continue Reading

EPA Releases its Proposed Rule to Cut Carbon Emissions at Existing Power Plants

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a draft rule that is intended to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.  EPA hopes to accomplish this through a state-focused strategy that is essentially an energy control rule than a traditional environmental pollution control effort.  EPA expects to finalize the rule by … Continue Reading

Spicing Up the North American Energy Revolution

Ahead of the Toluca Summit – which marked the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and saw the reunion of U.S. President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper – Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) CEO Emilio Lozoya asserted that, “North America will become the world’s cheapest … Continue Reading
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