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On May 1, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) declaring a national emergency due to “foreign adversaries” that are “creating and exploiting vulnerabilities” in the U.S. bulk-power system (BPS). The EO prohibits “transactions initiated after May 1, 2020” for BPS electric equipment with voltages 69 kilovolt and above if the transaction would pose an undue risk to U.S. national security, grid security, and resiliency, or the economy. A “transaction” includes “any acquisition, importation, transfer, or installation” of BPS equipment. Because the EO focuses on “transactions” for “equipment,” it also applies to components within equipment, giving it a broad reach.

While not defined by the EO, prior designations of “foreign adversaries” suggest that China and Russia would make the list. Also left to be determined by the Secretary of Energy is whether transactions with a “foreign adversary” “or a national thereof” (and “including through an interest in a contract for the provision of the equipment”) would pose an undue risk of BPS “sabotage,” “subversion,” or “catastrophic effects.”

To that end, the EO directs the Secretary of Energy to coordinate with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other executive departments and agencies “as appropriate” in making decisions as to whether a transaction should be prohibited or not.

Read the full GT Alert here.

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Photo of Gregory K. Lawrence Gregory K. Lawrence

Gregory K. Lawrence focuses his practice on the electricity and natural gas industries. He is experienced appearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and multiple state utility commissions regarding regulatory proceedings, compliance and enforcement, capacity and energy market structure, transactions and negotiations,

Gregory K. Lawrence focuses his practice on the electricity and natural gas industries. He is experienced appearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and multiple state utility commissions regarding regulatory proceedings, compliance and enforcement, capacity and energy market structure, transactions and negotiations, asset transfers, and governmental affairs. Greg’s clients include funds and financial institutions, marketers, traders, renewable and other project developers, energy storage and demand response assets, municipal and investor-owned utilities, and large energy consumers.

Recognized as a leading energy and electricity lawyer by Chambers USA, Greg is a frequent speaker at energy industry conferences and a contributor to a wide range of publications, including The Electricity Journal, Electric Light & Power, Energy Risk, Bloomberg Law Reports, Project Finance International, Corporate Counsel, Windpower Engineering, and EnergyLaw 360. He also authored a quarterly column in Electric Energy T&D Magazine and “Rationalizing Supply with Demand: Electricity Demand Response in U.S. Wholesale Electricity Markets,” a book chapter in U.S. Law and Taxation.

Photo of Rabeha Kamaluddin Rabeha Kamaluddin

Rabeha Kamaluddin has deep experience in a broad range of administrative, judicial, and transactional matters, primarily in the energy industry.  She focuses her practice on energy regulation, compliance, and enforcement matters, regularly representing clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and various…

Rabeha Kamaluddin has deep experience in a broad range of administrative, judicial, and transactional matters, primarily in the energy industry.  She focuses her practice on energy regulation, compliance, and enforcement matters, regularly representing clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and various state public utility commissions.

Rabeha represents energy clients, including interstate oil and natural gas pipelines and storage providers, liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, refiners, jet fuel shippers, public utilities, transmission owners, independent power producers, and state power authorities, in virtually all stages of the regulatory process and government investigations. She assists clients in oil/natural gas pipeline and electric utility infrastructure development, helping clients to navigate open access policies and FERC compliance and enforcement rules and policies.

Photo of Thomas O. Lemon Thomas O. Lemon

Thomas O. Lemon focuses his practice on litigation and regulation in the energy sector. After receiving his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011, Tom worked as an attorney-advisor in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Enforcement. In his

Thomas O. Lemon focuses his practice on litigation and regulation in the energy sector. After receiving his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011, Tom worked as an attorney-advisor in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Enforcement. In his time at the Commission, Tom worked on nearly every type of FERC Enforcement matter, and has extensive experience with natural gas and electricity market fraud and manipulation claims, NERC reliability standards violations, wholesale demand response, and LMP and capacity price formation. He has done investigatory and enforcement work in several ISO and RTO markets, including CAISO, PJM, NYISO, and ISO New England.

Jack LeBris Erffmeyer

ack T. LeBris Erffmeyer is a member of the Energy & Natural Resources Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Washington, D.C. office. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the Public Utilities Bureau in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Jack was responsible for…

ack T. LeBris Erffmeyer is a member of the Energy & Natural Resources Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Washington, D.C. office. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the Public Utilities Bureau in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Jack was responsible for the prosecution and management of all aspects of administrative litigation before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) on electricity and natural gas cases and before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on interstate wholesale electricity market cases. His experience includes casework related to formula rate update cases, traditional rate cases, and rider reconciliations, implicating issues such as prudence of capital expenditures, cost-allocation, novel rate designs, accumulated and excess deferred income tax regulatory accounting, statutory infrastructure upgrade programs, bad debt expense, return on equity, and ratemaking implications of the 2017 federal income tax law change.