Continuing reductions in environmental regulations across the power industry may seem like a good time for the C-suite to direct energy and attention towards other key priorities, but there is another force steadily working to tug reform back over the line — highly organized and increasingly strategic NGOs. Because deregulation is antithetical to their policy preferences, environmental groups routinely argue that federal agencies violate federal statutory laws, and power plant operations and infrastructure get caught in the crossfire.

Continue Reading Environmental Regulatory Rollbacks Are No Time for Utilities to Relax

On July 21, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) in Docket No. RM16-17-000 to revise regulations regarding the collection of data for analytics and surveillance purposes from market-based rates (MBR) sellers and entities trading virtual products or holding financial transmission rights (Virtual/FTR Participants). FERC also withdrew two earlier NOPRs in Docket Nos. RM15-23-000 and RM16-3-000. FERC indicated that the newly-issued NOPR would address many of the issues in the withdrawn NOPRs. Continue Reading FERC Issues NOPR on Information Collection, Rescinds Previous Iterations of Rule

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act into law.  The Act is the first significant change to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act in 40 years and amends the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) methods for reviewing chemical substances before they are marketed and allowed to be used in consumer products.

The Act has several new key features: Continue Reading Toxic Substances Control Act Revised for the 21st Century

On July 29, 2015, the CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee met and heard from a panel on the impact that the initiatives regarding trade options and forwards with embedded volumetric optionality (EVO) will have on energy and environmental markets. In May 2015, the CFTC amended its seven-part guidance on distinguishing forward contracts with embedded volumetric optionality from commodity options and, in a separate rulemaking, the CFTC proposed to narrow the trade option exemption to the swaps regulations applicable to commodity options. Continue Reading CFTC Holds Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss Impact of Embedded Volumetric Optionality Guidance and Recent Trade Option Proposal