On April 30, 2015, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would have the effect of reducing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for trade option counterparties that are neither swap dealers nor major swap participants (Non-SD/MSPs), including energy companies, agricultural producers, and other commercial end users.

The proposals are part of an ongoing effort by CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad to reduce regulations on end users that rely on the derivatives market in order to hedge their business risks.  The proposed rulemaking, which will be open for public comment for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, includes the following actions: Continue Reading CFTC Proposes to Reduce Reporting and Recordkeeping Obligations for Commercial End Users of Trade Options

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is continuing its practice of transitioning from hard-copy paper submissions to electronic filing procedures. In 2000, the Commission started accepting certain electronic filings through its eFiling system.  Later, in 2008, the Commission began the process of accepting tariff filings electronically through its eTariff system. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) issued earlier today, the Commission announced proposed changes to its hearing procedures to allow for the electronic filing of hearing exhibits. Continue Reading FERC Issues Rulemaking Regarding Electronic Filing of Hearing Exhibits

FERC recently issued an order approving ISO-New England’s 2014-15 Winter Reliability Program, but ordered ISO-NE to commence stakeholder discussions by January, 2015, to develop a longer term solution to reliability problems in the region. (http://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20140909165718-ER14-2407-000.pdf).  ISO-NE’s Winter Reliability Program is designed to ensure electric system reliability during the winter months through out-of-market payments to generators making arrangements to run their plants on oil or LNG or to participants who provide demand response when dispatched. Continue Reading FERC Approves ISO-NE Winter Reliability Program for 2014-15, Requires Stakeholder Discussions to Address Future Reliability Concerns

A team of Schiff Hardin attorneys compiled “Recent Developments in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law”  for the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal originally published in the fall of 2013 (Vol. 49-1) on the evolving landscape of the environmental and toxic tort areas of law. Toxic tort-related topics covered by this article include class action decisions discussing procedural aspects of damage calculations and whether plaintiffs can stipulate to damages to avoid jurisdiction. Key toxic tort subjects covered in this update include “duty to warn” and medical monitoring, punitive damages, and new asbestos-related decisions. Continue Reading Recent Developments in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law