As President Trump’s administration attempts to dismantle President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, one action may be removing funding from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for enforcement of the 2010 Commission Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change. So, should public companies continue to disclose climate change-driven risks and benefits?

Yes – according to the SEC, the climate change disclosure guidance merely “assists companies in satisfying” their pre-existing requirements concerning disclosure of environmental issues, affirming disclosure obligations in place since the 1970s. By following the guidance, companies merely will be supplying information about climate change that may impact investors’ decision-making. Continue Reading Four Issues Impacting Public Companies’ Climate Change Disclosures

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it had unanimously approved proposed guidance regarding the appropriate treatment of certain electric power and natural gas contracts under the definition of the term “swap.” Continue Reading CFTC and SEC Approves Proposed Guidance on Regulatory Treatment of Certain Electric Power and Natural Gas Contracts

On November 3, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), proposed a clarification of its previously issued interpretation concerning the exclusion of forward contracts with embedded volumetric optionality from the “swap” and “future delivery” definitions.  The CFTC seeks to clarify the seven elements previously provided as guidance to market participants analyzing whether a contract with embedded volumetric optionality is a swap or a forward.  Specifically, the proposed clarification would address concerns raised by utilities and commercial market participants regarding the application of the fourth, fifth, and seventh elements of the interpretive test. Continue Reading CFTC Proposes Clarification of the Interpretation on Forward Contracts with Embedded Volumetric Optionality

On August 13, 2012, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) published an order [PDF] revising in a number of respects the definition of “swap” the commissions had adopted on July 10, 2012, as part of their attempts to implement the Dodd-Frank Act. Of particular interest to the energy industry, the commissions modified their earlier conclusion that contracts providing for the payment of volumetric rates were swaps rather than forward contracts. Continue Reading CFTC Modifies “Swap” Definition