Troutman Sanders LLP: Duke, Progress File Updated Settlement Agreement in North Carolina

By Troutman Sanders LLP On May 8, 2012, Duke Energy Corp. ("Duke") and Progress Energy, Inc. ("Progress") (collectively, "Applicants") entered into a supplemental merger settlement agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission ("NCUC") Public Staff...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio General Assembly Enacts Energy Bill That Addresses Hydraulic Fracturing

By R. Neal Pierce On May 24, 2012, the Ohio General Assembly enacted a comprehensive energy bill (Senate Bill 315) which addresses several provisions affecting the natural gas industry. The legislation has been forwarded to Governor John Kasich who is expected to sign the bill into law without delay...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Adopts a Paper Hearing for NERC Audit Report Dispute

On June 4, 2012, FERC issued an order adopting a paper hearing process to address audit recommendations and factual findings in an ongoing dispute between FERC Staff and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation ("NERC") over a financial performance audit ( see June 4, 2012 edition...

FERC Provides Guidance to PJM Limited Liability and Worker Safety Issues

On June 7, 2012, FERC provided guidance to PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. ("PJM") on whether there was a responsibility to oversee worker safety under its Open Access Transmission Tariff ("OATT") and whether the OATT's limited liability clause precludes a negligence tort claim by...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Schedules Regional Conferences on Gas & Electricity Market Coordination

By Kurt Krieger "These standards will establish communication protocols between interstate pipelines and power plant operators and transmission owners and operators. Through this rulemaking, the Commission is seeking to improve coordination between the gas and electric industries in order to...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Natural Gas Storage Field Boundary Extension vs. Production Interests

Do you produce gas or oil near a gas storage field? Do you intend to do so? Do you have an operating agreement with the storage field operator? What if storage field gas migrates into your production field or strata? What happens if your production operations threaten the integrity of the storage field...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Allows Pipeline to Prohibit Backhaul Shippers From Nominating Forward Haul Service

By Kurt Krieger Shippers with firm transportation capacity on interstate pipelines often nominate their contracts to move gas in numerous directions on the pipeline on a secondary point basis, subject to the pipeline's tariff scheduling priorities. Those with firm primary forward haul capacity...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Considering Quarterly Reporting and Disclosure of Every Physical Natural Gas Transaction

By Kurt Krieger On November 15, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a Notice of Inquiry ("NOI") - a pre-cursor to a possible notice of proposed rulemaking - seeking comments on whether it should require quarterly reporting and delayed public disclosure...

The Week In Securities Litigation: SEC Settles 2 Insider Trading Cases

The SEC settled two insider trading cases this week in which S.A.C. Capital was named as a relief defendant. In one it obtained the largest payment to date in an insider trading case, about $600 million. Reportedly S.A.C. Capital will fund the settlement. The second was one of the Dell insider trading...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Power Line Rights of Way - FERC Approves New Vegetation Management Rules

By Kurt L. Krieger and Nora C. Price On March 21, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") approved new rules for managing vegetation along power line rights of way. The purpose of the approved modifications to existing electric reliability standards is to ensure the continued...

Transco Asks FERC to Authorize Leidy Southeast Pipeline Project

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (“Transco”) recently filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for authorization to construct and operate the Leidy Southeast Project. According to the application, the Leidy Southeast Project would...

Babst Calland: FERC Chairman Wellinghoff Departs

By Keith J. Coyle John Wellinghoff officially resigned his post as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Sunday, November 24, 2013. Wellinghoff, the longest serving FERC Chairman in history, will be joining the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP. The now-departed FERC Chairman announced...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Allows Non-public Information Sharing Between Gas Pipelines, Electric Utilities

By Troutman Sanders LLP On November 15, 2013, FERC issued Order No. 787, authorizing interstate natural gas pipelines and electric transmission operators to voluntarily share non-public, operational information with each other to promote grid reliability and operational planning. In doing so, FERC...

Cadwalader Clients & Friends Memo: FERC and CFTC Reach Agreement on Information Sharing and Jurisdiction

After a fair amount of back-channel arm-twisting, the two agencies with principal (and sometimes overlapping) jurisdiction over energy commodities have reached agreement on two memoranda of understanding (“ MOUs ”) required by the Dodd-Frank Act. On January 2, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Electric Transmission Line Rate Incentives Affirmed

By Kurt L. Krieger On January 24, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a 2012 order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) denying rehearing of a 2008 order granting rate incentives to an electric utility for various transmission projects...

Cadwalader Client & Friends Memo: FERC Enforcement Director Calls for Legislative Fix to Address Hunter Decision

On January 15, 2014, Mr. Norman Bay, Director of the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ( FERC ), testified at a Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection hearing entitled “Regulating Financial Holding Companies and Physical Commodities...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Louis Dreyfus Settles FERC Market Manipulation Case for $7.8 Million

On February 7, 2014, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (“Agreement”) between the Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) and Louis Dreyfus Energy Services L.P. (“LDES”) regarding LDES’ virtual trading in the markets operated by the Midcontinent...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Takes Further Action to Promote Gas and Electric Industry Coordination

B y Kurt L. Krieger On March 20, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued three separate but related items as part of FERC’s ongoing efforts to address gas and electric industry coordination issues arising from the increased reliance on natural gas for electricity...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Court Ruling a Victory for Kentucky Pipeline Eminent Domain Opponents

By J. Kevin West On March 25, 2014, a Circuit Court in Kentucky ruled in favor of those opposed to an interstate natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) pipeline’s potential use of eminent domain under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The interstate pipeline is not subject to regulation...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Court Vacates FERC ‘Demand Response’ Final Rule

By Kurt L. Krieger On May 23rd, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a final rule of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) which sought to incentivize electricity customers to reduce electricity consumption when economically efficient. The...

Cadwalader Clients & Friends Memo: FERC Versus State Authorities: Supreme Court Agrees to Review ONEOK v. Learjet

On July 1, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition to hear an appeal by several companies contending that antitrust claims filed against them under state law over alleged manipulation of gas prices during the western energy crisis from 2000 to 2002 were precluded by the Natural Gas Act (“...

Duane Morris LLP: D.C. Circuit Ruling Has Potential Implications for Natural Gas Pipeline and LNG Projects Under FERC Environmental Review

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected certain portions of an environmental analysis conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or "Commission"). This turn of events is likely to cause anyone with, or planning to have, a...

Cadwalader: Gloves Are Off: FERC Issues Public Notice of Alleged Violations in Powhatan Investigation

On August 5, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ( "FERC" ) issued a public Staff Notice of Alleged Violations ( "NAV" ) regarding alleged manipulative Up To Congestion trading by Powhatan Energy Fund (Powhatan) in the PJM energy market. The NAV states that FERC’s...

Cadwalader Client & Friends Memo: Clear Rift Highlighted by Commissioners’ Lack of Action on New England’s Most Recent Forward Capacity Auction Results

On September 16, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s four Commissioners issued statements explaining a 2-2 deadlock between Chairman LaFleur and Commissioner Moeller on the one hand and Commissioner Clark and new Commissioner Bay on the other, over whether to accept rates resulting...

Cadwalader Client & Friends Memo: On to the Supreme Court? The D.C. Circuit Denies FERC’s Request for Rehearing En Banc of its Decision to Vacate FERC’s Demand Response Rule

On September 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s request for rehearing en banc of the D.C. Circuit’s decision to vacate FERC’s wholesale demand response compensation rule. [1] The D.C. Circuit’s...