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FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
FERC has issued a final rule, Order No. 874, expanding the eligibility criteria for Qualifying Facilities (QFs) as defined under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to enable certain fuel cell–based electric generation to receive QF status.
The secretary of the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued an order on December 17 prohibiting electric utilities from installing equipment or components provided by Chinese companies in electric facilities serving designated “Critical Defense Facilities.” Relying on authority from Executive Order 13920 on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System, the order identified threats to the electric supply chain from China and concluded that prohibiting Chinese equipment in these sensitive facilities is necessary to respond to the Chinese government’s plans to undermine the bulk-power system.
Following its December 17 open meeting, FERC issued an order withdrawing and terminating a proceeding that had been opened earlier this year to examine oil pipeline affiliate contracts.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed revisions to its Policy Statement on Natural Gas and Electric Price Indices (Policy Statement) on December 17 to encourage market participants to report transactions to price index developers and to provide greater transparency into the natural gas price formation process.
President-elect Joseph Biden announced on December 15 that he intends to nominate former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to serve as secretary of energy in his new administration. Ms. Granholm previous served as the attorney general of Michigan and as Michigan’s governor from 2003 to 2011.
Our project finance, infrastructure, and natural resources practice has been named a Law360 Project Finance Group of the Year. The firm’s diversity and depth in multiple related practices, as well as it tendency to “stick[]with a project for its entire lifespan,” contribute to the success of the practice.
The US Department of Energy (DOE or Department) finalized a rulemaking proceeding last week that revises its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing procedures pertaining to certain authorizations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). This update limits DOE’s review of environmental impacts associated with natural gas exports to certain countries; DOE’s review will only consider the environmental effects of marine transportation, which DOE has also determined as not creating a significant environmental impact.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or the Commission) Division of Enforcement filed the most enforcement actions in the Commission’s history in fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020).
The US Senate has confirmed the nominations of Mark Christie (R) and Allison Clements (D) to fill the remaining Republican and Democratic vacant seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These confirmations restore FERC to its full capacity of five members for the first time in almost two years.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently issued an interim report by CFTC Staff on the April 2020 price collapse of the West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude oil futures contract (WTI Futures Contract).