The US Congress adopted extensive federal energy policies in the Energy Act of 2020 (Energy Act), which President Donald Trump signed into law on December 27 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
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.
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 US Department of Energy (DOE) has released the Hydrogen Program Plan, a strategic framework that intends to “accelerate research, development, and deployment (RD&D) of hydrogen and related technologies in the United States.”
Following the declaration of a global pandemic due to the widespread transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the issuance of shutdown and/or stay-at-home directives cascaded from commercial enterprises and state and local governments across the United States. During this period of extreme disruption to daily routine, the continuity and integrity of energy operations were necessary to ensure that the massive shift to home-based life could exist with minimal business disruption.
FERC issued a proposal on May 21 to modify its policy regarding requests for waiver of public utility tariff provisions that are subject to FERC’s review and approval under the Federal Power Act and the Natural Gas Act.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice on May 20 that it will convene a Commissioner-led technical conference to consider the ongoing, serious impacts that the emergency conditions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are having on the energy industry. The conference will be free, open to the public, and held remotely on Wednesday and Thursday, July 8-9, 2020.
In response to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a notice that it does not intend to take enforcement action related to certain new gas pipeline safety regulations with which gas pipeline operators must comply by July 1, 2020.
Although the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed into law on March 27 does not expressly provide relief for energy companies, many of its provisions impact energy sector companies. Read our recent LawFlash to learn more.
Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee held a press conference on March 19 to discuss FERC’s work during the current pandemic, provide updates regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), and respond to questions from the media.