FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) indicated on April 24 that it is conducting a review of the $40-per-barrel plunge in the WTI crude price that occurred on April 20. The CFTC stated that it is conducting the review to understand why the pricing happened, to ensure that the market functioned properly, and to rule out foul play.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on May 1 declaring that the use of bulk-power system equipment supplied by companies controlled by certain foreign nations poses an extraordinary threat to the US power grid. The order observes that the bulk-power system is a valuable target for malicious actors, and any attack on that system could pose serious risks to the economy, public health and safety, and national security.

Our colleagues in the environmental practice have published a LawFlash analyzing the implications of the recent US Supreme Court ruling that the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires a permit when there is a direct discharge (or the functional equivalent of a direct discharge) from a point source into navigable waters.
The US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued Version 3.0 of its guidance on April 17 on identifying essential critical infrastructure workers amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In an order issued on April 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) agreed to defer implementation of certain cybersecurity and operational reliability standards administered by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) that had important compliance milestones later this year, including the suite of supply chain risk management standards that have been under development for several years and were set to take effect on July 1. The move by FERC is intended to provide some measure of relief from impending compliance burdens and to allow electric utilities to focus their resources on responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Our labor and employment colleagues have prepared a LawFlash providing our current thinking regarding key issues that employers should begin considering now to minimize difficulties as they reopen or expand current operations.
Nevada became the sixth state to adopt an energy storage procurement goal on March 12. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) adopted a regulation in Order No. 44671 that establishes biennial energy storage procurement goals of 100 MW by December 31, 2020, and increasing to 1 GW by 2030.
Our colleagues in the investment management practice have prepared a chart that summarizes the available relief provided by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and National Futures Association from certain regulatory requirements.
Read our recent LawFlash discussing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) plan to assist regulated entities in managing enforcement- and compliance- related burdens during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly FERC plan to exercise prosecutorial discretion regarding events arising during the pandemic.
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.