FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
In a move that will save the industry about $400,000 each year, on January 19, 2012, FERC eliminated the semiannual storage reporting requirements for (i) interstate pipelines transacting under the Natural Gas Act and (ii) intrastate and Hinshaw pipelines that provide interstate services under section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 and section 284.224 of the Commission’s regulations, respectively, finding them duplicative with other reporting requirements.
On January 6, 2012, FERC issued an order rejecting Portland Natural Gas Transmission System’s (Portland Natural) compliance filing addressing certain nonconforming service agreements.
On September 15, 2011, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to eliminate the semiannual storage reporting requirements for interstate and intrastate natural gas companies.
On August 16, FERC and NERC issued a joint report on the outages and curtailments that occurred in the southwest during the extraordinary cold snap in early February 2011.

Describing what it considers "a significant number of outages of generating facilities" along with disruptions in natural gas deliveries during the recent extreme cold weather across Texas and the Southwest, on February 14, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) directed the creation of a staff task force to conduct a broad inquiry into those events. Unlike the FERC-led investigation following the 2008 Florida Blackout, this investigation is not, at this time, intended to discover whether any regulations, requirements, or standards were violated. Instead, the investigation is intended to identify (1) the causes of the outages and disruptions and (2) the actions FERC might undertake to prevent a recurrence of these issues.

On January 20, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 710-B, revising the financial forms, statements, and reports for natural gas companies contained in FERC Form Nos. 2, 2-A, and 3-Q to include functionalized fuel data (on pages 521a through 521c of those forms) and the amount of fuel waived, discounted, or reduced as part of a negotiated rate agreement.

On January 7, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) in Murray Energy Corp. v. FERC, No. 09-1207 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 7, 2011), denied a petition for review By Murray Energy Corporation (Murray) of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders authorizing construction of Rockies Express Pipeline LLC’s (REX’s) REX-East pipeline. The court rejected arguments concerning agency delegation of authority, fulfillment of certificate conditions, and consideration of safety issues.

On October 21, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) denied rehearing of its ruling in Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), 132 FERC ¶ 61,064 (2010), where it announced that the prohibition against buy/sell transactions applies equally to intrastate pipelines engaged in NGPA Section 311 transactions and to Hinshaw pipelines.
Ten years ago, “transparency” within the natural gas markets was largely an ignored concept.