FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
Currently at issue before the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is whether the filed rate doctrine prevents a court from assessing the reasonableness of a utility’s rates in the retail market.
FERC issued an order on May 16 rescinding its 2009 policy of issuing Notices of Alleged Violations (NAVs) after the subject of an investigation is given an opportunity to respond to FERC Enforcement Staff’s preliminary findings (the NAV Policy).
FERC Staff issued a report on March 29 on Commission-led critical infrastructure protection (CIP) reliability audits completed for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. The report provides lessons learned from those audits, as well as voluntary recommendations on cybersecurity practices to enhance the protection of electric infrastructure from cyberattacks.
In its updated guidance issued on April 30, the US Department of Justice Criminal Division places effectiveness at the epicenter of its factors to be utilized when evaluating a company’s compliance program in the context of a criminal investigation.
A recent advisory published by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement and comments of the division director have highlighted the CFTC’s attention toward investigating potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) that involve foreign corrupt practices.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) Office of Enforcement (OE) issued its 2018 Report on Enforcement on November 15. The report provides a review of OE’s activities during fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018), which begins October 1 and ends September 30 annually.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on September 28 that it has created an Insider Trading & Information Protection Task Force.
Recent statements by the Antitrust Division at the US Department of Justice (DOJ) confirm that the DOJ is continuing to focus on “no-poaching” and wage-fixing agreements with more enforcement actions expected to be announced in the near future.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) filed a Notice of Penalty summarizing an agreement by an unidentified electric utility to pay a $2.7 million penalty in connection with self-reported violations of the Critical Infrastructure Protection reliability standards related to sensitive data exposure by a vendor.

Under a notice of proposed rulemaking to be released today, December 21, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is proposing to direct the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to revise the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards to require electric utilities to report all cyberattacks on the electric security perimeters surrounding their key electric infrastructure as well as the associated electronic access control and monitoring devices that protect those perimeters.