Down to the Wire, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reissues Nationwide Permits

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published the final rule reissuing 50 nationwide permits (“NWPs”) and issuing two new NWPs. The NWPs will take effect on March 19, 2017, and will replace the existing NWPs that are set to expire on March 18, 2017 (“2012 NWPs”). States and industry groups had previously expressed concern that if the NWPs were not finalized in early January, there would be inadequate time for mandatory state coordination under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and the coastal consistency provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act, resulting in...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - December 2016

NYMEX NYMEX 16-0530-BC Position Limits Violation of Rule 562 – Position Limit Violations. At the close of business on a single day in September 2016, a member firm held a short position which was 38.4% over the standard expiration month limit for October 2016 Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures contracts. Pursuant to a settlement offer, the member firm neither admitted nor denied the violation. $40,000 penalty. ICE 2015-114 Block Trades; Misc. Violation of Exchange Rule 4.01 - Duty to Supervise; Rule 4.02(c) – Trade Practice Violations; Rule 4.02(d) – Trade Practice Violations; Rule 4.04 – Conduct...

Obama Bans Drilling Offshore Atlantic, Arctic – But For How Long?

With a new President on the White House doorstep, President Obama has announced a ban – ostensibly permanent – on offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters along the Eastern seaboard and offshore Alaska. President Obama appears to be relying upon a seldom-used provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (“OCSLA”) 43 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et seq.), which allows the President to withdraw any “unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.” Whether the ban proves permanent is likely to be tested politically and legally, as the Trump Administration takes office alongside a Republican-...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - November 2016

COMEX COMEX 14-0050-BC Disruptive Trading Violation of Rule 575.A and Rule 575.D – Disruptive Practices Prohibited. Between November 2014 and March 2015, a member trader, with no intent to trade, entered or layered orders in futures contracts in order to motivate other market participants to trade opposite the member’s smaller resting orders, which the member would cancel within moments after receiving a fill on those smaller orders. During this same period, the member created alternating buy-side and sell-side market imbalances by entering orders on one side of the market and smaller orders...

Bracewell Environmental Law Seminar – Fall 2016: Highlights on “The Desktop Regulator”

On November 15, 2016, Bracewell’s Environmental Strategies Group hosted its third biannual Environmental Law Seminar in Houston. The seminar was attended by nearly 100 industry representatives and featured five guest speakers, including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, CSB Board Member Rick Engler, Center for Global Energy Policy Fellow Ronald Minsk, Windward Strategies President and CEO Eric Washburn, and Spirit Environmental Program Manager Johnny Vermillion. This is the second in a series of posts highlighting learnings from the seminar. Click here to read Matt Paulson's previous post on...

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