Bracewell & Giuliani

Powered by the attorneys of Bracewell & Giuliani, Energy Legal Blog® is your resource for updates and analysis on national and global energy issues.
  1. The Sage Grouse Isn’t Added to the List of Endangered Species. And so. . . ?

    Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:17 am by

    As the trade and mainstream press has widely reported, yesterday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided against placing the Greater Sage Grouse on the endangered species list. This is big news, if for no other reason than that grouse habitat covers hundreds of thousand square miles area across a dozen states:

    Sage grouse geography

    Certainly, the FWS’s decision not to list the sage grouse spares a large geographic area of oil and gas land, rangeland, federal land, and otherwise developable area from restrictions under ESA. (more…)

  2. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: August 2015

    Friday, September 11, 2015 8:38 am by , , and

    August’s Highlight

    This past month, the NYMEX Business Conduct Committee (“Panel”) entered into a settlement with an entity to resolve alleged violations of Exchange Rule 526- Block Trades and two Market Regulation Advisory Notices, RA1326-4 and RA-1327-4, related to pre-hedging of block trades.  The settlement resulted in a fine of $50,000 and disgorgement of $51,315.60 in profits, as well as a $15,000 fine and 5-day suspension against the individual trader involved.

    Specifically, the Panel found that on four different trade dates the trader pre-hedged block trades by “trading on Globex prior to consummating the block trade with the counterparty.”  The hedge was placed after soliciting but before consummating the block trade and locked in a profit.  The trader also failed to timely report two of the block trades. (more…)

  3. Endangered Species Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken Rejected in Widely Precedential Decision

    Thursday, September 3, 2015 11:54 am by

    The endangered species listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) was set aside by a Texas federal court on Tuesday in litigation closely watched by oil and gas interests in the Permian Basin as well as ranchers, farmers and others in west Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. And, while the Court’s decision is important to those entities, it will likely have an impact far beyond those areas, as one of the first court decisions to thoroughly evaluate nascent efforts by industry to fend off a spate of new potential Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings. (more…)

  4. Update on the Waters of the US – Put Away the Tape Measure and Get a Map

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 4:30 pm by

    As those of you who have read our prior blog posts know, one of the primary changes between the proposed and final rules redefining the scope of jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act is the more objective measurements contained in the final rule. The proposed rule defined adjacent (and therefore jurisdictional) waters as those within certain scientific boundaries – floodplains and riparian areas, for example, which were defined based on their ecological and hydrological relation to traditionally-navigable and other similar waters. The final rule eliminated the need for this scientific analysis, stating instead that adjacency would be based on distances – waters are automatically jurisdictional a minimum of 100 feet away and up to 1,500 feet away if measured from a high tide line or Great Lake or contained in a 100-year floodplain. Similarly, the significant nexus test applies to features up to 4,000 feet from such waters. This increased clarity makes it easier for the regulated community and regulators to identify jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional waters.

    Today, EPA and the Corps removed a bit of this clarity. (more…)

  5. Watch: Environmental Essentials Webinar August 2015

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015 8:30 am by

    Bracewell hosted our inaugural Environmental Essentials Webinar last Tuesday, kicking off the monthly series with a 30-minute discussion of the Clean Water Rule. (more…)

  6. EPA Proposes Voluntary Methane Emissions Reduction Program

    Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:27 am by

    As a first step toward curbing methane emissions from existing sources, EPA has released a proposed framework for the Natural Gas Star Methane Challenge Program. EPA is scheduled to propose regulations this summer to reduce methane emissions from new and modified sources. Therefore, any sources that exist before the date EPA proposes those regulations would not be required to reduce their methane emissions until EPA adopts methane regulations for existing sources. In order to try to reduce methane emissions from existing sources in the interim, EPA will be looking to industry to voluntarily reduce methane emissions by participating in the Natural Gas Star Methane Challenge Program. (more…)

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