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Powered by the attorneys of Bracewell, Energy Legal Blog® is your resource for updates and analysis on national and global energy issues.
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  1. TOTAL Challenges Legality of FERC Enforcement Processes

    Friday, January 29, 2016 4:28 pm by , , and

    On January 27, 2016, TOTAL Gas & Power North America, Inc. (“TGPNA”) and two natural gas traders filed a complaint for declaratory relief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) claiming that FERC intends to violate TGPNA’s statutory and constitutional rights by proceeding with an administrative enforcement action against the company for alleged violations of the Natural Gas Act’s (“NGA”) prohibition on market manipulation.[1] TGPNA’s complaint represents a direct attack on the legality of FERC’s existing enforcement processes and, if granted, could result in significant changes to the manner in which FERC investigates and prosecutes allegations of market manipulation and other regulatory violations. (more…)


  2. Supreme Court Upholds FERC’s Demand Response Rule, Order No. 745

    Monday, January 25, 2016 7:00 pm by , and

    In a closely watched case with potential impacts across a broad swath of the electric energy industry, on January 25, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the D.C. Circuit’s May 2014 ruling in EPSA v. FERC and instead upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) demand response rule, Order No. 745, thereby affirming FERC’s jurisdiction to regulate wholesale markets. FERC issued Order No. 745 with the aim of encouraging participation of demand resources – generally industrial and other large energy users that can reduce or forego energy consumption during certain periods – in wholesale markets administered by FERC by allowing such demand resources to bid their reduced energy consumption for compensation at the same price and in the same markets as generating resources. (more…)


  3. FERC Clarifies Scope of Proposed RTO and ISO Disclosure Requirements

    Monday, December 21, 2015 5:58 pm by and

    On December 8, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Office of Enforcement held a technical conference respecting FERC’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) on Connected Entity Data.  As discussed in an earlier post, if adopted, the NOPR would dramatically increase the amount of information that entities participating in Regional Transmission Organization (“RTO”) and Independent System Operator (“ISO”) markets would be required to disclose regarding their affiliates, contractual arrangements, and employees.  In particular, the NOPR would require each market participant to report to each RTO and ISO any “Connected Entities,” a term that is defined to include: (more…)


  4. CFTC Settles Gas Index Manipulation Claim While FERC Allegations Remain

    8:00 am by , , and

    CFTC Order Accepting Settlement with Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. & Therese Tran for Attempted Manipulation of Natural Gas Monthly Index Settlement Prices

    On December 7, 2015, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or the “Commission”) issued an order instituting proceedings, making findings, and imposing sanctions (“Settlement Order”) to resolve charges against Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (“TGPNA”) and one of its natural gas traders, Therese Tran, for attempted manipulation of natural gas monthly index settlement prices.  The Settlement Order represents a settlement between the CFTC and TGPNA and requires TGPNA and Tran to jointly pay a $3.6 million civil monetary penalty and imposes other sanctions, including a bid-week trading limitation for two years; reporting requirements; and a documents/communications preservation requirement.

    (more…)


  5. FERC Issues 2015 Report On Enforcement

    Tuesday, November 24, 2015 5:00 pm by and

    On November 19, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) released its annual report on enforcement activities for fiscal year 2015.  The report highlights FERC’s continued focus on incidents involving fraud, market manipulation, and other anticompetitive conduct in the markets subject to its jurisdiction.  It also highlights the types of activities and conduct that have been subject to FERC scrutiny over the past year and provides informal guidance that jurisdictional entities should consider when evaluating their own conduct and compliance programs. (more…)


  6. FERC Proposes To Expand Classes Of Information Collected From Participants In RTO And ISO Markets

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015 3:13 pm by and

    On September 17, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”) proposing to significantly expand the information that entities would be required to disclose in order to participate in the wholesale markets administered by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTO”) and Independent System Operators (“ISO”).  Notably, while market participants already are required to disclose certain affiliate relationships to the RTOs and ISOs in which they participate, FERC’s proposal would require market participants to provide additional information regarding a broad array of contractual, employee, and other business relationships.  (more…)


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