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. 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…)

  2. 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…)

  3. BP Initial Decision: The Significance of Change

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:10 am by , , and

    On August 13, 2015, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) assigned to hear evidence in BP America Inc. et. Al (Docket No. IN13-15) issued an Initial Decision in which she found that BP America Inc., and certain of its affiliates (collectively “BP”) engaged in market manipulation by intentionally trading to influence index prices to benefit a related financial position.  Putting aside the merits of the BP case, the Initial Decision is a good reminder of the kind of circumstantial evidence that regulators might interpret as indicia of manipulation.  The reoccurring theme is CHANGE.  (more…)

  4. BP Initial Decision Adopts FERC Staff’s Positions

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 1:17 pm by , , and

    Seven years after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) first opened an investigation into the trading practices of BP America Inc. and certain of its affiliates (collectively “BP”), on August, 13, 2015, Administrative Law Judge Carmen Cintron (“ALJ Cintron”) issued her Initial Decision in the case of BP America Inc., finding that “BP engaged in market manipulation” by “intentionally [selling] large volumes of next-day physical gas at HSC in a way designed to benefit their corresponding short financial positions.”[1]  ALJ Cintron agreed with FERC Staff on all the material issues in the case, disagreeing with BP that FERC did not have jurisdiction over the case and finding BP’s defenses unpersuasive. (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. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: July 2015

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015 10:18 am by , , and

    July’s Highlight

    Exchange for related positions (“EFRPs”) involve an off-Exchange execution of an Exchange contract and, on the opposite side of the market, the simultaneous execution of an equivalent quantity of the corresponding cash or physical position (Exchange for Physical- “EFP”); corresponding related OTC swap or OTC derivative (Exchange for Swap- “EFS”); corresponding futures contract (Exchange for Risk- “EFR”); or the corresponding related OTC option position (Exchange of Options for Options- “EOO”). EFRPs can be great trading tools, offering users the ability to engage in private negotiations as a means of reducing overall risk exposure. However, when engaging in EFRPs it is important to understand and comply with the rules and regulations governing these unique transactions. (more…)

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