Trump Administration Proposes Unprecedented and Comprehensive Revisions to NEPA Regulations

The National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) -- a law that has been referred to as the “Magna Carta” of the nation’s environmental laws – turned 50 years old on January 1, 2020. On January 10, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that would revise NEPA’s implementing regulations. [1] The rulemaking is the first significant revision of the NEPA regulations since the original regulations were promulgated in 1978. The proposal aims to modernize the NEPA regulations and facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA...

Nigeria’s upstream petroleum sector: looking back at 2019 and looking ahead in 2020

We review what happened in Nigeria’s upstream petroleum sector during the year just gone – a year that saw changes to the petroleum royalty regime, an uptick in deal activity and, of course, an election and changes to the leading oil-related Government figures. We also gaze into our crystal ball to see what we can expect in 2020. (Health warning: we do not profess to be genuine clairvoyants.) What happened in politics / regulatory matters? Muhammadu Buhari won his second term as President of Nigeria in February. Following his election, key new appointments are Timipre Sylva as junior...

Challengers to FERC's Storage Order File Briefs with the D.C. Circuit

On November 6 th , the last of three challengers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC’s” or “Commission’s”) Storage Order, Orders No. 841 and 841-A [1] , filed briefs with the D.C. Circuit seeking to vacate the Commission’s determination that states may not issue blanket prohibitions on energy storage resource participation in wholesale markets. The challengers filed three briefs. A group of utilities (“Utilities”) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (“NARUC”) each filed as petitioners. The Transmission Access Policy Study Group (“TAPS”) filed a...
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A new regime for Nigerian upstream royalty rates

What has happened? Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has taken the final steps to pass a new law amending the country’s upstream royalty rates applying to offshore and certain inland areas. The Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) Bill (“ Amendment ”) quickly passed through Nigeria’s National Assembly and was returned to the President for his assent. What does it cover? The Amendment makes changes to an existing law – the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 1993 (“ Act ”). The Act establishes the legal framework for deep offshore and...

An Autumn Gleaning: Insights from October 2019 decisions in Kraft Foods, Vitol Manipulation Cases

For those interested in the contours of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) anti-manipulation authority, three October 2019 decisions in two pending cases create opportunities for continued litigation over the scope of the agencies’ authority. The reopening of the CFTC case against Kraft Foods and FERC’s assessment of civil penalties against Vitol Inc. create the opportunity for further judicial refining of the agencies’ rules. In the meantime, while these developments provide no new insights as to the substance of market...
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