The Rule of Law, Agency Enforcement and the Environment

Over the past two years, officials within President Trump’s administration have invoked the rule of law regarding the administration’s enforcement goals on issues ranging from marijuana production to immigration . Late last month, we saw a glimpse into how the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), at the time led by Acting Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Jeffrey H. Wood, [1] views application of the rule of law to environmental and natural resource litigation and enforcement. The Acting AAG presented the keynote speech at the American Bar Association’s...

Mexico Upstream Update

Assessing the Effects of the Election Result for Mexico’s Upstream Industry: Change in Government Raises Potential for Shift in the Direction of Oil and Gas Sector Participants in Mexico’s oil and gas industry are continuing to assess the implications for their sector following the country’s recent election win by President-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has criticised the privatisation of Mexico’s oil and gas sector. In his most recent announcement, Mr. Obrador proposed to steer oil and gas development in Mexico back to national companies in order to develop Mexico’s energy self-...

FERC Proposes Updates to Interlocking Directorate Regulations

On July 19, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise Parts 45 and 46 of its regulations to clarify requirements for interlocking officers and directors (“ Interlock NOPR ”). [1] FERC’s Interlock NOPR, though modest in scope, is an effort to implement a more pragmatic approach to certain interlock requirements. FERC also proposes changes to its regulations to reflect earlier statutory amendments. We intend to provide a further update should FERC take future action to modify its regulations to implement these proposals. Congress...
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CFTC on Aiding & Abetting

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) yesterday announced a settlement with Lansing Trading Group, LLC that resolves allegations of attempted market manipulation and, separately, aiding and abetting attempted market manipulation. Although this settlement involved wheat and corn, its takeaways are worth noting to traders of any commodity. Lansing agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3.4 million, plus a CME Group fine of $3.15 million, and also agreed to implement new compliance measures. The CFTC and CME Group coordinated their investigations and contemporaneously issued separate but...

Risky Business, Voldemort and Force Majeure: The Tale of the West Leo Rig

With apologies to movie fans everywhere, this briefing has nothing to do with Tom Cruise’s 1983 comedy or the Harry Potter films. Rather, it actually concerns the recent English High Court decision in Seadrill Ghana Operations Limited -v- Tullow Ghana Limited [2018] EWHC 1640 . The case relates to an agreement for the hire of ‘West Leo’ (an ultra-deep-water semi-submersible oil rig) and its ultimate termination by Tullow Ghana Limited for force majeure. The broad backdrop to that termination involves a confluence of issues including a territorial sea dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire,...

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