Tag Archives: natural gas

FERC Reviewing Gas Pipeline Policy

Under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), FERC certificates the construction and operation of pipelines to transport natural gas in interstate commerce if they are “required by the present or future public convenience and necessity.”  For almost two decades, FERC has used a 1999 policy statement’s guidelines to evaluate whether new pipelines meet that statutory standard.  … Continue Reading

States Announce Conservation Measures to Forestall ESA Protections for Sage-Grouse

While the federal debate over Sage-Grouse protections has stalled since the passage of the FY15 appropriations bill—which as we discussed in Sage-Grouse Rider Frustrates Conservation Efforts included a rider effectively prohibiting the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from issuing new rules concerning the birds—the discussion continues at the state level.  In particular, Idaho … Continue Reading

EU Court of Justice Clarifies that the Exploratory Drilling of Petroleum and Natural Gas May Be Subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment

Recently, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) held that EU Member States are not obliged to require an environmental impact assessment for all exploratory drillings.  However, the Court’s decision can also be interpreted as requiring Member States to demand such impact assessment if the drillings can be classified as “deep drillings” and, … Continue Reading

‘Trigger Happy’: Considering the Requirements of Your Price Review Clause

Given the fall in oil prices, many participants in the oil sector have been forced to re-evaluate their investments.[1]  A drop in oil prices not only impacts the oil industry; it can also have a significant effect on gas and LNG prices around the world.  Many long-term gas and LNG sales agreements continue to peg … Continue Reading

CFTC Reopens Comment Period for Position Limits

In a notice published in the Federal Register earlier this week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) again reopened the period to comment on its proposed position limits and aggregation rules, in light of questions posed at an Agricultural Advisory Committee meeting in December.  The CFTC’s proposed rules, which we summarized here when they were … Continue Reading

California Finalizes New Fracking Regulations

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law approved permanent regulations issued by that state’s Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) governing fracking.  The regulations follow the Division’s final interim regulations (effective January 1, 2014), which we discussed here, and further implement California’s fracking statute (SB 4), which … Continue Reading

Sage-Grouse Rider Frustrates Conservation Efforts

The debate over federal protections for the Sage-Grouse species we discussed in “FWS Announces ESA Protection for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse” continued this month with the passage of the FY15 appropriations bill, which includes a rider prohibiting the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from using the Department of the Interior’s funding to issue new … Continue Reading

FWS Announces ESA Protection for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse

On November 12, 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse would be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Meanwhile, questions remain about how a related species, the Greater Sage-Grouse, will be categorized under ESA when FWS makes a decision on its status in … Continue Reading

EU Sanctions Against Russia and Their Impact on the Energy Sector

Last week, the EU decided to maintain in force its sanctions against Russia, including the sanctions targeting Russia’s energy sector. The sanctions were adopted on July 31, 2014—by Council Regulation 833/2014 (the Regulation)—and extended on September 12, 2014.  As described in more detail in our recent client alert, the Regulation imposes a licensing requirement for … Continue Reading

FERC Acts to Improve Coordination Between the Natural Gas and Electricity Industries

The increasing reliance on natural gas to fuel electricity generators has sparked a need for more coordination between the operators of gas pipelines and electricity grids. Up to now, markets and operations in the two sectors have proceeded independently, but some differences between them have become problematic. Differences are especially problematic in New England, where … Continue Reading