Federal Procurement: CBCA side with DOE on Nuclear Contractor’s Claim for Additional Fees

On March 23, 2017, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) granted summary judgment to the Department of Energy in a contract dispute with CB&I AREVA MOX Services, LLC (Mox Services) over the appropriate fee in a contract for mixed oxide fuel fabrication and reactor irradiation services with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The contract at issue was a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract originally awarded in 1999, which called for the design and planning of a domestic mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility. MOX’s contract also provided for three option phases for cold...

Texas Regional Haze: Fifth Circuit Grants EPA’s Motion to Remand the Texas Regional Haze FIP

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed EPA to revise and change the Texas Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) when it granted EPA’s motion to remand the plan to EPA for revision. FIPs are issued when EPA does not agree with the measures taken by States in their State Implementation Plan (SIP) and when EPA second-guesses a State’s regulatory decision making. The Obama Administration issued FIPs and overruled State judgment more than any other previous Administration. The Trump Administration has vowed to use FIPs less and defer much more to...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - February 2017

NYMEX NYMEX 16-0600 Misc . Rules 413 – Summary Access Denial Actions (in part) and 413.A – Authority to Deny Access. On January 5, 2017, CME Group’s Market Regulation Department summarily denied a member’s direct and indirect access to the CME Globex electronic trading platform for purposes of trading or entering Trading at Settlement (“TAS”) orders in any product. The summary access denial prohibited the member, or anyone on behalf of the member, from trading TAS, placing TAS orders, and controlling or directing TAS trading for any person, entity, or account in any CME Group exchange product...

Another Win for Respondents’ Rights: District Court Opines on the Scope of De Novo Review

On March 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an order affirming that ETRACOM LLC and its owner (the “Respondents”) are entitled to a full trial on the merits and discovery rights in an action brought by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) seeking to enforce an order assessing civil penalties against the Respondents for alleged market manipulation in the California energy market. The primary issue at stake was the meaning of the Federal Power Act’s (“FPA”) reference to “ de novo review” in a civil action brought by...

EPA Withdraws Oil and Gas Information Collection Request

On March 2, 2017, new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt made it clear that he will follow through on President Trump's promise to reduce regulatory burdens by withdrawing the Information Collection Request (ICR) that the Obama EPA issued last November to force the oil and natural gas industry to produce substantial amounts of detailed information about methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations. Although this action has long been expected, it is another signal that the Trump Administration will not be pursuing an aggressive climate change agenda. The November 2016 ICR was aimed at...

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