In Win for Energy Industry, Court Strikes Down Portions of Obama-Era Waste Rule

On July 7, 2017, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down parts of a 2015 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that revised the definition of solid waste for purposes of the federal hazardous waste regulatory program under RCRA. The EPA’s stated objective in promulgating the rule was to provide stronger protections against potential mismanagement of hazardous secondary materials intended for recycling and to establish a clear, uniform legitimate recycling standard for all hazardous secondary materials recycling to ensure that...

DC Circuit Vacates EPA’s Initial Stay of Methane Rule Requirements

On July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision vacating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) initial 90-day stay of parts of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). Clean Air Council v. Pruitt , No. 17-1145 (D.C. Cir, July 3, 2017). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq. , adopted at 81 Fed. Reg...

FERC Technical Conference: Developments in Natural Gas Index Liquidity and Transparency

On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) held a technical conference on the liquidity and transparency of natural gas price indices. The conference consisted of three discussion panels with panelists from various price reporting agencies (“PRAs”), trade associations, academia, energy companies, and other stakeholders. [1] There was general consensus among the panelists on a number of issues including general confidence in the indices, the importance of encouraging more price reporting, the need for a stronger safe harbor for price...

EPA Proposes Additional Two-Year Stay of Parts of the Methane Rule

On June 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication proposed rule that would grant an additional two-year stay to the effectiveness of certain portions of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq. , adopted at 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016)). The June 13 proposed rule affects three...

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

NYMEX NYMEX 16-0372-BC Misc. Violation of Rule 432.Q, 432.W – General Offenses Pursuant to a settlement offer, a panel found that from July 2015 through March 2016, a non-member trader was concomitantly operating market-making and market-taking automated trading systems during the pre-opening period that entered and cancelled a number of E-mini Crude Oil and Natural Gas futures contracts orders. The market-taking strategy should not have operated in the pre-opening period and the orders it generated were not intended to be entered. Due to the non-member trader’s inability to properly...

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