U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - October 2016

NYMEX NYMEX 13-9490-BC-1 COMEX 13-9490-BC-1 Disruptive Trading Violation of Rule 432– General Offenses (in part); Rule 433 – Strict Liability for the Acts of Agents. Between March and July 2013, two traders, acting on behalf of a member firm, engaged in patterned activity in which they entered into “larger-sized” orders and then cancelled them seconds after the execution of smaller orders on the opposite side of the book in order to encourage other market participants to trade with the smaller-sized orders. Pursuant to a settlement offer, the member firm neither admitted nor denied the...

FERC to Re-Examine Its Policy on the Length of Hydroelectric License Terms

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to re-examine its policy on the length of hydroelectric license terms under the Federal Power Act. The Commission’s NOI is a tacit admission that the existing policy has not been working successfully – at least as measured against the present Commission’s policy goals. Section 15(e) of the Federal Power Act provides that a license term for any new license, i.e. , a relicense, shall be not less than 30 or more than 50 years. Under existing policy for hydroelectric projects, the...

Obama Administration Finalizes Yet Another Expansion of Oil and Gas Regulations

Lately, it seems as if a day does not go by without the Obama Administration unveiling a regulatory proposal targeting the oil and gas industry. We anticipate more of the same as the Administration winds down and the onslaught of midnight regulations commences. Today, the National Park Service (“NPS”) released final regulations (“NPS Final Rule”) applicable to non-federal oil and gas operations undertaken within NPS boundaries in all states except for Alaska. The NPS Final Rule updates and expands NPS’s regulations at 36 CFR Part 9, Subpart B ("9B Regulations") that were first published in...

TCEQ Adopts Changes to Affirmative Defense Rule in Response to EPA SIP Call

On November 2, 2016, the Commissioners of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved the adoption of changes to the rule language in 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 101 that establishes an affirmative defense to enforcement for unauthorized emissions resulting from upset events. The TCEQ was prompted to make the change by a June 12, 2015 action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) known as the “SSM SIP Call.” The SSM SIP Call directed the State of Texas (and 35 other states) to change language in state rules and associated State Implementation Plans...

Corps Issues Regulatory Guidance Letter on Jurisdictional Determinations

On October 31, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) issued the first Regulatory Guidance Letter (“RGL”) of the Obama Administration, seeking to clarify the applicability and use of jurisdictional determinations (“JDs”). The RGL supersedes two prior RGLs on JDs issued during the George W. Bush Administration, RGL 07-01 and RGL 08-02. Background The RGL was issued in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision earlier this year in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. , in which the Supreme Court held that approved JDs (“AJDs”) are final agency actions subject to judicial...

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