Obama Bans Drilling Offshore Atlantic, Arctic – But For How Long?

With a new President on the White House doorstep, President Obama has announced a ban – ostensibly permanent – on offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters along the Eastern seaboard and offshore Alaska. President Obama appears to be relying upon a seldom-used provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (“OCSLA”) 43 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et seq.), which allows the President to withdraw any “unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.” Whether the ban proves permanent is likely to be tested politically and legally, as the Trump Administration takes office alongside a Republican-...

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

COMEX COMEX 14-0050-BC Disruptive Trading Violation of Rule 575.A and Rule 575.D – Disruptive Practices Prohibited. Between November 2014 and March 2015, a member trader, with no intent to trade, entered or layered orders in futures contracts in order to motivate other market participants to trade opposite the member’s smaller resting orders, which the member would cancel within moments after receiving a fill on those smaller orders. During this same period, the member created alternating buy-side and sell-side market imbalances by entering orders on one side of the market and smaller orders...

Bracewell Environmental Law Seminar – Fall 2016: Highlights on “The Desktop Regulator”

On November 15, 2016, Bracewell’s Environmental Strategies Group hosted its third biannual Environmental Law Seminar in Houston. The seminar was attended by nearly 100 industry representatives and featured five guest speakers, including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, CSB Board Member Rick Engler, Center for Global Energy Policy Fellow Ronald Minsk, Windward Strategies President and CEO Eric Washburn, and Spirit Environmental Program Manager Johnny Vermillion. This is the second in a series of posts highlighting learnings from the seminar. Click here to read Matt Paulson's previous post on...

FERC and CFTC Annual Enforcement Update

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) recently released their annual reports on enforcement activities for fiscal year 2016 (October 2015 through September 2016). In addition, FERC enforcement staff released two white papers regarding the bounds of FERC’s prohibition on market manipulation and the features of an effective compliance program: (1) FERC Staff White Paper on Anti-Market Manipulation Enforcement Efforts Ten Years after EPAct 2005 (the “Anti-Manipulation White Paper”); and (2) FERC Staff White Paper on Effective...

Adverse Possession in the Oil Patch

The most basic example of adverse possession is when a landowner fences in land that belongs to a neighbor. This is trespassing, but if a long enough period of time passes without the neighbor bringing a trespass claim, the trespasser can acquire title by adverse possession. Texas law complicates things a bit by having four separate adverse possession statutes – depending on various factors, the time period is 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, or 25 years. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 16.024-16.028. In the oil and gas industry, adverse possession can be even trickier. A property owner can have...

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