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Did you know…?
A perhaps little known fact about the Foundation of the Energy Law Journal is its annual sponsorship of a congressional internship focusing on energy and natural resources. This year's William Mogel Intern is Blake Johnson of Bixby, Oklahoma. Blake is a third-year law student at The University of Tulsa College of Law, as well as an articles editor with the Energy Law Journal. This summer Blake has been paired with Congressman Markwayne Mullin on the House Natural Resources Committee. Congressman Mullin represents the Second District of Oklahoma, covering nearly 1/3 of the state.
Blake's internship began in May and will continue until August 1, 2014. The Mogel Internship is an unpaid internship, however the FELJ assists the student chosen by providing a small stipend to help defray living expenses for the summer. The opportunity with Congressman Mullin has given Blake wide exposure to a variety of energy related projects. Among the most exciting Blake reports was, "researching the proposed rule of the EPA & Army Corps of Engineers on defining 'waters of the U.S.' under the Clean Water Act. In addition to providing research to prepare the congressman for the hearing, I was allowed to attend the hearing where the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee questioned officials from both agencies."
This summer is Blake's first time in the Washington D.C. area, but he has quickly adapted and can often be found jogging around the mall and monuments. Prior to his stint at TU's College of Law, Blake spent close to 10 years as a news editor for a local Tulsa, Oklahoma news station.
Have you ever considered a "Jeans Day" to benefit the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association?
Every month, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan has a “Jeans Friday” with donations by those who wear jeans that day going to a designated charity. Last week, the New York and Houston Offices designated the CFEBA, and collected $310. This is a great, easy way to support CFEBA, and have happy employees! We hope your firm will consider holding a Jeans Day (or flip-flop day or favorite sports team jersey day or…you get the idea!) in support of CFEBA and we would like to hear all about it and see photos. Please send Michele L. Smith (Duehring) an email to let us know your plans. Michele is also happy to provide you and your firm with more information about CFEBA, email@example.com. You can also donate directly to CFEBA online at http://www.cfeba.org/giving.
The CFEBA Mission: To engage in charitable activities, including the support of worthwhile energy-related charitable projects, as well as other community service projects, through financial contributions and volunteer services provided by the Foundation, members of the Energy Bar Association and others.
Save the Date: EBA Primer Series: An Introduction to Hydropower Law and Regulation
Sponsored by the Energy Bar Association and the National Hydropower Association
September 15-16, 2014
About this program: The National Hydropower Association and the Energy Bar Association are pleased to team together to present a primer on the hydroelectric industry. The purpose of the primer is to provide attorneys who are new to the practice of hydroelectric law a foundational understanding of the hydroelectric industry and how it is regulated by teaching basic industry fundamentals and core regulatory and legal concepts. The primer also provides an overview of key legal and policy issues affecting the industry today.
EBA Job Bank
Your membership in the Energy Bar Association gives you access to the EBA Job Bank. Finding a new job or changing your career path is not always easy. The EBA understands and provides the job bank to assist its members in advancing their careers. If your firm/organization is trying to fill an open position, consider posting it on our job bank. For more information, please contact Marlo Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Job Bank at: http://www.eba-net.org/information-resources/job-bank
Case Summary Posted: Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC, Nos. 13-1674, et al. (7th Cir. June 25, 2014)
In a split panel decision issued on June 25, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit remanded for the second time FERC’s finding that a postage-stamp cost allocation produces a just and reasonable rate for facilities operated at 500 kV and above in the eastern part of PJM. The Seventh Circuit found that FERC cannot accept a postage-stamp cost allocation for such facilities without empirical evidence that the benefits realized by western PJM utilities are roughly commensurate with the costs assigned to such facilities, or else a showing that such empirical analysis would be impossible. The Court found that neither condition was met, and accordingly remanded FERC’s order, which was itself an order on remand from a 2009 Seventh Circuit decision on the same issue, back to FERC for further proceedings.
Seeking Nominations for the Paul E. Nordstrom Service Award
EBA's Committee on Nominations is collecting suggestions on candidates for the Paul E. Nordstrom Service Award. This Award was created in memory of Paul Nordstrom, a past President of the Energy Bar Association ("EBA") and motivating force in organizing the Charitable Foundation of the EBA ("CFEBA"). The first award was given to Paul posthumously; subsequent honorees have been Sheila S. Hollis, Richard Meyer, Freddi L. Greenberg and William A. Mogel. The award honors and recognizes exemplary long-term service or a particularly significant example of public service by a current or past member through the EBA, the CFEBA, or the Foundation of the Energy Law Journal. Exemplary community service outside of these organizations also may be considered. Recommendations are due by August 4, 2014.
For more information, click here.
Meet the Judges Series: Trial Practice with Judge Peter Young
On Thursday, July 10th the FERC Practice and Administrative Law Judges Committee of the Energy Bar Association is sponsoring a Meet the Judges Series: Trial Practice with Judge Peter Young program and luncheon. Join the discussion with Judge Peter Young to hear his candid responses to your questions. You may submit your questions anonymously by no later than July 7th using the survey monkey link provided with registration. Have important questions about FERC trial practice, but reluctant to ask? This is your opportunity!
Electricity Markets: Growing Pains or Mid-life Crisis?
The Women’s Counsel on Energy and the Environment is hosting a brown bag discussion on July 16th, highlighting the different perspectives on the constantly evolving wholesale electricity markets and the challenges that face market participants when the perceptions of what is "right" and "wrong" behavior change.
Ethical Considerations in Responding to FERC Investigations
On Tuesday, July 22nd, the EBA Houston Chapter will host a luncheon program entitled: Ethical Considerations in Responding to FERC Investigations at the Houston office of Jones Day at 11:30 am-1:00pm (CT). This presentation is designed to provide company counsel, compliance officers, outside counsel, and company employees with commercial responsibilities with some insight and practical tips regarding ethical responsibilities when FERC comes calling, especially during the critical, first 72 hours following receipt of a notice of an informal inquiry or formal investigation. The panel will focus on ethical considerations for lawyers involved in such inquiries and investigations, based on FERC's Policy Statements on its Penalty Guidelines and the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
12th Annual Gas and Power Institute
The Gas and Power Institute, to be held on September 4-5, 2014, features timely topics relevant to the gas and power industry in light of the changing landscape of rules, regulation, legislation and environmental requirements, offers essential information on the latest industry and market climate, and provides a must-have set of materials and resources.
2013 Institute highlights:
The Institute is presented by The University of Texas School of Law with the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Energy Bar Association.
- Gain insight from TCEQ Chairman, Bryan W. Shaw, with his presentation on The State of Texas and Current EPA Regulations
- Learn about the issues and concerns facing both power generators and pipeline operators in light of the current natural gas infrastructure buildout
- Learn the latest information issued by the CTC relating to Title VII in Dodd-Frank Update
- Explore the DOE's pending decision on proposed LNG export facilities and its potential impact
- Acquire Strategies for Buying Energy Assets in Bankruptcy
- Review the latest state and federal regulatory, legislative, and legal developments
- Earn up to 2.00 hours of Ethics
- Interact and network with program faculty and attendees during Thursday evening’s Networking Reception
Basics of Natural Gas Pipeline Ratemaking Course
Presented by the Energy Bar Association and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the Basics of Natural Gas Pipeline Ratemaking Course will be held October 13-18, 2014, in Albuquerque, NM. This course is designed to capture the nuances of the natural gas pipeline industry. For a full agenda and to register, click here.
July 10 — Meet the Judges Series: Trial Practice with Judge Peter Young, Washington, D.C.
July 22 — Ethical Considerations in Responding to FERC Investigations
September 4 — 12th Annual Gas and Power Institute
September 15-16 — EBA Primer Series: An Introduction to Hydropower Law and Regulation
October 12-17 — Basics of Natural Gas Pipeline Ratemaking Course
November 4-5 — 2014 EBA Mid-Year Conference, Washington, D.C.
November 4 — CFEBA Annual Gala, Washington, D.C.
A full calendar of events can be found here.
PHMSA shifts emphasis toward preventing highest risk events
Proquest LLC via Insurance News Net
Pipeline integrity management is a hot topic. Pipeline failures, while statistically rare, can be catastrophic and have captured attention as never before. Risk tolerance for pipeline failures from existing pipelines is very low and getting lower. Federal, state and local agencies are focusing on pipeline integrity, and numerous pipeline safety advocacy groups are well-organized and well-informed — demanding ever-higher levels of performance.
Florida county goes to court over 'acid fracking' near Everglades
In southwest Florida, county officials are fighting the state over a new oil drilling process that's known by many different names: acidification, acidizing, acid stimulation and acid fracking. Collier County has charged that state regulators have been lax in their oversight of the drilling, jeopardizing public health and the environment. Acid has long been used in oil drilling operations in Florida to dissolve and loosen the limestone bedrock. But a drilling operation near Naples, on the western edge of the Everglades, was something new. In December, Texas-based Dan A. Hughes Co. injected acid under pressure there – a process not used before in Florida.
Research groups urge federal government to further protect power grid
International Business Times
The federal government and utility industry have cooperated on various initiatives for more than a decade to secure equipment from physical attack and improve recoveries should terrorist attacks occur, but recent security exercises and an attack on a utility in California last year have increased congressional interest in new grid security measures. Those developments have sparked calls from at least two research groups for the federal government to take steps to protect the electric grid from physical attacks and provide security beyond the utility industry’s limited efforts.
The new normal: Financial, structural challenges for electric utilities
The electric utility business model is facing new challenges from rapidly advancing technology and innovation, which is disrupting the historical electric utility service model. These technology threats include distributed generation, storage technologies, microgrids, and Internet-based energy management products and services. Nonutility entities are actively seeking entry into serving customer electric needs by carving out services traditionally supplied by the monopoly utility.
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