Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland draws on energy regulatory, compliance and enforcement attorneys to reconcile commercial and regulatory interests and meet business goals.
Sutherland offers energy industry clients the regulatory and compliance services they need to solve critical business challenges. Sutherland's energy regulatory lawyers often appear before federal and state regulators; our energy transactional attorneys understand the unique characteristics of energy industry transactions; our corporate attorneys frequently counsel energy trading companies on structured deals, mergers and acquisitions and a variety of related transactions; and our litigation attorneys provide strategic insight from the very beginning as well as aggressive advocacy when needed.
The result is a team that quickly and effectively reconciles the commercial and regulatory aspects of energy transactions with the relevant compliance and enforcement issues. For our clients, this means minimal business complications in their dealings with FERC, CFTC, EPA, DOT, SEC, FTC, BOEMRE and state regulators. We regularly aid in a range of matters, from record keeping and reporting to developing comprehensive risk management programs.
The Dodd-Frank Act represents the greatest change in the field of compliance and regulation and it affects every part of the energy industry. We spare no effort in helping our clients through this new regulatory landscape. Dodd-Frank’s rules and enforcement mechanisms are still evolving. We offer detailed monitoring and daily notices of developments at the CFTC, customized analysis for individual clients, and we host working sub-groups specific to various areas of the Act.
Industry experience. For decades Sutherland has managed the affairs of energy industry clients. Because we know the business, we understand what the client needs are, what the commercial interests involved require and what the regulatory environment is like. This enables us to provide practical, effective advice that minimizes any regulatory negative impact.
Regulatory familiarity. Our ability to design and implement sound regulatory, legislative and executive branch representation creates real results.
Dodd-Frank representation. As counsel to a large, cross-sector group of major commercial energy firms, Sutherland is positioned at the forefront of industry advocacy, giving us a significant voice in the development of future regulations and reform of existing rules. Connected as we are to both the major commercial interests and the regulators, Sutherland offers clients advice not only on where the law stands today but we can also suggest where it may well be going tomorrow.
Multidisciplinary practice. Sutherland's energy clients rely on the skills of lawyers across our firm—not only those in energy, but also those engaged in maritime law, taxation and litigation, among other practice areas.
Nuts and Bolts
We regularly represent clients before federal regulatory bodies including:
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Federal Trade Commission(FTC)
- Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE—formerly known as Minerals Management Service [MMS])
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
We also represent clients before public utilities commissions for many states including:
- New Jersey
We represent clients on the following commodities:
- Crude and refined oil products
- Natural gas
- Natural gas liquids
- Liquefied natural gas
- Electric power
- Renewable energy
- Emissions allowances
Sutherland's multidisciplinary approach to energy regulation and compliance offers clients a one-stop-shop that saves time and money. Relying on decades of federal and state regulatory experience and our position at the forefront of developing energy regulation, we offer a level of service that protects our clients from avoidable complications.
Sutherland represents a leading voice of the energy sector.
Sutherland advocates on behalf of a group of major commercial energy firms regarding the implementation of, and compliance with Dodd-Frank. Members include global energy companies, producers, processors, public utility holding companies, traders and power producers—all of whom are primarily in the business of delivering physical energy commodities to others. Our representation focuses on advocacy matters before the CFTC and development of strategies for implementing and complying with Dodd-Frank, including the development of industry standard practices, transactional issues and potential enforcement issues.
Advises Oglethorpe Power Corporation on complex natural gas transactions and issues associated with obtaining pipeline capacity to supply its gas-fired power generation capacity.
Counsels Oglethorpe Power Corporation on the complex natural gas transactions associated with its gas-fired power generation capacity. We advise on FERC regulations and policies on the construction and acquisition of interstate pipeline capacity, asset management agreements, and compliance with capacity release regulations.
Sutherland provides counsel on pipeline capacity issues.
Sutherland advised its client and negotiated on its behalf with Sabine Pass regarding FERC’s pipeline transportation capacity policies and compliance issues related to the operation of liquefaction and export facilities.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
DOL Issues Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule
Eric A. Arnold,Wilson G. Barmeyer,Bruce M. Bettigole,Nicholas T. Christakos,Adam B. Cohen,Thomas W. Curvin,Olga Greenberg,Dodie C. Kent,Clifford E. Kirsch,Michael B. Koffler,Susan S. Krawczyk,Ben Marzouk,Carol T. McClarnon,Michael R. Nelson,S. Lawrence Polk,Stephen E. Roth,Brian L. Rubin,Vanessa A. Scott,Cynthia R. Shoss,Holly H. Smith,W. Mark Smith,Phillip E. Stano,Steuart H. Thomsen,Gail L. Westover,Allison E. Wielobob,Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik, January 20, 2017
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA).
The Deadline for Compliance With the U.S. Variation Margin Rules Is Approaching! Are You Ready?
Brian Barrett,James M. Cain,Catherine M. Krupka,David T. McIndoe,Paul Sinnott, December 21, 2016
The requirement that non-cleared swaps be fully margined, which is one of the last pillars of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), will take effect for “financial end-users” on March 1, 2017. Compliance with the new requirements will...
Heightened Focus on Renewable Fuel Standard Enforcement Increases Compliance Challenges
Paul C. Freeman,Catherine M. Krupka,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,Ronald W. Zdrojeski, December 02, 2016
As the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program continues to evolve and mature, so too does the manner in which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) seeks to drive day-to-day compliance by the regulated community. From the program’s inception, EPA’s regulatory...
Undoing the Clean Power Plan
Joshua L. Belcher,Samina M. Bharmal,Jay Holloway,Liz Williamson, November 23, 2016
The election of Donald J. Trump as the next President of the United States appears to have dealt certain defeat for the Obama Climate Action Plan. Central to that effort was the Clean Power Plan, finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015, which would have imposed...
Federal Court Orders EPA to Evaluate Job Losses from Air Regulations
Joshua L. Belcher,Samina M. Bharmal,Jay Holloway,James A. Thompson,Liz Williamson, October 20, 2016
On October 17, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in favor of Murray Energy Corporation (Murray) in its section 321 suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The court ordered that EPA must evaluate the job loss consequences of its air...
Lumber War May Be Imminent
Mark D. Herlach,Gregory S. Kaufman,Allison E. Speaker,Ryan R. Weiss, September 16, 2016
Negotiations to keep the peace in the complex and long-running international trade dispute between the United States and Canada over U.S. imports of Canadian softwood lumber appear to have stalled. Parties on both sides of the border are preparing for another round of import relief actions, which...
ISDA Publishes Variation Margin Protocol
Brian Barrett,James M. Cain,Catherine M. Krupka,David T. McIndoe,Mark D. Sherrill, August 24, 2016
On August 16, 2016, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) published the ISDA 2016 Variation Margin Protocol (VM Protocol). The VM Protocol is intended as a tool to help market participants that will be subject to regulatory variation margin requirements,1 and their...
White House Issues Guidance Advising Agencies to Assess Climate Change in NEPA Reviews
Reginald J. Clark,Jay Holloway,Susan G. Lafferty,Peter Ligh,David M. McCullough, August 11, 2016
On August 1, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance for federal agencies on considering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews.1 This final guidance comes after the first draft...
Pressure Builds for EPA and CFTC to Investigate Manipulation in the RIN Markets
Catherine M. Krupka,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,David T. McIndoe,R. Michael Sweeney, August 03, 2016
In what could foreshadow even further scrutiny of trading activities in the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to investigate potential...
U.S. Customs Aims to Increase Enforcement of the Jones Act
David A. Baay,Jacob Dweck,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,Ronald W. Zdrojeski, July 20, 2016
In what could foretell a significant increase in the enforcement of the coastwise trade provisions of the Jones Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) announced on July 18 the creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE). The Jones Act’s coastwise trade...
D.C. Circuit Questions FERC’s Policy Statement on Income Tax Allowances
Paul F. Forshay,Meghan R. Gruebner,Allison E. Speaker,Michael A. Stosser, July 08, 2016
On July 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in United Airlines, Inc., et al. v. FERC. This oil pipeline rate case appeal involves SFPP, L.P., a pipeline organized as a limited partnership. In its ruling, the court rejects application of the Federal...
TSCA Reform Presents Solutions and Questions for Industry
Samina M. Bharmal,Jay Holloway,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,Liz Williamson, June 28, 2016
On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the first amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) since its passage in 1976. The amendments significantly change the way that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...
CFTC Proposes to Expand Mandatory Clearing to Include Additional Classes of Interest Rate Swaps
James M. Cain,Catherine M. Krupka,David T. McIndoe,Mark D. Sherrill,R. Michael Sweeney, June 20, 2016
On June 9, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding an expansion of CFTC Regulation 50.4(a). If adopted, additional classes of interest rate swaps will become subject to mandatory clearing pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. The proposed...
EPA to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
Jay Holloway,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,James A. Thompson,Liz Williamson, May 24, 2016
On May 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released final regulations (the Rules) aimed at reducing methane emissions from certain new and modified oil and gas facilities by 40% to 45% from 2012 levels by 2025. Methane is considered to be a significant contributor to climate change,...
EPA Denies Five Petitions for Reconsideration of New Source Performance Standards
Joshua L. Belcher,Jay Holloway,Cedric E. Seley,Liz Williamson, May 06, 2016
On April 29, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied petitions by the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG), American Electric Power (AEP), Ameren Corp., the State of Wisconsin, and the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (EELI), seeking reconsideration of certain aspects of EPA’s...
Steelworkers Reverse Course and Withdraw Request for Import Relief on Aluminum
Mark D. Herlach,Allison E. Speaker, April 27, 2016
In an unusual change of course, the United Steelworkers Union (USW) has now withdrawn the Section 201 petition it filed just last week to request temporary relief against imports of primary unwrought aluminum. According to various sources, the USW petition faced opposition from the U.S. and...
Effect of Energy Policy Bills on Natural Gas Exports
Jacob Dweck,Paul F. Forshay,Daniel P. LeFort,Michael A. Stosser,Kyle E. Wamstad, April 25, 2016
Legislative Update. On April 20, the U.S. Senate passed broad legislation that covers many different aspects of the energy and environmental sectors, including changes to streamline the approval process for the export of natural gas from the United States. The bill is the most comprehensive...
Union Seeks Increased Duties on Imported Aluminum
Mark D. Herlach,Allison E. Speaker, April 25, 2016
On April 18, the United Steelworkers Union (USW) petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) for relief pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, a safeguard provision of the U.S. trade laws. Under Section 201, a domestic industry can request temporary relief from...
Sweeping Changes Proposed to Tax Treatment of Related-Party Debt May Impact Private Funds
Robert S. Chase,David A. Roby,Amish M. Shah,Madeleine M.L. Tan,H. Karl Zeswitz, April 15, 2016
Recently proposed Treasury regulations under IRC § 385 (the Proposed Regulations) would potentially treat related-party debt, in whole or in part, as equity for U.S. tax purposes. The Proposed Regulations generally apply to debt among members of an expanded corporate group, which includes...
PHMSA Announces Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Rules
Paul F. Forshay,Allison E. Speaker,Michael A. Stosser, March 22, 2016
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a proposal to implement regulations that would add new safety measures designed to raise existing safety standards applicable to pipelines currently regulated by PHMSA. The Administration also proposes to make those...
Sabine Bankruptcy Court Allows Rejection of Gathering Agreements
Warren N. Davis,B. Knox Dobbins,Eric R. Fenichel,Paul F. Forshay,Mark D. Sherrill, March 10, 2016
In a March 8, 2016 ruling from the bench, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York issued a significant decision regarding the ability of a debtor in bankruptcy to reject gas gathering agreements and similar intrastate contracts. Judge Shelley Chapman, overseeing the...
EU-U.S. Privacy Shield - Full Text Released
Daniel E. Frank,Mark D. Herlach,Brian M. Murphy,Robert D. Owen,Brian L. Rubin, March 08, 2016
On February 29, 2016, the European Commission released the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The text reveals the details of a new framework that will place stronger obligations on U.S. companies to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It will also involve heightened compliance requirements...
CFTC Intermediaries to Adopt and Implement Cybersecurity Programs by March 1, 2016
Brian Barrett,James M. Cain,Daniel E. Frank,Daphne G. Frydman,Catherine M. Krupka, March 02, 2016
Commencing March 1, 2016, all commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, futures commission merchants, retail foreign exchange dealers, investment brokers, major swap participants and swap dealers that are National Futures Association (NFA) member firms (together the Covered Parties)...