Welcome to the third issue of Commodities News and Trends, aiming to help commodity market participants identify and adapt to the market news and legal developments that impact the commodity industry. Each issue will feature summaries and insights into current topics, ranging from developments in renewable energy to recently enacted federal and state laws and regulatory activities. Our goal is to help you successfully navigate the shifting currents of the commodities market while remaining competitive. Please enjoy this issue.
Oil and natural gas
- Fossil fuel industry talking about ESG like never before. On Bloomberg’s latest analysis conference calls with some of the largest US oil and gas companies, ESG-related topics occupied most of the time. Bloomberg suggests the reason for this is twofold: (1) the Biden Administration’s push of its environmental agenda and (2) investors demanding answers from companies on how they will adapt to climate change and tackle problems like methane leaks and natural gas flaring. Another reason for this focus on ESG for US oil companies is that other governments have been increasingly implementing policies that support the development and use of low-emission or alternative technologies. It is believed that the mainstreaming of climate change policy has made discussion of ESG more relevant to US oil and gas companies: such companies are now more willing to commit time and money to lowering emissions in order to show these improved matrices and corporate strategies to the public and investors. The public and investors are also observing US oil and gas companies as they begin to compete with one another to achieve emissions goals and race to the finish line of net zero emissions. It seems that ESG is coming to the forefront of almost everything that every US corporation does – particularly US oil and gas companies.
- Claiming the export exemption to the Section 4081 excise tax on diesel fuel and kerosene. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Taxpayers often find the same to be true of the government. In a number of instances, tax law grants an exemption from substantive tax liability, only to make it procedurally difficult or even procedurally impossible to claim the exemption. Such can be the case with US federal fuel excise taxes. Find out more in our alert here.
- ERCOT v Panda: The Texas Supreme Court’s non-decision on ERCOT immunity. On March 19, 2021, a divided Texas Supreme Court declined to determine whether the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. (ERCOT) is entitled to the protection of sovereign immunity and thus is shielded from lawsuits. The outcome was hotly contested, with four justices issuing dissents. The Court’s decision leaves the immunity question open at a time when a growing number of lawsuits have been filed against ERCOT stemming from the February 2021 weather disaster, Winter Storm Uri. The outcome of Panda paves the way for the issue to return to the Court, likely some time next year. For further information, read the DLA Piper alert here.
- Winter Storm Uri: Using the doctrine of impracticability or impossibility for breach of contract claims. In February, Winter Storm Uri devastated Texas. Some have projected that Uri will cost Texans between $195-$295 billion. The Texas energy industry was deeply affected. These effects undoubtedly will cause breach of contract claims across the state and, perhaps, nationally. The defenses of impossibility and/or impracticability must be analyzed by both sides to those disputes. While much of Uri’s impact occurred in Texas, some of the potentially impacted contracts are governed by New York law. Here, we examine these defenses in light of both New York and Texas law.
- Biden infrastructure plan. President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, released in late March, presents many possibilities for clean energy development. Certain aspects of the plan require congressional action. Consisting principally of one-time capital investments, Biden’s plan anticipates investing 1 percent of GDP per year over eight years to, among other things, upgrade the nation’s infrastructure and invest in basic research and science that addresses climate change. Among the major energy-related items in Biden’s plan are: (1) tax credits; (2) a modernization of the power sector; (3) investments in climate research and development; (4) accelerating the development of electric vehicles; and (5) actions towards fossil fuels. Largely in language from the plan itself, these items are described further below.
- Tax credits President Biden’s plan proposes a ten-year extension and phase-down of an expanded direct-pay investment tax credit and production tax credit for clean energy generation and storage. Additionally, to help fund investments towards developing a more resilient electric transmission system, President Biden’s plan calls for the creation of a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of at least 20 gigawatts of high-voltage capacity power lines.
Modernizing the power sector President Biden will establish an Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) with the aim of cutting electricity bills and electricity pollution, increasing competition in energy markets, incentivizing more efficient use of existing infrastructure and continuing to leverage carbon-pollution free energy provided by existing sources.
Climate R&D President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $35 billion in a range of solutions that his Administration believes are needed to achieve technological breakthroughs that address climate change and position America as the global leader in clean energy technology and clean energy jobs.
Accelerating electric vehicle development President Biden’s plan proposes a $174 billion investment in the electric vehicle market, stating that this will enable automakers to “spur domestic supply chains from raw materials to parts, retool factories to compete globally, and support American workers to make batteries and EVs.” His plan also includes establishing grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030, to replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and to electrify at least 20 percent of school buses.
Action on fossil fuels Among other actions, President Biden’s plan includes an immediate up-front investment of $16 billion to fund the plugging of oil and gas wells. Additionally, his tax reform proposal would eliminate tax credits for the fossil fuel industry.
- ISDA publishes US REC Annex. On May 6, 2021, the International Derivatives and Swaps Association (ISDA) published the US Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Annex to be used for physically settled REC Transactions. For the link to the REC Annex, visit this page. Originally, this annex was to include REC physical transactions in the North American Power Annex; instead, this is a standalone REC Annex. Market participants may use this REC Annex to supplement its ISDA Master Agreements to purchase and sell physical RECs. To assist market participants, ISDA provides market participants with an annotated version of the REC Annex.
- California’s Air Resources Board considering broader use of carbon offsets.California legislators created the Compliance Offsets Protocol Task Force in 2017 to advise CARB on increasing carbon offset use creating “direct environmental benefit in the state." The Task Force’s recommendations would have CARB modify its offset protocols, allowing offsets to be traded between companies, easing rules that invalidate offsets, and permitting their use for in broader compliance contexts, such as the state’s carbon neutrality goals and mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act. The Task Force also suggested exploring a new basis for generating credits. CARB is considering the recommendations and will initiate a formal rulemaking if it decides to take them onboard.
- Texas considers truth in labeling law for meat-alternative products: Potential consequences in the marketplace and the courtroom.A proposed bill in the Texas legislature could impact the marketing and labeling of meat alternatives in grocery stores and restaurants across the state. Proposed HB 316 prohibits selling products that contain labels or marketing that compares plant-based food to meat or that state that the food “imitates meat, beef, chicken, or pork” when, in fact, the food does not contain any of those products. Texas would not be the first state to enact such a law. Find out more here.
- CFTC charges Washington State rancher and feedyard with $233 million phantom cattle fraud scheme. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a civil enforcement action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington charging Easterday Ranches, Inc., a Pasco, Washington-based cattle feedyard, and Cody Easterday, co-owner and former president of Easterday Ranches, for engaging in fraud in connection with the sale of more than 200,000 non-existent cattle to a beef processor, making false statements to an exchange, and violating exchange-set position limits. The CFTC’s complaint, filed in March, seeks restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations. According to the CFTC, Easterday accumulated more than $200 million in losses over a 10-year period from speculative trading in the cattle futures markets. To meet margin calls, Easterday devised a scheme to defraud a South Dakota-based beef producer. The CFTC alleges that, from at least October 2016 to November 2020, Easterday Ranches submitted false invoices and reimbursement requests relating to more than 200,000 head of cattle that Easterday Ranches never actually purchased or raised on the producer’s behalf. Through the use of fraudulent invoices and reimbursement requests, Easterday Ranches received from the producer more than $233 million to which it was not entitled. In addition, the CFTC alleges that Easterday Ranches reported false or misleading information concerning its cattle inventory, purchases, and sales to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in at least two hedge exemption applications seeking permission to exceed the exchange’s position limits.
- Spoofing in the metals markets.In June 2019, several metals traders ( the defendants) were sued by market participants ( the plaintiffs) for unlawful and intentional manipulation of COMEX gold futures, COMEX silver futures, NYMEX platinum futures, and NYMEX palladium futures, as well as options on those futures contracts. The original complaint accused the defendants of “spoofing” the futures contracts – falsifying data to gain an illegitimate advantage. It also included references to criminal and regulatory investigations conducted against the individual defendants in connection with the spoofing allegations. The defendants filed various motions to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 9(b) and 12(b)(6). On March 4, 2021, the court ordered the dismissal of the complaint with prejudice on two main grounds: that the claims against the defendants were time barred and that the plaintiffs failed to prove actual damages. In its decision, the court set out the the facts leading up to this case and provided a high-level explanation of the allegations against the defendants. The defendants had argued that the plaintiffs’ claims were time barred due to the statute of limitations under the Commodities Exchange Act (CEA). The statute of limitations under the CEA is two years after the cause of action arises and it begins to run on the earlier of when the plaintiff discovers the injury by either (1) actual knowledge or constructive knowledge. Here, the court found that the Plaintiffs had, at the very least, constructive knowledge of their injury in December 2016, perhaps earlier. Therefore, the claims were time barred. Second, the court found the damages claimed by the plaintiffs were speculative and stated that the defendants’ alleged misconduct would not have affected the plaintiffs’ trades. The court found that the plaintiffs’ claim for unjust enrichment failed. In its decision, the court did not reach the issue of whether the CEA allows a private cause of action. That issue remains unresolved.
- CFTC eyes role of derivatives markets in addressing climate change with new Climate Risk Unit. Rostin Behnam, the acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, announced in March the creation of a new Climate Risk Unit to explore how derivatives markets respond to climate-related economic risks. The announcement is part of the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government approach to climate change, which can also be seen in climate-related announcements from the SEC and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Behnam’s announcement signals the federal government’s intent to make information about the costs of climate risks available to investors, who can then price how these risks affect investment value. See our alert about the Climate Risk Unit.
- CFTC Commissioner Dan Berkovitz issues statement on exchange rules and product terms and conditions that fail to impose limits on crude oil. The CFTC’s Position Limits Final Rules became effective in March, but Commissioner Dan Berkovitz’s recent comments on the way that certain exchanges are implementing the Final Rules suggests structural issues may exist in the exchanges’ Trading at Settlement (TAS) rules, which may continue to allow a divergence between futures and physical markets. TAS allows market participants to generally fill orders for the respective product executed any time from the start of the pre-open period through the end of the futures contract settlement window at a price equal to or five ticks above or below the settlement price. Once a buy order is matched with a sell order, ICE Futures US explains, the TAS transaction then receives a trade price equal to, or up to five ticks above or below, the exchange’s daily settlement price for the respective futures contract month. Increasing the speculative position limit for a commodity could allow a market participant to increase the number of futures contracts it holds, possibly further benefiting from TAS, but also potentially allowing the market participant to aggressively trade contracts as an offset to affect the TAS to the participant’s favor. Commodity exchanges reacted to the Final Rules, in some instances taking actions to anticipate their effective date. For example, in March, the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) raised the speculative position limits for its West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures, including in the spot month. CFTC Commissioner Dan M. Berkovitz expressed concerns over how NYMEX and other CME Group contract markets have implemented the Position Limits Final Rules. He stated they “miss[ed] an opportunity to remediate a well-known vulnerability in these contract markets’ TAS rules, namely the absence of any numerical limits on the speculative use of TAS contracts during the spot month of the contract.” Accordingly, Commissioner Berkovitz commented, TAS contracts have and can continue to be used to manipulate the price of WTI. Because exchanges seem to be refusing to limit the ability for market participants to net their respective TAS positions, Commissioner Berkovitz asked the Commission to take unilateral action. As evidence for the danger that netting TAS positions poses, Commissioner Berkovitz cited the historic collapse of WTI futures on April 20, 2020, when the price for crude oil futures became negative. As exchanges implement the Final Rules, market participants are encouraged to monitor these rules to ensure that their policies and procedures reflect any changes.
- CFTC’s anti-corruption initiative. Recent media reports suggest that companies in the commodities sector are the subjects of CFTC investigation for foreign corrupt practices. This focus goes back to March 2019, when the Commission issued an advisory designed to incentivize companies to self-report foreign corrupt practices and cooperate in ensuing investigations. Under the CFTC’s whistleblower program, a whistleblower whose tip leads to a successful enforcement action can be eligible to receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected. While the CFTC lacks the authority to initiate a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecution, the focus is, nonetheless, significant for companies and individuals in the commodities sector. First, the call for and incentivization of whistleblowers is yet another avenue by which the government can learn of suspected corrupt conduct. The CFTC can investigate allegations of corrupt practices through the lens of fraud, manipulation, and false reporting. And it can also refer the tip to the Department of Justice. Second, the CFTC has signaled that it is yet another arm of the government that can bring investigative resources to bear against those suspected of violating the FCPA.
- CFTC Agricultural Advisory Committee to meet June 9. The CFTC announced that tits Agricultural Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting on June 9, 2021 from 10 am to noon Eastern Daylight Time via teleconference. The AAC will receive a report from the Subcommittee to Evaluate Commission Policy with Respect to Implementation of Amendments to Enumerated Agricultural Futures Contracts with Open Interest (Ag-OI). The meeting will also include a discussion on global agricultural commodity derivatives contracts and other agricultural risk management issues. The Federal Register entry announcing this meeting, including information about dialing in, can be found here.
- FERC issues policy statement regarding state-determined carbon pricing in wholesale electricity markets. In April, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a policy statement on carbon pricing to clarify how FERC will evaluate Federal Power Act section 205 filings that seek to incorporate state-determined carbon prices in organized wholesale electricity markets operated by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (RTOs/ISOs). FERC thinks RTO/ISO incorporation of state-determined carbon prices into wholesale electricity markets may affect how electrical resources participate in these markets, how market operators dispatch these resources, and the compensation for these resources. FERC’s policy statement explains that incorporating a state-determined carbon price into RTO/ISO markets may not, in and of itself, diminish state authority to establish a carbon price or modify an existing price, even if wholesale market rules would affect retail rates in the states. Instead, wholesale market rules that incorporate a state-determined carbon price into the applicable RTO/ISO market can exclusively govern that market for the purpose of improving it. Find out more in our alert here.
- FERC relicenses Conowingo Hydroelectric Project. FERC has issued a new license to Exelon Generation Company, LLC’s Conowingo Hydroelectric Project, which generates 570.15 megawatts of renewable capacity, equating to 1.9 million megawatt-hours, annually. The order resolves a complex proceeding that had been pending before FERC for almost eight years and incorporates settlements involving Exelon, the Department of the Interior, and the Maryland Department of the Environment. The license includes conditions to enhance fish migration, protect Bald Eagles and other wildlife, upgrade 13 public recreation sites, address sediment issues and protect archaeological and historic sites. The project is located on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York counties, Pennsylvania, and Cecil and Harford counties, Maryland.
- FERC to increase focus on environmental justice. Addressing environmental justice (EJ) concerns is an important priority for the Biden Administration. Within a week of taking the oath of office, President Biden issued a sweeping executive order with a number of EJ initiatives, among them creation of a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council consisting of the heads of each Cabinet-level and independent federal agency. The order also directed federal agencies to “make achieving environmental justice part of their missions” through development of programs and policies aimed at addressing disproportionately high adverse environmental impacts on disadvantaged communities. On the heels of Biden’s executive order, in February, FERC Chairman Richard Glick announced plans to create a senior position at FERC to coordinate incorporation of EJ and equity concerns into the Commission’s decision-making process. Glick emphasized that the position “is not just a title,” and that the person who fills the role will be working with experts across all FERC program offices to ensure that EJ and equity concerns “finally get the attention they deserve.” With respect to hydro licensing, an increased focus on EJ by FERC means Native American tribes and their role in the licensing process, as well as the scope of the tribes’ authority, will likely receive greater attention. Additionally, the Biden Administration has been focused on accelerating permitting for and protecting and expanding existing renewable energy projects. FERC will likely need to grapple with the tension between promoting renewable energy and meaningfully addressing EJ, which could mean lengthier and more detailed public participation processes and greater scrutiny of project location and impacts.
- FERC order regarding its assessment of pipeline projects and possible impact of these projects on the environment. In late March, FERC announced a policy change that sets out new standards it will use to evaluate the significance of a proposed natural gas pipeline project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and these emissions’ contribution to climate change. Accordingly, the impact of these emissions will now be considered both as (1) part of FERC’s required “hard look” into a proposed pipeline’s environmental impact under the National Environmental Policy Act and (2) one of the factors used to determine if a proposed pipeline is required by the public convenience and necessity. In the order at issue, FERC found that the impacts would not be significant and granted the proposed pipeline a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN). A CPCN is required by the Natural Gas Act before an interstate pipeline may be constructed. Previously, FERC had concluded it was unable to assess the significance of these emissions. Now, in evaluating whether an impact is significant, the FERC determines whether “it would result in a substantial adverse change in the physical environment.” As the order states, “in making that determination for different environmental impacts, the FERC necessarily considers different types of evidence, giving that evidence such weight as it deems appropriate using its experience, judgment, and expertise.” This evidence, FERC states, does not necessarily have to meet standard requirements, but instead the FERC may rely on the best available quantitative and qualitative evidence, even where such evidence has certain limitations. FERC cautions that the approach set out in its order may evolve as the Commission becomes more familiar with these evaluations and responds to the particular circumstances of a proceeding. Still, the order shows how FERC compared the project’s reasonably foreseeable GHG emissions to the total GHG emissions of the US as a whole – allowing it to assess the project’s share of contributions to GHG at the national level and providing FERC “a reasoned basis to consider the significance of the project’s GHG emissions and their potential impact on climate change.” Additionally, when states have GHG emission reduction targets, FERC will “endeavor to consider the GHG emissions of a project on those state goals.” Here, the pipeline’s environmental analysis disclosed that the project’s construction would emit a total of 19,655 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent while its operations would emit 351 metric tons annually, for a total of 20,006 metric tons. Therefore, FERC concluded the project could potentially increase carbon dioxide equivalent emissions based on 2018 levels by 0.0003 percent. The commission did not find such contribution to be significant, but specifically noted that even if GHG related impacts were significant, these would be considered along with many other factors in deciding whether a project was required by public convenience and necessity. FERC’s approach provides another example of how GHG emissions and the stance a company takes toward climate change may affect its profitability. It also highlights the need for companies to monitor national and state policies regarding GHG emissions and climate change.
Litigation and enforcement
- Fifth Circuit asked to resolve question of jurisdiction between FERC and bankruptcy courts. A gas exploration and development going through Chapter 11 proceedings is asking the Fifth Circuit to reject FERC’s assertion of concurrent jurisdiction with the bankruptcy court over the company’s gas transportation contracts with two gas pipeline operators. The challenge follows a “paper hearing” by FERC over whether abrogating or modifying such interests is in the public interest. According to FERC, it is not. The company had previously asked the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to set aside the company’s gas transportation contracts with various pipelines. The Fifth Circuit’s decision will clarify the delineation between FERC’s jurisdiction and that of the bankruptcy courts.
- Coalition of states sues Biden Administration over EO on the social cost of GHGs. In March, a coalition of a dozen Republican state attorneys general sued the Biden Administration over an Executive Order directing an interagency group to determine the “social cost of greenhouse gases.” The purpose of the social cost is to attempt to account for the cost Americans will have to bear as a result of continued GHG emissions, and the findings would be used in federal agency rulemakings. While this lawsuit is ongoing, the Biden Administration has for the time being returned to the Obama Administration’s robust method of calculating social cost . The Trump Administration had also adopted a calculation for social cost of GHGs, but set the cost far lower than did his predecessor’s and successor’s administrations.
- Massachusetts residents sue FERC. FERC is defending two of its orders in a petition action brought by Massachusetts residents and advocacy groups in the First Circuit. Taken together, the pair of orders okayed a two-year deadline extension to complete construction of a compressor station and related infrastructure and denied a request to rehear the extension request approval. Gas pipelines rely on compressor stations to send gas over long distances. The orders’ opponents told the court FERC had acted arbitrarily and capriciously by adopting the orders without following the agency’s own protocols. Since the change in presidential administrations, FERC has begun reexamining whether the project should continue, but has not announced a position on the pending petition.
- Floating storage can rule the seas or give you a sea of trouble under your borrowing base facility. Many companies are taking advantage of the market in order to either acquire and retrofit or charter floating storage. However, if you are looking to either acquire and retrofit or charter floating storage, you may wish to carefully review the covenants of your borrowing base facility are. One critical point to review is the definition of “Approved Storage Location” or similar definition: a preferred definition would allow the ability to seek consent from your administrative agent or lenders to be able to acquire or charter the storage. It is not unusual these days to use floating storage in connection with chartering a vessel and keeping it in a port until deliveries may be made onshore (by truck, rail or pipe). Notably, though, most borrowing base facilities do not necessarily contemplate this type of storage. Your borrowing base facility may contemplate floating storage or in-transit storage where bills of lading are provided. However, these days, we are seeing the chartering of a vessel to literally park it at a port for an indefinite period of time. To ensure that this type of storage is permitted under a borrowing base facility, it is possible to use a general approval or consent process, or it may make sense to expand the definition of approved storage location. Keep in mind that the administrative agent and the lenders may require certain documentation in order to perfect their lien. Before chartering a vessel for floating storage, a prudent approach includes understanding what documentation will be used in order to give the administrative agent an idea of how to keep the lien perfected on the underlying commodity secured. The administrative agent will be concerned about lien perfection, priority and access. Notice to the owner of the vessel of the borrowing base facility lien, rather than a three-party agreement or “consent agreement,” should be sufficient. Any acquisition or capital expenditure made in connection with a retrofit of floating storage will require confirming that such transactions fit within the negative covenant limiting the business activities of the borrowers. It is always useful to negotiate no cap on capital expenditures if the source of funds is from equity contributions. As with all investments, confirm that the investment can be made and that all actions comply with the financial covenants.
- Environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting information in the quarterly and annual financial package to lenders. This year, ESG reporting is increasingly being added to the affirmative covenants sections of loan agreements, requiring ESG-related reporting and other information to be provided to the administrative agent and lenders on a quarterly and/or annual basis. This means that in addition to providing your annual and quarterly financial reports, borrowers are being asked to provide ESG information to administrative agents and lenders as an ongoing obligation under the loan documents. As of this writing, the nature of the information which needs to be provided remains unclear. This lack of clarity means it is not uncommon for borrower to resist including such affirmative covenants. Customarily, the failure to provide reporting information is an event of default under the loan agreement. Careful crafting of any provision that rises to the level of an event of default is important, especially where no market standard exists. Since most loan agreements are multi-lender facilities, there is a possibility that each lender will have a different standard. Case-by-case discussions with the administrative agent on the specific format of such reporting will likely be necessary.
In the news
- The Russia sanctions and their impacts on commodities companies: action steps for companies engaged in transactions with Russian gas and energy companies. President Joe Biden’s Executive Order authorizing a sweeping series of sanctions against Russia is a significant escalation of the sanctions architecture put in place by the Obama and Trump Administrations. Critically for entities in the commodities sector, this Executive Order authorizes sanctions against any Russian citizens, nationals, or entities determined by the Secretary of State to be directly or indirectly engaged in, or attempting to have engaged in, cutting or otherwise disrupting gas or energy supplies to Europe, the Caucasus, or Asia. Companies engaged in transactions with gas or energy companies in Russia are taking note of these rapidly moving developments. See our coverage of this development here.
- $9,000 per MWh, disputes over governance and invoices – Texas Winter Storm Uri. Winter Storm Uri and the weather disaster it brought to Texas in February 2021 drove electricity prices to $9,000 per megawatt hour in the state’s wholesale electricity market. Certain Texas consumers and energy retailers have suddenly found themselves faced with dramatic increases to their electricity bills; several energy retailers have defaulted on their payments to generators, which has already led to bankruptcy petitions. These developments are bringing the state’s deregulated electricity market under scrutiny. Learn more here.
- Democrats reintroduce Climate Risk Disclosure Act. Congressional Democrats recently reintroduced the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, which would require companies to document their financial exposure to climate risks. The renewed bill comes at a time when agencies under the Biden Administration, among them the Treasury Department and the SEC, are eyeing broad financial disclosure mandates targeting corporate environmental risks. The bill, drafted with help from Biden Administration officials, would give the SEC a legislative mandate to enact climate disclosure requirements. The bill is intended to help companies and investors assess their exposure to climate-change risk and push companies to address their contributions to climate change. See our coverage of this bill here.
- 2021 Veterans’ Careers in the Renewable Energy Economy – join us for a webinar DLA Piper and the Atlantic Council Veterans Advanced Energy Project will present a webinar on Veterans’ Careers in the Renewable Energy Economy. The program, to be held on August 2, 2021, will feature three veterans who have taken widely divergent paths into the field of renewable energy and who will highlight some of the many ways veterans can succeed in renewable energy. Find out more about the webinar here and be on the lookout for your invitation.
- Winter Storm Uri's legal, economic and political impact on the Texas energy market The recording of our May 25 webinar on the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri is now available on demand. In this webinar, the panel of DLA Piper energy lawyers was joined by professionals from Ankura and The AES Corporation to discuss the impact of this devastating storm on the Texas energy market. We explored the legal and regulatory issues that have arisen in the wake of the storm, provided an overview of the political and regulatory responses, and addressed the long-term regulatory, ERCOT market structure, and financing markets outlook. Access the recording.