Environmental Markets and Trading
The firm represents a broad range of energy clients on a plethora of physical and financial energy transactions, including the specialized area of trading, marketing and associated risk management. With respect to this specialized area, our clients have included all the different industry segment: major public utilities, the unregulated affiliates of same, independent power producers, power marketers, financial institutions, private equity energy funds and others. Attorneys in our trading and marketing practice group include engineers, former regulators, in-house counsel and experienced private practitioners. With this group, we have uniquely merged technical know-how regarding asset operations, transmission and fuel transportation and management with decades of real-time, “floor specific” transactional experience.
On a day to day basis, we negotiate ISDAs (with and without annexes), EEIs, WSPPs, NAESBs, master emissions agreements, renewable energy credit agreements, structured one-off transactions and various collateral and credit documentation, including the ISDA Credit Support Annex, the EEI Collateral Annex, parental guarantees, letters of credit, security interests in accounts receivable (lockbox arrangements), first, second and third liens on physical assets and all manner of master netting agreements. In terms of gas procurement and management our team also regularly negotiates long-term fuel supply agreements, precedent agreements and service agreements for interstate and intrastate storage, transportation, interconnection, balancing and construction activities. In addition, our lawyers are active participants in various industry groups that draft the documentation by which our clients and the industry transact and where the industry addresses “real-time” issues affecting it. Specifically, we participate on the EEI Contract Drafting Committee, the WSPP Contracting Committee, NAESB, the Contracts and Legal Education Committee of the International Energy Credit Association, the ABA Carbon Trading and Energy Finance Committee (formerly the ABA Gas and Electricity Marketing Committee) and others. We are, therefore, is actively engaged at the center of industry developments.
This “real-time” involvement in transactions and industry groups coupled with Balch & Bingham’s experience in the regulation affecting the industry uniquely allows us to provide particularized guidance to our clients on compliance and related matters and insight into the issues that may affect our clients’ businesses from a regulatory perspective in the future. Examples of our services in this area include assisting clients in their compliance obligations with FERC such as EQRs and price reporting; evaluating FERC policy and related initiatives and advising clients on the effect of same on wholesale trading and marketing activities; counseling clients on new and developing markets and as well as new product offerings; reviewing and analyzing CFTC rules and regulations for impacts on traders and marketers; supporting clients in submission of EIA and FERC reports and responding to data requests by Federal agencies; and facilitating antitrust, anti-manipulation and other trader-specific training materials for front office and those that support them. Thus, our representation in the area of trading and marketing is both extensive and varied, spanning transactions from negotiation to regulatory reporting and settlement.