By Kathleen M. Roberts
On May 9, 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with seven additional Democratic Senators, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) requesting an investigation into the activities of Carl Icahn for potential insider trading, market manipulation, and other securities and commodities law violations in the renewable fuel credit market. The letter states that the actions of and the massive profit earned by Icahn raise questions related to conflict-of-interest rules that apply to government officials, and questions regarding insider trading and market manipulation of renewable fuel credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) -- which SEC, EPA, and CFTC have jurisdiction over. EPA oversees the issuance and trading of RINs. CFTC works with EPA to ensure integrity in the RIN market since it has broad authority to prevent insider trading and other market manipulation in commodities markets and futures markets. SEC has jurisdiction to investigate whether Icahn’s actions as a senior adviser to President Trump affected CVR Energy's stock value or the accuracy of the company's annual and quarterly financial reporting and disclosure.
The Senators maintained that RIN insider trading and market manipulation hurts all parties, including biofuel producers and refineries, and requested an investigation by the three agencies based on the publically available information detailed in the letter. The Senators also requested information on whether EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and SEC Chairman Jay Clayton would recuse themselves from the investigation.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
8:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time/11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time/16:00 British Summer Time
Three months have passed since Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform was enacted, and now implementation trends are starting to take shape. Rather than waiting to see what TSCA reform's impact on your business might be, take control of your approach to "new" TSCA with the information and insight shared in "The New TSCA: What You Need To Know" webinar series presented by Chemical Watch and B&C.
Webinar 4 will cover:
- Section 6(h) -- Chemicals That Are Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT);
- Section 18 -- State-Federal Relationship and Preemption;
- Section 19 -- Judicial Review; and
- Section 26 -- Fees.
- Moderator -- Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, B&C;
- Charles M. Auer, Senior Regulatory and Policy Advisor, B&C, former Director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
- Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist, B&C, former senior staff scientist in OPPT and leader of EPA's Green Chemistry Program;
- Lisa R. Burchi, Of Counsel, B&C; and
- Sheryl Lindros Dolan, Senior Regulatory Consultant, B&C.
Additional Webinars in "The New TSCA: What You Need To Know" Series:
- Webinar 1: Overview and Summary of Major Changes: What to Expect and When to Expect It, presented June 13, 2016.
- Webinar 2: Impacts on New Chemical Programs, presented July 14, 2016.
- Webinar 3: Inventory, CDR, and CBI (Sections 8 & 14), presented September 12, 2016.
- For a copy of any of these webinar recordings, click here.
Read B&C's TSCA blog for the latest news and analysis regarding TSCA reform, implementation, and related legal and administrative developments.
Monday, September 12, 2016
8:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time/11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time/16:00 British Summer Time
Three months have passed since Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform was enacted and now implementation trends are starting to take shape. Rather than waiting to see what TSCA reform's impact on your business might be, take control of your approach to "new" TSCA with the information and insight shared in the "The New TSCA: What You Need To Know" webinar series presented by Chemical Watch and Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®).
Webinar 3, "Inventory, CDR, and CBI" will cover:
- Section 8 Reporting and Retention of Information:
- Small Manufacturer Definition;
- Reporting by Processors;
- Byproduct Rulemaking and Reporting;
- TSCA Inventory; and
- Section 14 Confidential Business Information (CBI):
- Information Not Protected;
- Asserting CBI;
- Presumptive CBI;
- Requirements for CBI Claims;
- Exemptions to Protection from Disclosure;
- Review and Resubstantiation;
- Duties of Administrator; and
- Criminal Penalties.
On September 12, 2016, Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner of Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) affiliate Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®); Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., B&C Senior Chemist; and Kathleen M. Roberts, Vice President of B&C Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), will present "The New TSCA: Information and Reporting (Sections 8 & 14)" in conjunction with Chemical Watch. This free webinar is the third in Chemical Watch's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform series, and will focus on reporting and recordkeeping obligations, confidential business information (CBI) considerations, nomenclature, the "reset" of the TSCA inventory, and obligations for processors. The first two webinars in this series, "Summary of major changes: what to expect and when to expect it" and "Impacts on new and existing chemicals programs" are available on the Chemical Watch website.
On June 14, 2016, DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), through UT-Battelle, LLC, published a report determining that bioenergy crops do not impact food security. The report, "Reconciling food security and bioenergy: priorities for action," was put together by experts from ten institutions, including ORNL, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, and Imperial College London. The report determined that previous studies finding bioenergy crops to blame for food shortages had underlying assumptions that lead to incorrect conclusions. The authors additionally recommended using flex-crop schemes utilizing crops that may be used as either fuel or food depending on economic and environmental changes.
Venerate Bioinsecticide, a new broad-spectrum insecticide produced by Marrone Bio Innovations, has been approved for use in California in both conventional and organic systems. The bioinsecticide is non-toxic to beneficial animals of concern, and is also exempt from maximum pesticide residue level tolerances. This allows users of the bioinsecticide more confidence in the marketability of their crops. For more information, see online.
On January 23, 2014, 13 industry groups sent a letter to President Obama and the Interagency Working Group on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (Working Group) urging the exclusion of any "federal requirement to assess or implement so-called Inherently Safer Technologies (IST)." A copy of the letter is available online. In response to the West Texas fertilizer distributor explosion last year, the Working Group has been tasked with carrying out Executive Order 13650 -- on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.
In the letter, the industry groups express concern with a focus in a recent Working Group report on "safer alternatives." They argue that sufficient safeguards and incentives exist to promote IST where possible, and caution against a federal requirement for IST.
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has announced the selection of 19 individuals to serve on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). The press release on the announcement is available online.
The SEAB will meet at least four times a year and will be broken into four subcommittees to focus on science, energy, nuclear security, and environmental stewardship. The group may also serve to provide advice to Secretary Moniz on an ad hoc basis to address specific issues. The 19 members of the SEAB are:
Frances Beinecke: President, Natural Resources Defense Council
Rafael Bras: Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology
Albert Carnesale: Chancellor Emeritus and Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
John Deutch (CO-CHAIR): MIT Chemist and Former Under Secretary of Energy
Persis Drell (CO-CHAIR): Professor of Physics, Stanford University and Former Director, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Shirley Ann Jackson: President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Deborah Jin: Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology and Professor Adjoint for Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder
Paul Joskow: President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and MIT Professor of Economics, Emeritus
Steve Koonin: Director, Center for Urban Science and Progress, New York University and Former Under Secretary for Science
Michael McQuade: Senior Vice President for Science and Technology, United Technologies Corporation
Richard Meserve: President, Carnegie Institution for Science and Former Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Cherry Murray: Dean, Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
John Podesta: Chair, Center for American Progress and Former White House Chief of Staff
Dan Reicher: Executive Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Professor, Stanford University and Former Assistant Secretary for Energy
Carmichael Roberts: General Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners
Martha Schlicher: Renewables and Sustainability Technology Lead, Monsanto Company
Brent Scowcroft: Retired U.S. Lieutenant General, Former National Security Advisor and President and Founder, Scowcroft Group
Ram Shenoy: Chief Technology Officer, ConocoPhillips
Daniel Yergin: Vice Chairman, IHS and Founder of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates