Energy & Environmental Products Trading and Commodities Regulation (SC)
The term “commodity” includes almost every standardized commodity contract traded in interstate commerce in the U.S. and internationally. This class will provide a comprehensive overview of energy trading and commodities regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), including with respect to traditional energy products (such as natural gas, power, crude oil and coal), and environmental products (such as carbon offsets, acid rain allowances, and renewable energy credits).The class will explore questions including: Who are the market participants (e.g., energy companies, banks, hedge funds) and how are they regulated? How do companies use commodities (e.g., as consumers, producers, hedgers, investors) and what are the implications of using different commodity instruments (e.g., physical spot and forward contracts versus hedging instruments such as futures, swaps and options), from a regulatory perspective. With respect to environmental commodities, the class will explore the following questions: Who purchases environmental commodities, including producers, power generators, project developers, and “traders”? How do EPA and state environmental regulation impact the creation and value of such commodities? How are environmental commodities used for renewable energy development and project finance? How are they traded?
The class will address the impact of recent regulatory changes stemming from the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) on the structuring of energy and commodity transactions. Given the comprehensive nature of the Dodd-Frank Act, we will also address the areas where the CFTC’s jurisdiction overlaps with the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and foreign nations.
Finally, we will dedicate two class periods to explore case studies based on recent actions by the Department of Justice and the CFTC relating to market manipulation and fraud in the energy and environmental products markets.
Students will be required to write a 8-12 page paper addressing one of several prompts provided in class, submitted via LawWeb by 4:30 PM (EST) on March 9th, 2017.
*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.
**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.