PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • October 10, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units”. The NPRM would rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power generation sector sources, namely coal and natural gas power plants.

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  • May 16, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On May 8, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum titled “Guidance for Section 2 of Executive Order 13783, titled ‘Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth’”. E.O. 13783 directs federal agencies to review, and potentially suspend, revise or repeal, existing regulations that “burden domestic energy production.”

     

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  • April 19, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On April 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comments “on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification.” The notice is part of the EPA’s efforts to implement the Executive Order titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” (E.O. 13777), which was signed by President Trump on February 24, 2017. The deadline for submitting public comments is May 15, 2017. EPA offices will also be conducting public forums on regulatory reform over the next four weeks. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order (E.O. 13771) which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate.

     

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W&J Publications

Insights on Current Policy Issues

A proposal to amend the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) found its way into President Obama's annual budget submission to Congress earlier this year. The proposal would exempt gains of foreign pension funds from the disposition of U.S. real property interests. Under current FIRPTA law, gains of foreign investors from the disposition of U.S. real property interests are generally subject to U.S. tax. President Obama's proposal would exempt foreign pension plans from the tax. A foreign pension fund would mean a trust, corporation, or other organization or arrangement that is created or organized outside of the U.S. and substantially all of the activity of which is to administer or provide pension or retirement benefits. Under the President's plan, non-pension, foreign investors would still be subject to the FIRPTA tax. By Tony Roda.

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Historically, state and local governmental pension plans did not attract much attention in our nation's capital. Certainly, they did in the 50 state capitals, but for Washington, D.C., the issues were few and far between. We liked it that way. Today, state and local pension plans are of increasing interest to federal policymakers, both in Congress and the Executive Branch. This is so much the case that I have to use a disclaimer right now – the overview and list of issues discussed in this article are not exhaustive. The issues break generally into two categories – regulatory and legislative – with some overlap. On the regulatory front, I will talk about conversions to Roth accounts, normal retirement age, the definitions of governmental plan and municipal advisor, and the pick up rules. By Tony Roda.

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Since 2008, an industry group called "NetCoalition", which is a collection of internet companies and other companies such as Bloomberg and trade groups such as the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), have challenged the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) policy on market data fees in court over policies that institutionalize market data as an exchange product. This coalition received a favorable outcome from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010. In an April 2013 decision on this issue, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals directed the SEC to consider fee complaints under a "denial of access" process. As such, SIFMA filed two such petitions with the SEC in May 2013. These challenges over market data fees are far from over. With $400 million in market data fees at stake, the issue is closely being watched by industry in view of its impact on market structure issues. By David E. Franasiak, Joel Oswald and Eric Robins.

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The EPA has extended the deadline for submissions on its study on hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. House and Senate committees will focus on natural gas issues in May. By Frank Vlossak.

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The Regulatory Landscape - Recent Regulatory Actions and Proposals Affecting the Exchanges and Capital Markets and the Issues Raised. This document was prepared by David E. Franasiak.

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On March 4, President Obama nominated Ernest Moniz to be Secretary of Energy and Gina McCarthy to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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On February 12, the Obama Administration released its long anticipated cybersecurity Executive Order (EO) along with a Presidential Policy Directive (PPD.) This memorandum will sketch the scope, timing, and unknowns of the EO and PPD as they relate to the financial services industry writ large.  David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald and Michael D. Kans assisted in the preparation of this memorandum.

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The Department of Interior has announced that it will redraft proposed regulations addressing hydraulic fracturing on public lands, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a court filing that indicates it could adjust its 2012 Clean Air Act regulations targeting the oil and gas sector.

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In 2006, 23 Republican Senators joined one Independent and 38 Democrats in voting to approve sweeping immigration reform legislation that would have included a pathway to citizenship for the 11-12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Republican President George W. Bush issued a statement praising the Senate for its action. Ultimately, however, the legislative effort faltered when the House took no further action on the issueOn Friday, December 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a "Progress Report" on its study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Congress, through the conference report for the "Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010" (H.Rept. 111-316, P.L. 111-88) requested that the EPA conduct a study on hydraulic fracturing.

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On Friday, December 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a "Progress Report" on its study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Congress, through the conference report for the "Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010" (H.Rept. 111-316, P.L. 111-88) requested that the EPA conduct a study on hydraulic fracturing.

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PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • October 10, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units”. The NPRM would rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power generation sector sources, namely coal and natural gas power plants.

    Read...

    Read More
  • May 16, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On May 8, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum titled “Guidance for Section 2 of Executive Order 13783, titled ‘Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth’”. E.O. 13783 directs federal agencies to review, and potentially suspend, revise or repeal, existing regulations that “burden domestic energy production.”

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • April 19, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On April 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comments “on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification.” The notice is part of the EPA’s efforts to implement the Executive Order titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” (E.O. 13777), which was signed by President Trump on February 24, 2017. The deadline for submitting public comments is May 15, 2017. EPA offices will also be conducting public forums on regulatory reform over the next four weeks. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order (E.O. 13771) which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate.

     

    Read...

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