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Please join lawyers, Greg Matlock, Phil Lau and Norman Nadorff from Mayer Brown’s Oil & Gas group for a special webinar hosted by the Brazil-Texas Chamber of Commerce on carbon capture use and sequestration.  This comprehensive, interactive event will discuss the CCUS market, how to qualify for the Section 45Q tax credit, how to finance and structure CCUS projects, and the underlying commercial contracts that will be vital to the success of the project.

Date and Time: May 25, 2021 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT.  Program is free.

https://business.braziltexas.org/events/details/carbon-capture-use-and-sequestration-from-feasibility-to-execution-64

 

The amendment to the Hydrocarbons Law regarding asymmetric regulation has been published in the Federal Official Gazette, becoming effective as of May 20, 2021.  Additional details at the link below.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/05/mexico-amendment-to-hydrocarbons-law-regarding-asymmetric-regulation-is-published?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

Two district judges have temporarily suspended certain provisions of the amendment to the Hydrocarbons Law.  Please see full story at link below.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/05/mexico-amendment-to-hydrocarbons-law-is-partially-suspended?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere.  It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not.  What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum.  No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff.

Alan Greenspan

BACKGROUND

No one knows when a government official was first bribed, but as far back as 1754 B.C. the Code of Hammurabi prohibited the practice.  As for the U.S., the first Congress passed the Federal Crimes Act which prohibited some forms of Bribery.  Traditionally bribery laws around the globe looked inward – at the subordination of domestic officials.  Virtually no attention was paid to another form of bribery – the citizens of one country bribing the officials of another to obtain business or other improper benefit.  Indeed, such practice was not only ignored, but often condoned by granting tax deductions for such payments.

Fast forward to 1977, when the U.S. Congress, in the wake of embarrassing revelations during the Watergate hearings, enacted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  In essence, the FCPA prohibits U.S. Persons from corruptly giving or promising anything of value to foreign governmental officials (broadly defined) in order to obtain business or other unfair advantage.  It casts a wider enforcement net by requiring covered Persons to keep accurate books and records and reliable auditing systems.  At first, there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth by U.S. companies who claimed the FCPA would place them at a great disadvantage against less scrupulous foreign competitors.  Over time, however, many such critics learned to live with its provisions and even laud its purpose and cite its benefits.

For decades, the U.S. fought its anti-corruption and bribery (“ABC”) crusade alone.  Through pressure from the U.S., the OECD adopted the Anti-Bribery Convention in 1999 (“OECD Convention”), which requires member states to enact laws prohibiting bribery of foreign officials by their nationals (“ABC Laws”).  The Convention spawned ABC Laws, most notably the U.K. Bribery Law.  This Law goes beyond the FCPA by (i) prohibiting private bribery; (ii) extending vicarious liability, and (iii) specifically prohibiting “facilitating payments”.  Not to be outshined, many non-OECD countries significantly revamped their domestic corruption laws.[1]

Continue Reading The ABCs of Anti-Corruption and Bribery Law: What Preceded Brazil’s “Operation Car Wash” and What Comes Next?

On May 4, 2021, the first amendment to Mexico’s Hydrocarbons Law was published in the Federal Official Gazette, with the legislative process having concluded on April 22, 2021, after a heated debate during a plenary session of the Senate (the “Amendment”).

The Amendment modifies core aspects of the permits necessary to perform midstream and downstream activities in the hydrocarbons sector, giving the Energy Regulatory Commission (Comisión Reguladora de Energía, “CRE”) discretionary powers to grant and approve the assignment of permits, among other powers. For more details on the Amendment, see our previous Legal Update.

The Amendment will become effective on May 5, 2021.

 

Another amendment to the Hydrocarbons Law has been approved, ending the power of the Energy Regulatory Commission to enforce asymmetric regulation in the hydrocarbon, petroleum products and petrochemical markets.  The Legal Update at the link below explains the scope and implications of such proposed amendment.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/04/mexico-another-amendment-to-hydrocarbons-law-would-eliminate-asymmetric-regulation-for-pemex?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

The current government launched an attack against the electricity legal framework established by its predecessor. The new framework reflects a major change in policy concerning the participation of the private sector in Mexico’s electricity industry, which could endanger billions of dollars in investments, the creation of thousands of jobs and could result in the emission of thousands of additional tons of CO2.   Read all about it in the article at the link below.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/-/media/files/perspectives-events/publications/2021/04/focus-on-latin-america/new-mexican-power-regulatory-framework-7413059031.pdf

Over the past number of weeks, a variety of legislative proposals, from both sides of the aisle, have been released that, if enacted, could drastically impact the US energy industry and, in many cases, the taxation of energy in the United States. These proposals come on the heels of the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan and Made in America Tax Plan. Legislative proposals related to energy continue to be released at a rapid pace, and in the Legal Update at the link below, we highlight certain features from several recent proposals.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/04/recent-legislative-proposals-could-drastically-change-us-energy-taxation?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

Following the Mexican government’s latest initiative to amend the Hydrocarbons Law, concerns about Mexico following in Venezuela’s footsteps to undo the energy reform are growing. It is important to keep in mind certain key differences between Venezuela and Mexico and how each country opened its oil and gas industry to private investment. This will help us understand the process that is underway in Mexico and the likelihood of the government’s success in undoing the energy reform. Spoiler alert…Mexico is not Venezuela.
Read the article at the link below

In the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri and the market turmoil that ensued, legislation that contemplates using securitization to potentially fund related economic damages and other dislocation has been proposed in both Texas and Oklahoma; however, in many cases, the proposed legislation does not contemplate critical requirements under the applicable rating agency methodologies. The Legal Update at the link below summarizes the bills and what they lack.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/04/more-2021-polar-vortex-fallout-securitization-bills-not-satisfying-rating-methodologies-requirements-unlikely-to-get-highest-possible-ratings?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}