Regulatory Playbook | Pillsbury Law
Regulatory Playbook
Inside analysis direct from Washington, DC
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Regulatory Playbook

Inside analysis direct from Washington, DC

Welcome to Pillsbury’s Regulatory Playbook, where you’ll find news and insights on the regulatory trends that are driving markets and shaping businesses. Here, Pillsbury’s market-leading regulatory group illuminates critical developments at the intersection of law and policy. If you need to know what’s happening, why it’s happening and how to respond, consult the Playbook.

Trending Issues

Understanding What’s Behind the Uranium Spot Price Surge
Volatility in the uranium market must be carefully evaluated to fully understand the risks of potential investment.

Senate Confirms Rohit Chopra as CFPB Director
As CFPB Director, Rohit Chopra will vigorously apply the CFPB’s authority to promulgate rules, conduct examinations, and bring enforcement actions.

The Vaccine Mandate for Government Contractors
The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force recently issued guidance that requires the vast majority of prime contractors and subcontractors to ensure that their covered contractor employees, including those working remotely, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of the year.

K.C. Hopps Holds That Juries—Not Judges—Should Decide if Coronavirus Causes Physical Loss or Damage
The presence of virus on the premises that renders the property unsafe can cause physical loss or damage and trigger property coverage without any distinct, demonstrable physical alteration.

OSHA to Require COVID-19 Vaccination or Testing Mandates for Large Private-Sector Employers
Under a forthcoming OSHA emergency temporary standard, private-sector employers with more than 100 employees will be required to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing. Eliminating a testing alternative, federal employees and contractors will be required to be vaccinated, with limited exceptions.

Hydrogen Highlights in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
On August 10, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) by a bipartisan vote of 69–30. In addition to funding for roads and bridges, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package includes a number of provisions to spur investment in clean energy innovation technologies—in particular, it provides resources to accelerate research, development, demonstration, and deployment of clean hydrogen in the United States. This includes development of a definition for “clean hydrogen,” clean hydrogen supply chains, regional clean hydrogen hubs, and a focus on commercializing the use of clean hydrogen in transportation, utility, industrial, commercial and residential sectors. This is in line with goals stated during President Biden’s campaign to create “green hydrogen at the same cost as conventional hydrogen within a decade.”

Gensler SEC Expands Scope of Insider Trading Enforcement
Recent enforcement action could signal expanding the boundaries of misappropriation theory, with significant implications for SEC-regulated entities and other market participants.

Biden’s Infrastructure Bill and the Promise of NEPA Reform
The current bill contains several provisions which would significantly alter the requirements of National Environmental Policy Act review, but it remains to be seen whether those changes will survive House review.

Senate Passes $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Package, Tees up $3.5 Trillion Budget Reconciliation Bill
On August 10, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a mammoth $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that represents months of negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans and the White House. The legislation, which passed by a 69-30 vote, includes funding for roads, bridges, electric vehicles, broadband, cybersecurity, water infrastructure, and grid resilience, among other priorities.

DOE Requests Comments on the Price-Anderson Act
The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a notice of inquiry requesting comments concerning the need for continuation or modification of the provisions of the Price-Anderson Act as administered by DOE. The comments will assist DOE in the preparation of a report it plans to submit to Congress by the end of this year.

State-Level Permitting Primacy May Boost Carbon Capture and Storage
Texas and Louisiana are stepping up efforts to assume regulatory authority for an emerging wave of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects.

Presidential Executive Order 14008: The Climate Crisis Order
Presidential Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis,” a long and unusually detailed Executive Order published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2021 (see 86 FR 7619), has generated considerable discussion and commentary.

Bipartisan Senators Introduce the Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021
On July 21, 2021, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), formally introduced the Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021. In light of high-profile cybersecurity incidents such as the Colonial Pipeline attack, the Act aims to require companies and federal agencies to quickly report cybersecurity intrusions to the Federal Government.

DoL Proposes Rule to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 for Many Federal Contractors
Through a proposed rule published on July 22, 2021, the Department of Labor is implementing Executive Order 14026. The new rule and Executive Order will require federal service, construction contractors and subcontractors to increase hourly wages to $15 per hour for a broad range of employees.

Recalculating the Cost of Lunch
The California Supreme Court unanimously determines that premium pay for missed meal and rest breaks must be based on the more inclusive “regular rate.”

FDA Regulatory Approvals as the U.S. Emerges from the Immediate COVID-19 Emergency
Emergency Use Authorizations will play a role as the pandemic eases, but a transition to ordinary course approvals is underway.

The Beginning of the SPAC Enforcement Wave: SEC Makes Example of SPAC for Spacing Out on Diligence
Chair Gensler’s enforcement agenda begins to take shape as SEC brings sprawling enforcement action against wide range of SPAC participants.

DOJ Continues Targeting of Corruption through AML Laws and Alternate Statutes – Lessons for Compliance and Due Diligence
As the Biden Administration commits to crack down on corruption, recent enforcement actions show the DOJ continues a longstanding trend of relying on AML laws and other alternate statutes to prosecute corruption cases, with lessons for internal compliance and due diligence.

Colorado’s Emergent Consumer Privacy Bill Introduces Chance to Opt Out of Data Processing
On June 8, 2021, the Colorado Senate passed SB 21-190, a comprehensive consumer privacy bill. Signed into law on July 7, 2021. the bill gives consumers the right to opt out of the processing of their personal data and to request that personal data be corrected or deleted.

New GSA Regulations Governing Foreign Ownership Disclosure
GSA issues new regulations requiring certification as to foreign ownership and foreign financing of high-security leased space.

A Warning to Contract Counterparties: A Debtor Can Sell Your Fully Performed Contract Without Curing Defaults and Paying Your Claim in Full
A decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals serves as a stark reminder that the sale (assignment) of a contract in bankruptcy does not always require full payment of the non-debtor counterparty’s claim.

Navigating Uncertain ESG-Related Risks at the SEC
Market participants must manage risk of competing voices regarding direction of ESG rulemaking and the coming wave of enforcement actions.

Southern California’s New Indirect Source Rule for Warehousing Operations Tests Jurisdictional Waters
Rule 2305, a first-of-its-kind air district rule, will impose new costs on warehouses and the Southern California supply chain, potentially testing legal boundaries of local authority to regulate “indirect sources” of emissions.

DOL Ups Its Game on Cybersecurity Program Oversight, Begins Audit Initiative
In light of a new DOL audit initiative and increasing cybersecurity threats to ERISA benefit plans, ERISA plan sponsors and fiduciaries should be prepared to answer some important questions: Do the cybersecurity programs of you and your service providers comply with DOL guidance? Do your contracts with service providers include appropriate data protection provisions? Are you and your service providers doing enough to protect your employees and ERISA plan participants?