SEC Announces Proposed Rules Allowing Shareholder Access to Company Proxy Materials

On May 20, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced proposed new rules that would, under certain circumstances, require companies to include in their proxy materials nominations for election as directors submitted by eligible shareholders.

For more information, read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Corporate Finance and Securities Client Service Group on May 21, 2009.

Supreme Court Narrows Federal Superfund Liability

In a very recent two-part CERCLA decision favorable to the industry, the U.S. Supreme Court on May 4, 2009: (1) narrowed the category of companies who are liable as “arrangers” for disposal under CERCLA; and (2) broadened a liable company’s “divisibility” defense to CERCLA’s presumptive “joint and several” liability.

For more information, read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Environmental Client Service Group on May 7, 2009.

President Obama Calls for Crackdown on International Tax Transactions

On May 4, 2009, President Obama unveiled his Administration’s plan to reform the country’s international tax laws and improve their enforcement.

For more information, read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Tax Advice and Controversy Client Service Group on May 7, 2009.

General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2010 Revenue Proposals

In 2009 and 2010, individual taxpayers are eligible for a refundable tax credit of 6.2% of earned income up to a maximum credit of $400 ($800 for joint filers). Thus, workers receive a credit on the first $8,065 of earned income ($16,130 for joint filers). The credit phases out at a rate of 2% for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers). Dependent filers are not eligible for the credit. Neither the maximum credit amount nor the beginning of the phase-out range is indexed for inflation.

For more information, read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Tax Advice and Controversy Client Service Group on May 11, 2009.

Changes in the Ownership of Energy Assets May Require Federal and State Regulatory Approvals

Section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) requires Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approval of mergers, acquisitions, and certain other change sin ownership of electric energy assets valued at more than $10 million. Although section 203, by its terms, applies to transactions involving a “public utility”, or a hodling company that includes a “transmitting utility or an electric utility”, FERC has asserted jurisdiction under section 203 over entites that own no electric generation plants, or transmission and distribution lines. Such an entity, for example, could have an authorization from FERC to resell, at unregulated wholesale market rates, electric energy that it purchases, and that is produced and distributed by facilities owned and operated by other, unaffiliated entities.

For more information, read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Environmental Client Service Group on May 19, 2009.