General Business Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities

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5th Circuit Denies Louisiana Public Service Commission’s Petition for Review of FERC’s Entergy Bandwidth Implementation Orders

On November 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit denied the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s (LPSC) petition for review of various Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders on the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Revenue Decoupling in Utility Ratemaking

During its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court debated an issue of considerable importance to the State’s utilities. People ex rel. Madigan v. Illinois Commerce Commission is a challenge brought by the Attorney General...more

EPA Reverses Course on Malfunctions

EPA proposes eliminating all startup, shutdown and malfunction affirmative defense provisions from SIPS. On September 17, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a supplemental notice of...more

Courts Uphold Supplemental Assessment of Wells and Related Facilities/Improvements; and Validate Use of Cost Approach

The County of Kern Tax Assessor’s (“Assessor”) use of the cost approach to value to appraise new oil and gas wells for the purpose of levying supplemental assessments has been upheld by the Fifth District Court of Appeal. In...more

Regulation of GHG Emissions Becomes Real: Hyundai and Kia Settle For $350 Million

If readers have been wondering when GHG regulation would truly feel real, EPA may have delivered the answer yesterday, with its announcement of a $350 million settlement with Hyundai and Kia over allegations of violations of...more

SEC Settlement with Layne Christensen Raises New Questions on the Government’s Understanding of the Business Nexus Element of the...

Last week the SEC settled charges against Layne Christensen for various violations of the FCPA. While a relatively unremarkable case at first glance, the SEC’s charges against Layne Christensen reflect a troubling approach by...more

Focus on Regulatory Law - October 2014

In This Issue: - Regulatory Authorities - Energy - Public Economy Law - State Aid - Contract - Public Health - In Brief - Excerpt from Regulatory Authorities: French Competition...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that Texas Public Utility Commission Can Limit Ability of Intermittent Wind Generators to Sell Their Power...

On September 8, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (“Fifth Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed an opinion by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (“District Court”)...more

Non-Incumbent Transmission Developers Win with Court’s Affirmance of FERC’s Order No. 1000

Non-incumbent transmission developers scored a big win last week. As we previously reported here, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld FERC’s Order No. 1000. Among other things, Order 1000 mandated that a regional...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenges to FERC’s Order No. 1000

The court turned back all challenges to FERC’s order, which imposed major regional transmission planning requirements, concluding that FERC has adequately justified the order and acted within its statutory authority....more

Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Oil and Gas Operations—Q and A

The desire to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in commercial operations is steadily building. A wide variety of businesses would like to use these devices to improve efficiency and safety, and reduce costs. One field that...more

U.S. Department of Commerce Imposes Preliminary Tariffs on Chinese Solar Products

On June 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of crystalline silicon photovoltaic products (“solar products”) from China. DOC...more

Federal Appeals Court Decision Could Create Risk for Demand Response Suppliers in Wholesale Markets

D.C. Circuit Court vacates FERC Order No. 745 on demand response compensation, determining that FERC does not have jurisdiction. On May 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court issued a decision...more

When Is An Agreement Not To Purchase Electricity a Retail Sale? The DC Circuit Strikes Down FERC Order 745

Last Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down FERC Order 745, which required that demand response resources be compensated in the same way as traditional generation resources, at the “locational marginal price”,...more

Divided Court of Appeals Panel Vacates FERC Order 745 on Compensation of Demand Response

FERC’s Order No. 745 requiring independent regional grid operators (RTOs and ISOs) in limited circumstances to compensate providers of state-authorized demand response services in the same amounts that they compensate...more

Seismic Data Held by a Board: A Further Look

The Federal and Nova Scotia regulations that require oil and gas companies to submit seismic data to Nova Scotia’s offshore oil and gas board are not ultra vires, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently held in Geophysical...more

New Clean Air Act Decision Could Spell Trouble for Defendants in Citizen Suits

On April 18, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency et al., No. 10-1371 (Apr. 18, 2014), a case challenging new EPA emissions standards that govern...more

CPUC Issues Decision to Protect Solar Customers for 20 Years

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently ruled to protect all existing solar, biogas and wind customers under their current net-energy metering (NEM) contracts for a 20-year grandfathering period. The...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Environmental Document for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale Violates NEPA

On January 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FEIS") and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of...more

Texas Supreme Court Upholds Gas Utility's Rate Schedule Containing a Cost of Service Adjustment Clause

On January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court held that the Railroad Commission of Texas (the "Commission") has the authority to adopt a gas utility rate schedule providing for automatic annual adjustments based on increases...more

Are You Subsidizing Another State's Air Pollution?

You might have to, if the Environmental Protection Agency gets its way in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court will hear oral arguments in a case dealing with the EPA’s ability to regulate cross-state, or...more

FERC Requests that U.S. District Court Affirm Penalties for Market Manipulation

On October 1, 2013, we reported here that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued orders on August 29, 2013, assessing civil penalties against, and requiring disgorgement of profits by, Lincoln Paper and...more

Colorado PUC Sides with Colorado Natural Gas, Inc. and Grants 10.95% ROE in Rate Case

On October 16, 2013, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) upheld the September 3, 2013 decision by an Administrative Law Judge that approved a $3.8 million rate increase for Colorado Natural Gas, Inc. (CNG) in a...more

Agency Deference Wins Again

Over eleven months after oral argument, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its opinion in In the Matter of the Application of Minnesota Power for Authority to Increase Rates for Electric Service in Minnesota this Wednesday....more

U.S. Senators Express Concern Over Manipulation of Electricity Markets and Request Information Regarding FERC Enforcement

On July 31, 2013, United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey submitted a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, expressing serious concern over the apparent...more

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