Federal Power Act

News & Analysis as of

District Court Dismisses Challenge to Biological Opinions In Light of Circuit Court’s Exclusive Jurisdiction

Primarily relying on precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and D.C. Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine recently dismissed an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit challenging two...more

New Jersey FERC license surrender and dam removal

U.S. energy regulators have accepted an application to surrender the licensee for a New Jersey hydropower project. Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Great Bear Hydropower Inc.'s...more

FERC Takes Action on Cybersecurity in Response to Ukrainian Cyber Attacks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) and Final Rule at the end of July to address several urgent cybersecurity issues affecting the bulk electric system. FERC is taking these...more

Supreme Court’s Environmental and Administrative Law Decisions in 2015-2016 Term

This Advisory briefly reports on some of the significant U.S. Supreme Court actions from January through June 2016 related to environmental and administrative law. Please see full Publication below for more information. ...more

New Presidential Policy Directive Hopes to Coordinate Federal Response in the Event of a Cyber Attack

In an implicit acknowledgment that the Federal government's response to cyberattacks is diffused among quite a number of agencies, the White House issued Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 41 last week (July 26). The...more

FERC Civil Penalties May Be Subject to Full Judicial Review

A Federal District Court recently held that a proposed civil penalty assessed by FERC was subject to a full trial de novo where the respondent elects to forego a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, a matter of first...more

Federal Court Grants Full Civil Trial to FERC Enforcement Target

The decision will likely affect the strategies of enforcement targets in electric market manipulation cases. For the first time, a federal district judge has held that a review of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s...more

Where Do FERC Enforcement Targets Go to Get Their Day in Court?

Two Federal District Court Opinions Highlight Differences Between Natural Gas Act and Federal Power Act Investigations - Two weeks ago, a federal judge in Texas rejected arguments that targets of FERC investigations...more

Court Holds FERC De Novo Review to Proceed as “Ordinary Civil Action”

Last week, a federal district judge ruled for the first time that the “review de novo” promised by section 31(d) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. § 823b(d), will be “treated as an ordinary civil action requiring a...more

FERC v. Maxim Power Corp. - Court Rejects FERC's Interpretation of Penalty Review Procedures; Respondents To Have Their Day In...

In a July 21, 2016 order, a federal district court for the first time in a FERC enforcement matter held that review of an assessed civil penalty pursuant to Section 31(d)(3) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) entails an...more

Constitutional Limits to Greenhouse Gas Regulation: 8th Circuit Relies on the Dormant Commerce Clause to Reject Minnesota’s GHG...

Many states have enacted their own laws to regulate greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission reductions. Although the specific requirements of each state law differ, many of the laws incentivize the use of renewable energy and...more

DC Circuit Ruling Threatens to Topple FERC Tax Allowance Policy

Court rules that FERC policy permitting a tax allowance for pass-through entities may unjustifiably permit “double-recovery” of tax expense. On July 1, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued...more

Alta, snowmaking pipes and conduit hydro power

Federal energy regulators have issued Alta Ski Area a written determination that its proposed micro-hydropower project will not be required to be licensed under the Federal Power Act. If developed, Alta's project would be...more

Maine tidal project preliminary permit issued

A tidal energy developer has been granted a preliminary permit to study a proposed project in Western Passage, near the city of Eastport, Maine. Under the Federal Power Act, most grid-connected tidal power projects...more

FERC Increases Maximum Civil Monetary Penalties for Power, Gas and Oil Companies

On June 29, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) issued an interim final rule amending the civil monetary penalties within its jurisdiction to adjust for inflation. FERC adjusted its penalties...more

FERC Order 826 increases penalty power

Acting under a 2015 law, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released an interim final rule increasing the maximum civil monetary penalties that it can assess for violations of statutes, rules, and orders within the...more

FERC Increases Maximum Civil Penalty Amounts To Adjust For Inflation

On June 29, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued Order No. 826, increasing the maximum civil penalty amount for violations of statutes, rules, and regulations within FERC’s jurisdiction, in order to...more

FERC Issues Order Assessing Civil Penalties Against ETRACOM

On Friday, June 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties against ETRACOM LLC (“ETRACOM”) and ETRACOM’s founding member and majority owner, Michael...more

Accounting for FERC’s Ability to Revoke MBR Authority in Project Financing Agreements

On June 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order revoking authority to charge negotiated “market-based” rates (“MBR Authority”) previously granted to several subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway...more

The federal-state energy regulatory divide: The new order after Learjet, EPSA and Hughes

In three recent decisions (the Three Decisions), the US Supreme Court (the Court) drew a sharp dividing line between the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) and that of the states to...more

Recent Complaints Highlight Continued Friction between State Policy Goals and Federally Regulated Wholesale Power Markets

On June 24, 2016, two complaints were filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission or FERC”) that highlight the continued tension between state policy initiatives and the mandatory centralized capacity...more

Whitestone hydrokinetic license surrendered

Despite efforts to offer a streamlined regulatory path for some demonstration hydropower projects, earlier this year the holder of a hydrokinetic pilot project license for a project proposed for the Tanana River in Alaska...more

FERC says Nicatous microhydro doesn't need license

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed by a remote Maine sporting camp does not require licensing under the Federal Power Act. The Nicatous case illustrates one expedited regulatory...more

EIB Energy Highlights: Nat Gas Outpowers Coal, NC Renewables, CPP En Banc, Fed Energy Bill Awaits Conference & More

Natural Gas-Fired Electricity Generation to Exceed Coal-Fired Generation in 2016: The EIA recently projected that for the first time, on an annual basis, natural gas will exceed coal as a fuel for electric power generation in...more

FERC Order 827 and reactive power

Federal energy regulators have issued a final rule requiring all newly interconnecting non-synchronous generators to provide reactive power, which supports the reliability of the electric grid. The rule adopted by the...more

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