Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

News & Analysis as of

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 Revises Market Surveillance Data Collection Proposal and MBR Filing Proposal

On July 21, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or “Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to (1) collect a wide range of “connected entity” data for market surveillance and...more

FERC as Prosecutor, Judge and Jury?

May the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiate an enforcement investigation against a company for manipulating natural gas markets, order the company to show cause why it shouldn’t be fined and then decide the...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

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - July 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s July 21, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on July 14, 2016. Agenda items E-6, E-19, E-21 and E-22 have not been...more

DC Circuit Judge Rogers Delivers 3 Important Administrative Rulings in 1 Day

July 15 was a busy day at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as five important decisions werethree issued. What was remarkable and worth noting is that Judge Judith Rogers, a member of the court...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

D.C. Circuit Questions FERC’s Policy Statement on Income Tax Allowances

On July 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in United Airlines, Inc., et al. v. FERC. This oil pipeline rate case appeal involves SFPP, L.P., a pipeline organized as a limited...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

Green Tax Incentive Compendium

Federal Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency - A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION. The Federal Internal Revenue Code provides a business income tax credit in the amount of $0.023 (2015) per kilowatt hour of...more

D.C. Circuit Reopens Controversy Concerning Regulated Master Limited Partnership Taxation

On Friday, July 1, 2016, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reopened the issue of whether pipelines organized as partnerships can claim a tax allowance for ratemaking purposes...more

FERC Increases Civil Monetary Penalties up to 150 Percent

On June 29, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) issued an Interim Final Rule amending its regulations governing the maximum civil monetary penalties assessable for violations of statutes,...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

DC Circuit Decision Likely to Reignite FERC Debate Over Tax Allowance for Pass-through Entities

The recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in United Airlines Inc., et al., v. Federal Energy Regulatory, Case No. 11-1479, July 1, 2016 (United Airlines) will likely reignite a...more

Transmission Planning and Construction Right of First Refusal Ruled Unduly Discriminatory, Not Mobile-Sierra Protected

The provision contained in incumbent electric utility tariffs—conferring on the holder the right of first refusal (ROFR) to construct additions to the high-voltage electrical grid, regardless of who conceived of and proposed...more

DC Circuit Joins 7th Circuit in Holding Mobile-Sierra Contract Protection Inapplicable to Transmission Owner Rights of First...

Several months ago, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) order overriding contracts between the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and incumbent utilities...more

LNG Global Impacts Not FERC’s Problem in Freeport and Sabine Pass Cases

In companion cases, on June 28 the DC Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in its environmental impacts analysis of two Gulf Coast LNG terminals, need not assess the potential for...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

DC Circuit Denies Petitions to Review Non-Export-Related Environmental Consequences of FERC Action

Two recently issued decisions are important because they clarify how the formidably complex legal structure affecting a growing American business—the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) –will be interpreted by the one...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

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Analysis in Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG Projects

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected two related challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of the Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG...more

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