Fourth Circuit Vacates National Park Service Right-of-Way Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project

In another blow to the construction of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), certificated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on October 13, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on August 6: (1) vacated as arbitrary and…

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FERC Initiates Review of Its Long-Standing Pipeline Certificate Policy Statement

Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) seeking comment on possible changes needed to its 1999 Policy Statement on certification of new interstate pipelines. The NOI notes the almost two decades since the 1999 Policy Statement was approved and acknowledges that the…

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FERC Terminates Rulemaking Aimed At Increasing RTO/ISO Reliance On Merchant Coal and Nuclear Resources, Initiates New Proceeding To Explore RTO/ISO Resilience Issues

On January 8, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued an Order terminating a rulemaking initiated in Docket No. RM18-1-000 in which the Commission, acting at the request of the Department of Energy (DOE), considered requiring Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to establish…

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FERC Sets Agenda for Technical Conference on Natural Gas Index Liquidity and Transparency

On June 29, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold a technical conference to discuss liquidity in the natural gas markets and what, if anything, the industry or FERC can do to increase transparency and robustness in natural gas price formation. The day-long conference will feature three stakeholder…

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New Court Decision Opens Door to Broader Assertion of Jurisdiction by FERC over Governmental Entities

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision recently finding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) had authority to order the Bonneville Power Administration (“BPA”) to pay money to a public utility.  This holding is significant because BPA is a governmental entity exempt from FERC’s…

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FERC Weighs Tax Policy Changes in Wake of Ruling in United Airlines, Inc. v. FERC

On December 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in Docket No. PL17-1, seeking comments on how to address any double recovery that may result from its tax allowance and rate of return policies in light of the ruling in United Airlines, Inc. v. FERC, 827 F.3d 122 (D.C. Cir. 2016).

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Remands FERC Orders Addressing Participation by Non-Jurisdictional Utilities in the WestConnect Transmission Planning Region and Re-Opens Cost Allocation Issue.

On August 8, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (“Fifth Circuit” or “Court”) issued a Decision on El Paso Electric Company’s (“El Paso”) petitions for review of FERC Orders addressing compliance with the requirements of Order No. 1000, et al., in the WestConnect planning region….

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Gary J. Newell Featured in District Energy Magazine

    Jennings, Strouss & Salmon energy attorney Gary J. Newell is featured in the latest issue of District Energy Magazine. Read the full article: FERC in the crossfire as PURPA debate heats up

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New Federal Reserve Board Rule Demonstrates Why Electric Utilities Must Expand Their Monitoring and Compliance Programs Beyond FERC

    Electric utility compliance programs typically cover regulatory requirements imposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) under the Federal Power Act or Natural Gas Act and, more recently, by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) under the Dodd-Frank Act.  Regulations issued by those two commissions are monitored closely….

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The United States Supreme Court Limited the Ability of States to Promote Generation Development

A unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court issued on April 19, 2016 in Hughes v. Talen Energy held that the State of Maryland’s program to promote development of in-state electric generation assets is preempted by federal law because it “sets” interstate wholesale rates under FERC’s exclusive jurisdiction. The Court, however,…

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FERC Refines Pipeline Cost-Allocation Policies in Order on Remand

In a recent Order on remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”),[1] the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) reversed its earlier decisions and determined that  the rolled-in vs. incremental rate policies  established in its 1999 Certificate Policy Statement[2] do not justify…

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FERC Reacts to First Pipeline Modernization Tracker Proposal under New Policy

      As reported in our prior blogs, on November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities in Docket No. PL15-1 that would allow interstate pipelines that meet certain criteria to recover the costs of…

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The D.C. Circuit Rejects FERC’s Geographical Limitation of Municipal Preference in Hydro Licensing Proceedings

On November 20, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit” or “Court”) issued a decision in Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency v. FERC rejecting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or “Commission”) interpretation limiting the municipal preference for preliminary hydropower permits under Section 7(a) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. § 800(a) (2013).

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Joel L. Greene and Melissa A. Alfano Featured in District Energy Magazine

              Jennings, Strouss & Salmon energy attorneys, Joel L. Greene and Melissa A. Alfano, are featured in the latest edition of District Energy magazine. Read the full article: FERC Issues Order to Improve Gas-Electric Coordination

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FERC Approves Gas Modernization Policy

                In November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) proposed a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities in Docket No. PL15-1 that would allow interstate pipelines to recover the costs of modernizing their facilities through an…

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FERC Receives Reply Comments on its Proposed Policy on Cost Recovery for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities

                  Last month we informed you that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) had received initial comments on its proposed policy to allow interstate pipelines to recover the costs of modernizing their facilities through a cost tracker. On February 26th, FERC received…

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FERC Receives Initial Comments on its Proposed Policy on Cost Recovery for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities

                In November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) proposed a new policy statement that outlines the standards interstate natural gas pipelines would need to satisfy in order to recover the costs to modernize their facilities and infrastructure. Initial comments on the…

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D.C. Circuit Decision Brings Uncertainty to CHP Participation in Demand Response Markets

On May 23, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision with important implications for the owners of resources used to control the amount of demand a retail electric customer places on the power system − so-called “demand response” (DR) resources −…

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FERC Accepts Pro Forma Agreement for Transmission Project Developers in the CAISO, Enabling New Opportunity to Join the CAISO Only as a Partial Participating Transmission Owner

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) accepted, subject to certain conditions, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) proposed pro forma Approved Project Sponsor Agreement (“APSA”) to be added as Appendix X to its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”). See California Independent System Operator, 149 FERC ¶ 61,107 (2014).

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FERC Concerned about Impact of Fuel Assurance on Generator Performance and Electric Markets Operations

    On November 20, 2014, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued an Order (“Fuel Assurance Order”) directing each regional transmission organization (“RTO”) and independent system operator (“ISO”) to file a report on the status of its efforts to address market and system performance associated with “fuel…

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FERC Proposes Policy on Cost Recovery for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities

              Following its open meeting on November 20, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) is seeking comments on a proposed new policy statement (PL15-1-000) that will outline the standards interstate natural gas pipelines must satisfy in order to recover the costs of modernizing…

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Pricing Electric System Reliability in MISO

There have recently been two significant Orders from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) concerning System Support Resources (“SSRs”) for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (“MISO”).

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FERC Approved First Pilot Project to Test the Fast-Track Licensing Process Provided in the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) approved this week the first pilot project to test a fast-track licensing process for hydropower development pursuant to the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (the “Act”).

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FERC Requests Industry Input on Gas-Electric Coordination and Initiates a Paper Hearing on Electric Scheduling

Natural gas is fuel increasingly used to generate electricity. To better coordinate the scheduling timelines and practices of natural gas pipelines with electric utilities, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued two significant orders. First, FERC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on the Coordination of the Scheduling Processes of…

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FERC Revises the EQR Data Dictionary and Announces a Technical Conference

In an order issued this afternoon, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted further changes to the Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) Data Dictionary. FERC stated that it adopted version 3.0 of the EQR Data Dictionary in order to implement the revised EQR filing process and to update the list of…

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FERC sets New Deadlines for the Web-Based Filing of Electronic Quarterly Reports

On February 28, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order extending and setting the deadlines to file electric quarterly reports (EQRs) for the third quarter (Q3) 2013, the fourth quarter (Q4) 2013 and the first quarter (Q1) 2014. FERC also reminded EQR filers that the deadline to…

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FERC Prepares for Web-Based Filing of Electronic Quarterly Reports

FERC recently issued a reminder that entities responsible for filing Electronic Quarterly Reports (EQRs) must complete the Company Registration prior to filing. Filing entities may obtain a Company Identifier (CID) number from the FERC by completing a Company Registration on the FERC website. FERC extended the deadlines to file the…

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FERC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for NERC Standard on Geomagnetic Disturbances

On January 16, 2014, the FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to approve NERC Reliability Standard EOP-010-1. The proposed standard is the first step in implementing Order No. 779, where the Commission directed NERC to develop reliability standards aimed at mitigating the effects of geomagnetic disturbances (“GMDs”) on the…

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FERC Delays Q3 2013 Electronic Quarterly Reports

On October 10, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order directing all public and non-public utilities not to file their Electronic Quarterly Reports for the third quarter of 2013 until further notice because the web-based EQR filing system is not yet available. FERC will issue a public notice…

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Defining the Bulk Electric System

A Difficult Process Approaches a Critical Deadline A low profile, but very significant, process involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and participants in the electric utility industry is approaching a critical time point. Driven by FERC directive and timeline, NERC and the…

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FERC Staff Present Gas-Electric Coordination Quarterly Report at Commission Open Meeting

On September 19, 2013, the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its Gas-Electric Coordination Quarterly Report to the Commission in Docket No. AD12-12 covering the period June 2013 through August 2013. The staff also presented the FERC Commissioners with a quarterly update on the same period. The report and the update…

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Conversion to Natural Gas: Navigating the legal hurdles

By Joel Greene and Elizabeth Teuwen, Attorneys, Jennings Strouss & Salmon PLC; and Jim Adams, PE, Director of Utilities, Cornell University Published in the first-quarter 2013 issue of District Energy by the International District Energy Association It is hard to ignore the growing popularity of natural gas. We are routinely bombarded…

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FERC Schedules Five Regional Technical Conferences on Natural Gas-Electric Coordination

FERC has announced the schedule for five regional conferences being held in August to address the coordination between the natural gas and electric industries.  (See list of dates and locations below.)  These technical conferences are part of FERC’s continued efforts to assess whether and to what extent it needs to…

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FERC Issues Final Rule Concerning Integration of Variable Energy Resources

By Debra Roby, Alan Robbins and Alan Rukin On June 22, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) issued Order No. 764, a final rule (“Final Rule”) approving changes to the pro forma Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) and Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) concerning integration of Variable Energy Resources,…

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Public Power Law Firm Hosts Client Dinner at 2012 APPA National Convention

Public power law firm, Jennings Strouss, hosted a client appreciation dinner at the Space Needle, in Seattle, Washington, Sunday, June 17th, 2012. Jennings Strouss is a gold level sponsor of the 2012 APPA National Convention. The APPA National Conference helps utility leaders and policymakers connect with industry leaders, partners and…

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FERC Staff Presents The 2011 “State of the Market”

We are pleased to present the Office of Enforcement’s 2011 State of the Markets Report. The State of the Markets Report is staff’s annual opportunity to share our assessment on the natural gas, electric, and other energy markets. The presentation is based on conclusions of the staff and not necessarily…

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BIA, Tribe Seek To Stall Approval of Hydro Power

The Bureau of Indian Affairs told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday to hold off on granting a preliminary permit for a proposed 2,000- megawatt pump storage hydroelectric project in Arizona, citing concerns about impacts to endangered species and water supplies. The BIA and the Yavapai-Apache Nation echoed concerns…

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FERC Clarifies Treatment of Pipeline’s Discount-Type Adjustments for Negotiated Rates

By Joel L. Greene In an order on rehearing issued March 15, 2012 in Texas Gas Transmission, LLC, 138 FERC ¶ 61,175, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) took the opportunity to reiterate, and in light of overly broad precedent, clarify the conditions a pipeline must satisfy in order to…

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Duke Energy and Progress Energy File Market Power Mitigation Plan with the North Carolina Utilities Commission

CHARLOTTE, N.C. and RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Duke Energy and Progress Energy today filed a second wholesale market power mitigation plan with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) as part of their proposed merger. “The intent of this merger is to strike the right balance between the…

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Sierra Club & Friends Try to Halt Tree-Cutting Along Gas Pipeline Route

New York, NY–(ENEWSPF)–February 16, 2012. Residents are suing to halt tree-cutting along the route of a controversial gas pipeline through the Endless Mountains region of Northeast Pennsylvania. Represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, members of Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, and the Coalition…

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FERC Proposes to Update Standards for Business Practices for Interstate Gas Pipelines

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is seeking public comment on a proposal that would benefit the wholesale gas market by updating and improving standards for business practices of interstate natural gas pipelines. FERC today issued a proposed rule that would amend its regulations to incorporate by reference, with certain…

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FERC, NARUC Launch Forum on Reliability, Environment

WASHINGTON—Federal and State energy regulators will launch a Forum to explore reliability issues stemming from new and pending environmental rules for the power sector. The Forum, consisting of membership from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), will coincide with NARUC’s three…

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Video: Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid

10/18/2011 Midwest Policy Summit. Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy. At the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL. Midwest Policy Summit panel addressing “How Can Smart Grid Technologies Increase the Efficiency between Transmission and Distribution?”

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FERC Rejects Market Power Mitigation Proposal in Duke-Progress Merger

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today rejected Duke Energy Corp. and Progress Energy, Inc.’s proposed mitigation plan to remedy their merger’s harmful effects on competition, saying it cannot unconditionally approve the merger until the applicants remedy the harmful effects on competition previously identified by FERC. On Sept. 30, 2011,…

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Lake Elsinore Hydro Project is Back

The massive proposed hydropower project in Lake Elsinore continues … by way of a new application. After the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in July dismissed an application from Nevada Hydro Company to move forward with the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) project, Nevada Hydro appealed the decision. Then…

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Efforts Made to Limit Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authority

Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. — Efforts from the Missouri congressional coalition to limit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authority over Lake of the Ozarks property rights appear tangled in the legislative process with an indefinite finish line. If a vote doesn’t come up soon, a Missouri Republican plans to…

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Rep. Terry: Boehner will link pipeline bill to jobless insurance, payroll tax bill

By Ben Geman / The Hill House GOP leaders plan to attach legislation to speed up approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to a broader package that extends unemployment insurance and payroll tax cuts, a Republican lawmaker said. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), the sponsor of the Keystone…

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MISO Requests FERC Assistance for Grid Reliability in Response to EPA Rules

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO) Vice President of Transmission Asset Management yesterday warned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air emission rules pose threats to power reliability. In comments submitted for FERC’s technical conference this week on reliability risks related…

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