A fierce debate has erupted in the utility policy community, with battle lines drawn within FERC itself. In the effort to improve system efficiency, two competing alternatives stand out: to build...
bargaining agreements in Chapter 11 cases that established separate protocols and separate standards for these matters. These protocols and standards take into account the interests and collective bargaining rights of employees in a manner that would not have been the case under otherwise applicable executory contract rejection provisions of bankruptcy law.
Federal Environmental Law
An issue that often arises in bankruptcy cases involving a debtor-owner of environmentally contaminated property is whether that debtor will be required to devote its limited resources to environmental clean-up costs, thereby "draining" assets of the bankruptcy estate for that purpose to the detriment of other creditors of the debtor.
In this area, unlike the labor area, no federal legislation has been adopted to date that seeks to reconcile the competing bankruptcy and environmental law policies. The issue has been addressed on a case-by-case basis by court decisions in different jurisdictions that attempt to establish various guidelines for reconciliation of the competing policies. Thus, the ability of creditors, environmental regulators and public advocates to predict the outcome of the policy conflict in a given case will be largely dependent on the specific facts of each case and the controlling law of the jurisdiction in which the debtor is located. -H.L.S.
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