In its March 2005 report to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) repeated its request for enhanced civil penalty authority. When Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT), it granted FERC all the authority that it had requested, and more. The new director of FERC’s Office of Market Oversight and Investigations (OMOI) called the new penalty authority “awesome.”1
FERC Versus Bankruptcy Jurisdiction:
Two recent articles in the 1 discussed conflicts that have emerged in the last 18 months over the respective jurisdictions of bankruptcy courts under the Bankruptcy Code2 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Federal Power Act.3 This occurs when a debtor seeks the bankruptcy court's approval under Section 365(a) of the code4 to reject a wholesale electricity sales contract that is a FERC-jurisdictional rate.
How the filed-rate policy wreaks havoc- and what courts can do about it.
Like many venerable legal rules, the filed-rate doctrine is rarely questioned. Over the last century, it has served many important purposes. However, with deregulated wholesale electric power markets at the federal level and various degrees of deregulation across the states, both the doctrine's continued applicability and usefulness are suspect.
Critics say FERC's filed rate doctrine is wrong for the times.
It's quite remarkable how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been able to pound a square peg into a round hole. With not much more than a wink and a smile, FERC has taken a depression-era law meant for monopolies-the Federal Power Act (FPA)-and has made it serve double duty as a foundation for competitive power markets.
The commission's power grab over bankruptcy courts condemns merchants to a corporate netherworld.
Since we last visited the conflict between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and bankruptcy courts over who decides whether a debtor can terminate unprofitable power contracts,1 a new district court decision out of Texas has come down tilting the field in favor of FERC's assertion of exclusive authority.
Will the CFTC move Into FERC's house?
Most of us in the energy industry have long thought that the "transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce" falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The same goes for electric sales at wholesale, if also conducted in interstate commerce. We know that because the law1 and the courts tell us so. And natural gas is much the same.2
Feds seek plug-and-play for distributed generation, but utilities want the power to stay local.
Pity the poor Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). With its market crusade out of favor, and transmission reform suddenly suspect after the Aug. 14 blackout, it could use a new agenda.
Irregular seams affect ratemaking policies.
In a case that marks the first time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission eliminated inter-RTO rate pancaking, the commission in late July issued an order terminating regional through-and-out rates (RTORs) charged by two regional transmission owners (RTOs)-Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) and PJM Interconnection. The decision removes an estimated $250 million in yearly fees collected by those two entities.
Why FERC must yield to bankruptcy law.
How will regulators react if the current trickle of bankruptcies within the debt-laden merchant power sector should suddenly become a torrent? Will they encourage the necessary restrcturing of debt, or will they stand in the way?
Proper authority and market monitoring and mitigation could make the system work.
In the last few years we have watched appalled as the western U.S. electricity markets collapsed, taking with them the solvency and viability of several very large participants, including the California Power Exchange (PX).