Supreme Court set to hear state-federal power market jurisdiction case today
- The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in a consolidated case examining state incentives to construct new power plants, and whether those incentives would distort federal power markets under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee.
- This is the third high profile energy case the court has heard in recent years which deals with state-federal jurisdictional issues, Greenwire reports, but the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia has made it difficult to predict which way the court will lean.
- In 2015 the high court determined state lawsuits against energy companies were not preempted by FERC's authority, and earlier this year the judges sided with federal regulators over demand response participation in wholesale markets.
Supreme Court decisions involving the utility sector world are relatively rare, which has made the last year so unusual and important. The court will hear arguments today in the consolidated cases of Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing and CPV Maryland LLC v. Talen Energy Marketing. Greenwire reports the trio of decisions will help clarify the limits limits of FERC's jurisdiction.
Maryland and a group of generators appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the programs do not directly set wholesale prices, but instead simply provide financial arrangements to facilitate new generation construction. Both states initiated their programs due to concerns that the PJM market structure is too focused on the short term to provide reliability and low rates years into the future.
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