High court strikes down Maryland power plant subsidies

The Associated Press

A unanimous Supreme Court says Maryland officials overstepped their authority when they offered financial subsidies to encourage construction of a new power plant in the state.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court says Maryland officials overstepped their authority when they offered financial subsidies to encourage construction of a new power plant in the state.

The justices ruled Tuesday that the Maryland plan interferes with federal law governing wholesale electricity rates.

The ruling is a setback for Maryland and other states that want to ensure a reliable supply of electricity for customers at reasonable rates.

The case involves a 2012 decision by state regulators to order construction of natural gas power plant. Officials offered the winning bidder a financial incentive by requiring utilities to buy electricity from the plant for 20 years at a fixed price.

Lower courts sided with rival power suppliers who said the incentive interfered with pricing in wholesale markets, which are subject to federal regulation.

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