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  1. Resignation of FERC Chair creates review backlog and potential gridlock

    The resignation of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Norman C. Bay leaves the FERC with only two Commissioners serving on the five-member commission. “The Commission requires a quorum of three members to issue substantive orders, regulations, and policy initiatives,” said Jay Ryan, a partner with Baker Botts based in Washington. “Given the backlog of Trump Administration nominees currently pending before the Senate, it could take several weeks or months for a new FERC Commissioner to be nominated and confirmed,” added Mr. Ryan. As a result, the FERC will not be able to resolve pending proceedings, conduct other official business and could fail to meet key deadlines established in federal statutes. The lack of a quorum is also likely to impact the FERC’s oversight and enforcement activities, since the FERC will be unable to issue orders approving audit findings, settlements of investigations, and orders to show cause. “This creates a huge potential challenge for regulated utilities and energy companies. For example, under the Natural Gas Act and Federal Power Act, regulated companies are required to file changes to rates and tariffs 30 and 60 days, respectively, prior to the date upon which they become effective,” said Ryan. “However, if the FERC fails to act within the time that those rates go into effect, the changes become effective automatically and if the FERC wishes to order further changes, it would have to do so under statutory provisions that place a heavier burden on the agency. Further, any requests for rehearing of the FERC’s orders under those statutes that are not acted upon by the FERC within a prescribed period are automatically denied,” added Ryan. “One of the more significant effects that the lack of a quorum could have is in delaying the approval of any natural gas pipeline projects currently pending before the agency. The FERC staff can continue to prepare environmental documents and otherwise develop the record in major pipeline construction project proceedings,” said Brooksany Barrowes, a Washington based partner. “Only the Commissioners, acting on the authority of the FERC, can currently approve those projects. Given the need for expanded gas infrastructure and the narrow construction window many projects face, this could be a major issue,” added Barrowes.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 27 Jan 2017

  2. In energy review, DOE calls for upgrading power grid technology

    DOE said that of the initial report’s 63 recommendations, 21 are fully or partially reflected in federal law and 29 have been fully implemented through actions by the administration

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 16 Jan 2017

  3. FERC Order 1000 is working slowly, but it is working

    Panelist David DesLauriers, director, Black & Veatch Management Consulting, noted that all of the regions have their regional plans approved by FERC

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 29 Nov 2016

  4. FERC proposal could improve conditions for U.S. pumped-storage development

    A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month could help increase the role of pumped-storage within the United States.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 30 Nov 2016

  1. FERC rejects appeal over its authority on small hydro projects on Reclamation properties

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 22 Sep 2016

  2. FERC may revise how it assesses market power in electric utility mergers

    FERC said that there are several areas where its market power analyses for both areas differ, noting that while some of those differences may be appropriate, others may not be

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 27 Sep 2016

  3. Garland Power & Light transmission line moves forward in Texas

    The PUC said that Garland is to build the Garland project along route RP9

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 29 Aug 2016

  4. First day of TransForum East to feature speakers from ISO-NE, PJM, PSE&G, others

    The event will be held on Nov. 15-16 at The Capital Hilton hotel

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 19 Oct 2016

  5. Supreme Court finds Maryland generation law preempted by FERC jurisdiction

    High court said contract with CPV Maryland affected PJM market

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 21 Apr 2016

  6. Massachusetts Gas Plant Owner, Managers Plead Guilty to Tampering & False Reporting

    Berkshire Power Co. (BPC) and Power Plant Management Services (PPMS) agreed to plead guilty and pay $8.5 million in fines on felony charges that workers tampered with emissions control monitors and submitted false information at a gas-fired plant in Massachusetts.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 4 Apr 2016

  7. SCOTUS hears third energy policy case: Federalism vs. states’ rights

    The Talen Energy case argued this week involved efforts by Maryland and New Jersey to incentivize wholesale power generating plants to be built in their states  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 26 Feb 2016

  8. FERC denies request for PSE&G transmission project rehearing

    The Bergen–Linden Corridor Project includes the construction of 26 single-circuit miles of new overhead 345-kV lines and 30 miles of underground circuits

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 16 May 2016

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