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The Eleventh Circuit denied a petition for review of the Commission's decision to revoke petitioner's license to generate hydroelectricity at the Juliette Dam. The court held that the Commission was authorized to revoke petitioner's license under section 823b of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 823b, because petitioner violated a compliance order by never submitting effectiveness protocols or documentation of its consultation with the Resource Agencies and substantial evidence supported the Commission's conclusion that the violation was done knowingly. Furthermore, the record showed that petitioner was given adequate notice and opportunity to be heard and that the Commission took into consideration the nature and seriousness of petitioner's violation and its compliance efforts. The court rejected petitioner's remaining arguments. View "Eastern Hydroelectric Corp. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Nebraska Power Review Board (Board) transferring two newly annexed territories from the Elkhorn Rural Public Power District (ERPPD) to the City of Neligh’s electrical service area and assessing the economic impact at $490,445.90. At issue on appeal was what compensation was owed to ERPPD for reintegration costs under Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1010(2)(b). The Court held that the Board’s actions were arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable because the Board erred in failing to award compensation for reintegration costs under section 70-1010(2)(b) to ERPPD for the lost substation unit. View "In re Application of City of Neligh" on Justia Law

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In 2016, the court of appeal held that if the advocacy of an intervenor contributes to a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proceeding by assisting CPUC in the making of any order or decision (Pub. Util. Code 1802(i))[3]) that is part of the final resolution of the proceeding, whether or not on the merits, CPUC may determine whether, in its judgment, the intervenor’s contribution was substantial enough to merit a compensation award. The court of appeal vacated CPUC's subsequent award. CPUC's determination of “substantial contribution” to some interim or procedural “order or decision” is not alone, sufficient to justify "awarding every penny" claimed for work in connection with the proceeding as a whole. CPUC needed to show how its findings fit into the statutory requirement that compensable work be traceable to some “order or decision,” which is a measure of whether an intervenor achieved some degree of advocacy success. CPUC retains ample discretion to assess whether a given type of contribution counts as “substantial” in a proceeding. In exercising that discretion, CPUC may recognize that even small victories may have a major impact on the course of a proceeding, but there must still be some objective indication of successful advocacy. The remand decisions did not trace the amounts of fees and costs to specific orders or decisions. View "New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC v. Public Utilities Commission" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Edison, alleging claims related to the flow of electricity due to neutral-to-earth voltage (NEV) that came from Edison's electrical substation and flowed onto plaintiff's property. On retrial, the jury found in favor of plaintiff and awarded her damages on her nuisance claim, but the trial court denied plaintiff's motion for attorney fees. Both parties appealed. The Court of Appeals held that, based upon the evidence presented at trial, the court could not conclude as a matter of law that the harm plaintiff suffered did not outweigh the public benefit of Edison's conduct. The court held, however, that the trial court erred in admitting irrelevant evidence related to stray voltage incidents involving prior owners or tenants of the house or other properties, and that the admission of that evidence was prejudicial to Edison. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment and remanded for retrial of the nuisance claim. The court dismissed as moot plaintiff's cross-appeal. View "Wilson v. Southern California Edison Co." on Justia Law

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NorthWestern challenged FERC's determination that its proposed rate was not just and reasonable. The DC Circuit held that FERC's decision in this case was reasonable and reasonably explained where FERC reasonably modified NorthWestern's proposed cost-calculation ratio by excluding the megawatts associated with "regulation down" from the numerator; FERC did not arbitrarily increase the denominator of NorthWestern's proposed cost-calculation ratio; FERC's decision on fuel costs was reasonable and reasonably explained; and FERC acted reasonably by requiring NorthWestern to make separate Section 205 filings. The court also held that FERC properly decided to treat this case like an ordinary over-collection case and ordered a refund. Therefore, the court denied the petition for review. View "NorthWestern Corp. v. FERC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court adopted the decision of the trial court as a statement of the facts and the applicable law on the issues raised in this case regarding whether Plaintiff’s claim was justiciable and not rendered moot by subsequent legislation or barred by the doctrine of laches. Plaintiff, the town of Glastonbury, brought this action seeking a determination that, prior to 2014, the Metropolitan District Commission (Defendant), a quasi-municipal corporation that provides potable water to eight member and five nonmember towns, unlawfully imposed surcharges on it and other nonmember towns. While the action was pending, the legislature enacted No. 14-21 of the 2014 Special Acts (S.A. 14-21), which authorized Defendant to impose a surcharge on nonmember towns under certain conditions. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that S.A. 14-21 was retroactive and rendered Plaintiff’s claim moot. The trial court denied the motion, ruling that the special act was not retroactive and that the surcharges imposed prior to the passage of the special act were unlawful. The Supreme Court affirmed. View "Glastonbury v. Metropolitan District Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court adopted the decision of the trial court as a statement of the facts and the applicable law on the issues raised in this case regarding whether Plaintiff’s claim was justiciable and not rendered moot by subsequent legislation or barred by the doctrine of laches. Plaintiff, the town of Glastonbury, brought this action seeking a determination that, prior to 2014, the Metropolitan District Commission (Defendant), a quasi-municipal corporation that provides potable water to eight member and five nonmember towns, unlawfully imposed surcharges on it and other nonmember towns. While the action was pending, the legislature enacted No. 14-21 of the 2014 Special Acts (S.A. 14-21), which authorized Defendant to impose a surcharge on nonmember towns under certain conditions. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that S.A. 14-21 was retroactive and rendered Plaintiff’s claim moot. The trial court denied the motion, ruling that the special act was not retroactive and that the surcharges imposed prior to the passage of the special act were unlawful. The Supreme Court affirmed. View "Glastonbury v. Metropolitan District Commission" on Justia Law

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Crown proposed to install 13 microcell transmitters on utility poles, primarily in the public right of way, as part of a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in the Day Valley area, a rural portion of unincorporated Aptos. A staff report characterized the microcells as “relatively visually inconspicuous” small structures Santa Cruz County concluded that Crown’s DAS project was categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Resources Code 21000) and rejected a claim that an exception to the exemption applied for “unusual circumstances” or “cumulative impact.” The court of appeal affirmed the superior court in upholding the approval. The court rejected arguments that the county: failed to consider the entire project and instead improperly segmented the project by considering each microcell individually; in determining that the “cumulative impact” exception did not apply, failed to consider information submitted by opponents that AT&T was interested in putting cell transmitters in the Day Valley area; erroneously concluded that the “location” exception and the “unusual circumstances” exception did not apply based on the residential agricultural nature of the area. Opponents produced no evidence that it is unusual for small structures to be used to provide utility extensions in a rural area. View "Aptos Residents Association v. County of Santa Cruz" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit dismissed KCC's petition for review, holding that KCC has not suffered an injury in fact sufficient to establish standing. KCC asserted that the Commission acted unlawfully by approving formula rates—which help determine the electric rates charged by public utilities to consumers in FERC jurisdictions—for future public utilities to use in operating electric transmission facilities. The court held that KCC failed to affirmatively demonstrate how it was adversely affected by the FERC's order and there was no substantial probability that the harms KCC identified would occur. View "Kansas Corporation Commission v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Petitioners challenged four FERC orders that uphold the current iteration of the Tariff that governs electricity rates in New England. The Tariff, a patchwork of rules and orders adopted by the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) and approved by FERC, governs how Forward Capacity Market participants buy and sell future capacity. The DC Circuit granted the petitions for review, holding that FERC failed to offer adequate rationale and explanation in the challenged orders. In this case, FERC failed to respond to the substantial arguments put forward by petitioners and failed to square its decision with its past precedent. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "New England Power Generators Association, Inc. v. FERC" on Justia Law