Justia Utilities Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Montana Consumer Counsel v. FERC; Upper Peninsula Power Co., et al. v. FERC; Public Citizen, Inc., et al. v. FERC
This case stemmed from FERC's statutory mandate set out in the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824-824w, to ensure that all rates and charges made, demanded, or received by power wholesalers were just and reasonable. Petitioners subsequently sought review of FERC's final order (Order 697), contending that the order violated FERC's governing statutes. In Order 697, FERC codified the existing limited market-based policy, along with multiple enhancements, in a final rule. At issue was whether the market-based regulatory policy established by FERC's order was permissible under the law. Taking into account Chevron deference, the law of the circuit, other relevant precedent, and the direction of the Supreme Court as to how the court should approach such administrative law issues concerning federal agencies, the court concluded that Order 697 did not per se violate the FPA. View "Montana Consumer Counsel v. FERC; Upper Peninsula Power Co., et al. v. FERC; Public Citizen, Inc., et al. v. FERC" on Justia Law
Center for Environmental Law and Policy, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, et al.
This case stemmed from a challenge by environmental groups to a proposed incremental drawdown of water from Lake Roosevelt in eastern Washington. At issue was whether the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) took a "hard look" and genuinely scrutinized the environmental consequence of its proposed action. The court held that, under its precedents and the circumstances presented, Reclamation's actions did not violate the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. The court also held that its review revealed no other deficiencies in the substance of the Environmental Assessment (EA), and although Reclamation took several steps toward implementing the drawdown project before drafting the EA, it scrupulously adhered to NEPA's timing requirements. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Center for Environmental Law and Policy, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, et al." on Justia Law