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People ex rel. Harris v. FERC

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

April 29, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General; PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA; PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY; SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON; Petitioners,
v.
FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, Respondent, SHELL ENERGY NORTH AMERICA (U.S.), L.P.; TRANSCANADA ENERGY LTD.; MPS MERCHANT SERVICES, INC.; MIECO, INC.; HAFSLUND ENERGY TRADING LLC; MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL SERVICES, INC.; KOCH ENERGY TRADING, INC.; ILLINOVA CORPORATION; COMMERCE ENERGY INC.; ALLEGHENY ENERGY SUPPLY COMPANY LLC; Respondents-Intervenors

February 11, 2015, Argued and Submitted, San Francisco, California

Page 1268

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC No. EL02-71-036.

PETITION GRANTED; REMANDED.

SUMMARY[*]

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The panel granted a petition for review brought by the people of the state of California and related parties challenging a series of orders issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on remand following the panel's decision in California ex rel. Lockyer v. FERC, 383 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2004), concerning market-based energy tariffs.

In Lockyer, the panel held that FERC could authorize market-based energy tariffs, so long as that regulatory framework incorporated both an ex ante marker power analysis and enforceable post-approval transaction reporting. The panel remanded because FERC had not appropriately implemented the market-based tariff.

The panel held that FERC structured the remand proceedings in a manner contrary to the terms of the Lockyer decision. The panel further held that FERC omitted a necessary component of the market-based tariff approved in Lockyer by insisting on proof of market concentration under its hub-and-spoke test as a precondition to any relief for reporting deficiencies. The panel held that reliance on the hub-and-spoke market share measure alone immunized sellers from any consequence for failure to report market transactions and ignored the agency's statutory charge under § 205 of the Federal Power Act: to determine whether sellers charged a " just and reasonable" rate. The panel remanded for further proceedings.

Kevin J. McKeon (argued), Judith D. Cassel, and Whitney E. Snyder, Hawke McKeon & Sniscak LLP, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California, Mark Breckler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, and Martin Goyette, Senior Assistant Attorney General, San Francisco, California; David M. Gustafson, Deputy Attorney General, Oakland, California, for Petitioner.

Frank R. Lindh, Sarah R. Thomas, Christopher E. Clay, Candace J. Morey, and Charlyn A. Hook, Public Utilities Commission of the State of California, San Francisco, California, for Petitioner Public Utilities Commission of the State of California.

Richard L. Roberts and Catherine M. Giovannoni, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington, D.C.; Russell C. Swartz, J. Eric Isken, and Russell Archer, Southern California Edison Co., Rosemead, California, for Petitioner Southern California Edison Company.

Stan Berman, Eric Todderud, and Heather Curlee, Sidley Austin LLP, Seattle, Washington; Mark D. Patrizio and Joshua Levenberg, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Francisco, California, for Petitioner Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Beth G. Pacella (argued), Senior Attorney, David L. Morenoff, Acting General Counsel, and Robert H. Solomon, Solicitor, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

David C. Frederick (argued), Scott H. Angstreich, and Brendan J. Crimmins, Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C., Washington, D.C., for Respondents-Intervenors Shell Energy North America (U.S.), L.P., TransCanada Energy Ltd., MPS Merchant Services, Inc., MIECO, Inc., Hafslund Energy Trading LLC, Merrill Lynch Capital Services, Inc., Koch Energy Trading, Inc., Illinova Corporation, Commerce Energy Inc., and Allegheny Energy Supply Company LLC.

Jeffrey D. Watkiss, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Washington, D.C., for Respondent-Intervenor Shell Energy North America (U.S.), L.P.

Kenneth L. Wiseman, Mark F. Sundback, William M. Rappolt, and Allison E. Hellreich, Andrews Kurth LLP, Washington, D.C., for Respondent-Intervenor TransCanada Energy Ltd.

John N. Estes III and Karis Anne Gong, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Washington, D.C., for Respondents-Intervenors MPS Merchant Services, Inc. and Illinova Corporation.

Steven A. Weiler and Robert C. Fallon, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Washington, D.C., for Respondent-Intervenor MIECO, Inc.

Stephen Angle and Damien R. Lyster, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., Washington, D.C., for Respondent-Intervenor Hafslund Energy Trading LLC.

Catherine M. Krupka and Alexandra D. Konieczny, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Washington, D.C., for Respondents-Intervenors Merrill Lynch Capital Services, Inc. and Commerce Energy Inc.

William E. Schroeder and Aliya M. McLendon, Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP, New York, New York, for Respondent-Intervenor Koch Energy Trading, Inc.

Gordon A. Coffee and Steffen N. Johnson, Winston & Strawn LLP, Washington, D.C., for Respondent-Intervenor Allegheny ...


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