Law360 Quotes Jennifer Mersing on 2016 Supreme Court Rulings Favorable to FERC

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"In demand response, you had an affirmative extension of FERC's jurisdiction; in Hughes, you have a negative restriction of state jurisdiction. It's two sides of the same coin. There's a lot of overlap." —Attorney Jennifer Mersing on the outcome of two U.S. Supreme Court rulings with regard to FERC’s jurisdiction
Stoel Rives attorney Jennifer Mersing was quoted in a Law360 article titled “The Biggest Energy Rulings Of 2016.” The article discusses significant energy-related rulings from the courts in 2016, including several that concerned the limits of authority of FERC. 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of FERC in January when the justices held that FERC had the authority under the Federal Power Act (FPA) to require that consumers in organized markets be paid for using less power during periods of high demand, reversing a lower court decision that found that FERC’s demand response rule exceeded its authority by trespassing on the states’ exclusive authority in retail electricity markets. 

In April, the Supreme Court ruled in Hughes et al. v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC et al. that a Maryland program that offered subsidies for new gas-fired power plant construction based on participation in an organized capacity market was preempted under the FPA because it disregarded the interstate wholesale rate established by FERC through its regulation of the capacity auctions. 

"If you look at the demand response in conjunction with the Hughes case, it shows the court is having an expansive view of FERC's jurisdiction, especially compared to the states," said Mersing. 

Read “The Biggest Energy Rulings Of 2016,” published December 15, 2016. (Subscription required.)  

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