Mobile-Sierra doctrine

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in New England Power Generators Association, Inc. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Case No. 11-1422 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 15, 2013). In that case, the Court reviewed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC or Commission) determinations regarding the applicability of the Mobile-Sierra doctrine to a capacity market auction price.  Under the Mobile-Sierra doctrine, FERC must presume that the electricity rate set in a freely negotiated wholesale-energy contract meets the “just and reasonable” requirement of the Federal Power Act, and the presumption may be overcome only if FERC concludes that the contract seriously harms the public interest. Many have viewed this standard as “practically insurmountable.”
Continue Reading U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects Petitions for Review of FERC’s Decision on Mobile-Sierra Applicability to Forward Capacity Auction Rates

On October 18, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued Order No. 1000-B. Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities, Order No. 1000-B, 141 FERC ¶ 61,044 (2012). The Commission affirmed the determinations made in Order No. 1000-A, but granted clarifications on certain issues.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Order No. 1000-B (Acting on Rehearing and Clarification Requests of Order No. 1000-A)

The decades old MobileSierra doctrine has captured the attention of decision makers and energy law practitioners in great measures recently, prompted by the examination of various nuances long overdue for clarification.  Under the Mobile-Sierra doctrine, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) must presume that an electricity rate set in a freely negotiated wholesale-energy contract meets the “just and reasonable” requirement of the Federal Power Act, and the presumption may be overcome only if FERC concludes that the contract seriously harms the public interest.  Many have viewed this standard as “practically insurmountable.”
Continue Reading Supreme Court Reviews Longstanding Mobile-Sierra Doctrine

The decades old Mobile-Sierra doctrine has captured the attention of decision makers and energy law practitioners in great measures recently, prompted by the examination of various nuances long overdue for clarification.[1] Under the Mobile-Sierra doctrine, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) must presume that an electricity rate set in a freely negotiated wholesale-energy contract meets the “just and reasonable” requirement of the Federal Power Act, and the presumption may be overcome only if FERC concludes that the contract seriously harms the public interest.  Many have viewed this standard as “practically insurmountable.”
Continue Reading Supreme Court Reviews Longstanding Mobile-Sierra Doctrine