Chip Cannon Quoted by Law360 on FERC Ruling re: Order No. 1,000

Law360 for its article “FERC Reversal Tilts Playing Field For Transmission Projects” quoted Akin Gump energy regulation, markets & enforcement partner Chip Cannon Jr. on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) ruling that state laws favoring incumbent utilities, such as those concerning right of first refusal, do not have to be ignored to comply with its Order No. 1,000.

Cannon said the ruling could exclude potential projects from the planning process by making state and local requirements too demanding. "If you have a project that might not necessarily get state approval, you can't participate in the process in the beginning," he said. "I think it's another barrier to entry for the independent developers of transmission because it makes it that much more difficult to become eligible to actually participate in the process."

He agreed with a majority of FERC commissioners from the standpoint of seeing that noncompliance with state laws does not hobble a project: "I think that the states and the transmission providers in their filings made legitimate arguments as to the inefficient allocation of resources for projects that wouldn't be able to get the necessary approvals."

Cannon concluded by noting that independent developers, likely to dispute the ruling, should base their arguments on the dissent from FERC Commissioner John Norris. "If I were representing an independent transmission developer, I would take a close look at Commissioner Norris' arguments and weave them into a request for rehearing."

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