Law360 Quotes Chip Cannon on FERC’s Interpretation of Its Order No. 1,000

Akin Gump’s Chip Cannon, a partner in the firm’s energy regulatory practice, was quoted by Law360 for its article “FERC Takes Hard Line With New Power Transmission Rule” on the topic of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recent rejection of Duke Energy Corp.’s interpretation of FERC’s Order No. 1,000.

Order No. 1,000 requires utilities to formulate plans to meet regional power transmission needs. It also introduces competitive bidding into new transmission facility construction and removal of federal right-of-first-refusal (ROFR) to transmission projects by incumbent utilities, along with other provisions. Regarding a FERC interpretation of this Order that some commentators consider narrow, Cannon notes, “Order No. 1,000 was a fight to get out. It's not surprising that FERC didn't want to lose ground in the compliance phase.”

Regarding FERC’s ruling in the Duke Energy matter that Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. and regional operator PJM Interconnection didn’t do enough to remove ROFR provisions from their tariffs, he notes “FERC is drawing the lines pretty narrowly. At the end of the day, the majority at FERC wanted to eliminate the federal right of first refusal and I just didn't see Mobile-Sierra [the public interest standard deriving from two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that states that FERC must presume that rates established by contract are ‘just and reasonable’ unless a contract ‘seriously harms the public interest’] challenging that.”