"Var" Wars: The States Strike Back
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Long ago, before deregulation, states could (and often did) dictate the menu of desired generation resources through a combination of rate regulation and economic incentives. After deregulation, this role was supplanted by market forces and state incentives (including renewable portfolio standards), which periodically conflict.
Last year, two lawsuits in New Jersey and Maryland pitted traditional state planning authority against federal oversight of competitive energy markets. District courts in both states ruled that federal market oversight trumps state resource planning interests and struck down state subsidies designed to promote construction of specific gas-fired generation resources.
The Maryland and New Jersey state governments have appealed these decisions. The states want to restore their traditional role in resource planning and economic development, while the plaintiffs (primarily utilities) seek to defend the price integrity of markets run by regional transmission organizations.
The appeals could have significant knock-on effects depending on who prevails: if the lower court rulings are affirmed, states could lose the ability to provide incentives for power projects that support environmental goals (e.g., renewable portfolio standards) and/or economic development; if the rulings are reversed, plaintiffs could be subjected to what they describe as "market manipulation"; and all stakeholders dissatisfied with the status quo lose as long as the current stand-off continues.
Please join us for a spirited discussion of these and related issues and how resolution of the cases on appeal could affect the ability of States to integrate renewable energy into their generation fleets. This panel of esteemed speakers features Craig Roach, an expert witness in both lawsuits; Steven Ferrey, an expert on cooperative federalism; and Edward Comer, who is responsible for all legal issues affecting the Edison Electric Insitute (EEI), an association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies.
Q & A Submission:
Q & A both on the teleconference and live at the host firm sites, will follow the speakers' presentations. Please email questions to
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Eastern
11:00 am - 12:30 pm Central
10:00 am - 11:30 am Mountain
9:00 am - 10:30 am Pacific
8:00 am - 9:30 am Alaskan
Kimberly E. Diamond, Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Roger D. Stark, Stoel Rives LLP
Sarah A.W. Fitts, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Todd Foley, SVP Policy & Government Relations, ACORE
Roger D. Stark, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP
Craig Roach, President & Founder, Boston Pacific Inc.
Steven Ferrey, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School
Edward Comer, Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Edison Electric Institute