NRG Power Marketing v. Maine Public Utilities Commission - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 08-06-10 featuring Ashley C. Parrish

August 6, 2010

Ashley C. Parrish

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  NRG Power Marketing v. Maine Public Utilities Commission - Post-Decision SCOTUScast - MP3
Running Time: 00:09:20

Ashley C. ParrishOn January 13, 2010, the Supreme Court announced its decision in NRG Power Marketing v. Maine Public Utilities Commission. Under the Court's Mobile-Sierra doctrine, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must presume that a wholesale-electricity rate set by "a freely negotiated wholesale-energy contract" meets the statutory "just and reasonable" requirement. The question in this case was whether the identity of a complainant affects the Mobile-Sierra presumption.

In an 8-1 opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held the Mobile-Sierra presumption does not depend upon the identify of the complainant seeking investigation. The Court reasoned that if FERC must presume a just and reasonable contract rate from fair, arms-length negotiations, noncontracting parties cannot escape that presumption. Furthermore the Mobile-Sierra doctrine does not neglect the interests of third-parties because it directs FERC, notwithstanding the presumption, to reject a contract rate that seriously harms the consuming public.

To discuss the case, we have Ashley C. Parrish, who is a partner at King & Spalding LLP.

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Related Links

Opinion - January 13, 2010 (PDF)
Oral Argument Transcript - November 3, 2009 (PDF)