On October 31, 2018, FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee submitted comments (“October 31 Comments”) on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) proposed rule, the Affordable Clean Energy rule (“ACE Rule”).  If approved, the ACE Rule would implement new regulations for states to develop plans to reduce Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emissions from certain existing Electric Utility Generating Units.  Chairman Chatterjee’s comments generally supported the ACE Rule. Continue Reading FERC Chairman Files Comments with EPA on Affordable Clean Energy Rule

On July 18, 2018, FERC affirmed its Revised Policy Statement on Treatment of Income Taxes (“Revised Policy Statement”), where FERC stated that it will generally not permit master-limited partnerships (“MLPs”) to recover income tax allowance in their cost of service.  In doing so, FERC dismissed requests for clarification and rehearing of its Revised Policy Statement, reiterating that tax pass-through entities (including MLPs) that recover an income tax allowance in addition to a return on equity (“ROE”) based on the discounted cash flow (“DCF”) methodology double recover investors’ tax costs.  FERC did however explain that while pass-through entities may eliminate previously-accumulated sums of accumulated deferred income tax (“ADIT”) from their cost of service, they did not need to refund those ADIT balances to ratepayers.  Continue Reading FERC Affirms Policy on Income Tax Allowance for Gas Pipelines

On July 18, 2018, FERC issued Order No. 849, finalizing its procedures and regulations regarding the effect of reduced corporate income taxes on certain natural gas pipelines and their rates at FERC.  Notably, Order No. 849 requires interstate natural gas pipelines to submit “FERC Form No. 501-G,” an abbreviated cost and revenue study designed to illustrate the effect of reduced corporate tax rates, which FERC might then use to determine whether the pipeline’s rates may be unjust and unreasonable under the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”).  Continue Reading FERC Finalizes Procedures for Evaluating Income Tax Cuts on Gas Pipeline Rates

On July 19, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) that would update FERC’s regulations regarding interlocking positions.  According to the NOPR, the proposed revisions to parts 45 and 46 of the Commission’s regulations aim to “reflect statutory changes to the circumstances in which an applicant who would otherwise require Commission authorization to hold an interlocking position need not do so.” Continue Reading FERC Proposes Reforms to Regulations Governing Interlocking Positions

On May 17, 2018, FERC issued Order No. 833-A wherein it denied rehearing of Order No. 833 and granted, in part, Edison Electric Institute’s (“EEI”) request for clarification of Order No. 833.  Order No. 833 amended FERC’s regulations regarding Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (“CEII”), as directed by the FAST Act.  The FAST Act, signed into law on December 4, 2015, added section 215A to the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) to improve the security and resilience of energy infrastructure in the face of emergencies.  The FAST Act also directed FERC to issue regulations on the procedures for designating certain material as CEII, provided for the imposition of sanctions on any party who knowingly discloses CEII, and authorized the voluntary sharing of CEII material. Continue Reading FERC Clarifies CEII Rules

On March 17, 2018, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) proposing to eliminate the Licensed Hydropower Development Recreation Report, designated as FERC Form No. 80 (“Form 80”), which collects information on the use and development of recreational facilities at licensed hydropower projects.  In addition, FERC proposed in the NOPR to revise related regulations in order “to modernize public notice practices, clarify recreational signage requirements, and provide flexibility to assist licensees’ compliance efforts.”  Continue Reading FERC Proposes to Eliminate Form 80 for Hydroelectric Projects

On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a final rule (“Order No. 844”) addressing transparency in markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”).  FERC required that each RTO/ISO establish in its tariff: requirements to report information about uplift payments for each resource and transmission zone; requirements to report information on each operator-initiated commitment; and the transmission constraint penalty factors used in its market software.  Order No. 844 will become effective 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. Continue Reading FERC Issues Final Rule Regarding Transparency in Price Formation

On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a final rule (“Order No. 845”) revising its pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (“LGIP”) and the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) to address reforms of generator interconnection procedures and agreements for generators of more than 20 megawatts.  FERC adopted a majority of the reforms proposed in FERC’s December 15, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”). Continue Reading FERC Finalizes Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements Reforms

On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) seeking information regarding whether—and if so, how—to revise its policy for determining if a proposed natural gas pipeline is in the public convenience and necessity.  Specifically, the NOI requests information in four areas related to FERC’s policy for reviewing such certificate applications: (1) determining need for a pipeline project; (2) eminent domain issues; (3) evaluating environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and climate change; and (4) changes that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of FERC’s review. Continue Reading FERC Issues Notice of Inquiry into Pipeline Certificate Policy

On March 28, 2018, FERC partially accepted the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) Order No. 831 compliance filing (“March 28 Order”).  In Order Nos. 831 and 831-A, FERC required Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”) to amend their respective tariff provisions governing existing offer caps on incremental energy offers, which FERC determined was necessary to: (1) avoid suppressing Locational Marginal Prices (“LMPs”) below the marginal cost of production; and (2) fully compensate generation resources for the costs incurred to serve load (see November 21, 2016 edition of the WER).  Continue Reading FERC Partially Accepts MISO Order No. 831 Compliance Filing, Orders Further Modifications to MISO Tariff