NRG Power Mktg., L.L.C. v. Maine Public Util. Comm'n
Public Utilities, Contracts
Section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e(a), requires that rates for the transmission and sale of electricity in interstate commerce be "just and reasonable." Under the Mobile-Sierra doctrine-named for this Court's decisions in United Gas Pipeline Co. v. Mobile Gas Service Corp., 350 U.S. 332 (1956), and FPC v. Sierra Pacific Power Co., 350 U.S. 348 (1956)-the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") must "presume that the rate set out in a freely negotiated wholesale-energy contract meets the 'just and reasonable' requirement imposed by law," and that "presumption may be overcome only if FERC concludes that the contract seriously harms the public interest." Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Pub. Util. Dist. No.1, 128 S. Ct. 2733, 2737 (2008). In the decision below, the court of appeals held that, ''when a rate challenge is brought by a non-contracting third party, the Mobile-Sierra doctrine simply does not apply." The question presented is:
Whether Mobile-Sierra's public-interest standard applies when a contract rate is challenged by an entity that was not a party to the contract.
Robert J. Deichert
Assistant Attorney General
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