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Court dismisses challenge to FERC California order

A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for ...

A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Tuesday dismissed the Western Power Trading Forum's (WPTF) challenge of a 1999 California law that attempted to limit the state Electricity Oversight Board's power over the California Independent System Operator and Power Exchange. The WPTF, which filed the suit after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted changes contained in the law, argued that the legislation failed to FERC's concerns that the duties of the EOB encroached on its jurisdiction and conflicted with commission requirements that the ISO board be independent of any market participants. In its ruling, the panel said developments that have occurred since the WPTF filed its suit have made many of the group's complaints moot.
Those developments included a November FERC order directing that the ISO's stakeholder board be replaced with a new board with no ties to the market and the commission's Dec 15 ruling that "essentially dissolved the PX" by releasing the state's investor-owned utilities from any obligation to exchange. On WPTF's third claim, that the Oversight Board's power to review substantive decisions by the ISO is unduly broad and that the board has shown itself to be biased in favor of California and "motivated to shift costs and burdens to out-of-state market participants," the court ruled that the group failed to show any actual injury and therefore lacks standing.