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Legal Alert: Patronage Capital Case Dismissed

A federal court in Pennsylvania has dismissed a putative class action against REA Energy Cooperative seeking the return of approximately $53 million in patronage capital. The court found that state law and the cooperative’s bylaws allowed the board of directors to determine when patronage capital would be returned to members. The court rejected the plaintiffs’ attempts to limit the...

Legal Alert: Power Surge: TCPA Litigation and the Energy Industry

Few industries have been spared from the recent wave of class actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The energy sector is no exception. TCPA cases against electricity and natural gas providers are on the rise with more than half a dozen such cases filed in 2015 in federal courts in Texas, New York, Ohio, Florida, California, and other states, in addition to...

FERC Expands SGIA and SGIP to Cover Energy Storage

On Friday, November 22, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) revised its standardized Small Generator Interconnection Agreements (SGIA) and Procedures (SGIP).  The changes are intended to make the interconnection of small generators (20 MW or smaller) greener and more efficient.  Read the full Sutherland Legal...

Litigation Update on 14 Patronage Capital Cases in Eight States

Since 2009, at least 14 cases have been filed against electric cooperatives over patronage capital (or capital credits) in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.  Sutherland has previously issued Legal Alerts regarding these cases—most are in active litigation, some have apparently settled (or are close to settling),...

Out With the Old, in With the New – CIP Version 5 on the Horizon

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed a rule to approve the long-awaited Version 5 of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards, which will overhaul the CIP regulatory framework and trigger new and revised compliance obligations for many users, owners and operators of the bulk electric...

Sequestration to Cause CREBs Payments to be Reduced by 8.7%

The Office of Management and Budget has issued its Report to the Congress on the budget sequestration for federal fiscal year 2013 required by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended by the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Interest subsidy payments for New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (New CREBs) are among the federal programs impacted by sequestration. ...

Sequestration to Cause CREBs Payments to be Reduced by 8.7%

The Office of Management and Budget has issued its Report to the Congress on the budget sequestration for federal fiscal year 2013 required by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended by the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Interest subsidy payments for New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (New CREBs) are among the federal programs impacted by sequestration. ...

New Regulation Under Cybersecurity Executive Order

President Obama has issued an Executive Order to address the growing cyber threat to the Nation’s “critical infrastructure.”  The energy industry should pay attention, both for regulatory compliance purposes and also as a matter of sound business practice, in the face of the increasing security threat posed by cyber attacks.  Read the full Sutherland Legal...

New Reliability Compliance Opportunities in 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) closed out 2012 with several orders affecting reliability compliance. FERC adopted a revised definition of the “bulk electric system,” authorized FERC access to e-Tags used to schedule power transmission, and affirmed the authority of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to assess monetary penalties against federally...

An Activist Framework for Cybersecurity Oversight

Three recent initiatives by different arms of the federal government intended to help combat cyber threats to the nation’s critical energy infrastructure reveal an activist approach to regulating cybersecurity.  At this juncture, it is difficult to ascertain the legal and political ramifications of the three initiatives, but members of the energy sector should pay attention — the...

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