US Supreme Court rules against Maryland over power plant subsidies
Apr 20, 2016 03:31 AM EDT
On Tuesday, the US top court ruled against the efforts made by Maryland to revive a program that would serve the power needs of its residents. They wish to subsidize the use of natural gas-fired electricity plant constructions in a case weighing state versus federal authority.
According to Reuters, following the 8-0 ruling, liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that Maryland's proposal would be an infringement to US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority to regulate interstate wholesale electricity sales. The case indicates whether the state's actions to encourage power generation through subsidies and incentives would ran a foul against the federal government's energy authority.
The ruling would be used to address the same case of a proposed program in New Jersey.
Yahoo wrote that Ginsburg added that "states may not seek to achieve ends, however legitimate, through regulatory means that intrude on FERC's authority over interstate wholesale rates, as Maryland has done here." The states of Maryland and New Jersey's programs were already contested by power company PPL Corp and other generators. Meanwhile, the states are known to be backed by companies that want to build new plants, including CPV Holdings.
ABC published that the unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court would be a major setback for other states and that the case involves a 2012 decision by state regulators to order construction of natural gas power plant. Ginsburg noted that "Nothing in this opinion should be read to foreclose Maryland and other states from encouraging production of new or clean generation through measures untethered to a generator's wholesale market participation."
The New Jersey program was enacted through a law in 2011 and the Maryland Public Service Commission tried to adopt their own version later. In same circumstances, the 2014 decision of the appeals court already ruled against the states' programs saying that they are infringing upon federal authority.