New York v. Fed. Energy Regulatory Comm'n, No. 13-2316 (2d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has regulatory authority over interstate aspects of the nation’s electric power system, but not over “facilities used in local distribution or only for the transmission of electric energy in intrastate commerce,” 16 U.S.C. 824(a). FERC entered orders adopting standards and procedures for determining which power distribution facilities are subject to the agency’s regulatory jurisdiction and which facilities fall within the statutory exception for local distribution of electric energy. The state and the Public Service Commission of the State of New York challenged the standards and procedures as an unreasonable interpretation of the agency’s statutory grant of jurisdiction and as arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. The Second Circuit upheld the orders as reasonably interpreting the agency’s regulatory jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act as amended by the Electricity Modernization Act of 2005 and supported by sufficient explanation and substantial evidence as required by the Administrative Procedure Act.