Doubts About State-Mandated Power Contracts

Law360, New York (February 4, 2014, 2:14 PM EST) -- Two recent federal district court decisions, one in Maryland and one in New Jersey, found that state programs directing local utilities to sign long-term contracts with independent power producers were unconstitutional.

The decisions raise questions about the authority of states in general to direct utilities to purchase capacity and energy in wholesale under specific state mandates, including renewable portfolio standards. These decisions were at the trial court level and are subject to appellate review. Both decisions were appealed to U.S. courts of appeal in late November....
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