A panel from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a lower court’s decision to strike down a New Jersey law aimed at promoting new power generation facilities in the state. New Jersey’s Long Term Capacity Pilot Program Act guaranteed revenue to new generators by fixing rates – but the federal government has ‘exclusive control over interstate rates for wholesales of electric capacity,’ the judges wrote. “So when New Jersey arranged for LCAPP generators to receive preferential capacity rates, the state entered into a field of regulation beyond its authority,” wrote Judges Julio M. Fuentes and Patty Shwartz of the Third Circuit and Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas, who was sitting on the case by special designation. The judges noted that they were not ruling on an argument that state laws are preempted ‘whenever a state’s legislation indirectly affects matters within FERC’s jurisdiction,’ adding: ‘By statute and tradition, states have a role to play in energy markets.
A member of the American Bar Association, Martin Milita is the senior director of Duane Morris Government Strategies LLC. Tackling all forms of government relations and public affairs, Martin Milita is an advocate for green energy and most recently has worked with PEW ENERGY TRUST on Grassroots renewable and sustainable energy campaigns.