Public Citizen v. FERC
In this case, Public Citizen, together with the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel and the Public Utility Law Project of New York, challenged the promulgation of rules by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allowing sellers of wholesale electric power to charge “market rates” for electricity and to avoid the Federal Power Act’s requirements that rates be just and reasonable and that all changes in rates be filed with FERC before they go into effect. In October 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld FERC’s action, and Public Citizen and its allies sought review in the U.S. Supreme Court, which had consistently rejected similar efforts by agencies to change congressionally mandated regulatory requirements. The Attorneys General of Illinois, Connecticut and Rhode Island joined Public Citizen’s petition for certiorari asking the Supreme Court to hear this challenge to the lawfulness of FERC’s market-based-rate regime. The Supreme Court denied review.