NGSA, API file brief in appeal of court’s NY emissions credit ruling

The Natural Gas Supply Association and the American Petroleum Institute jointly filed an Oct. 20 brief supporting an appeal of a New York federal district court’s decision supporting the state’s Zero Emissions Credits (ZEC) program, which utilities and others contend is a disguised attempt to subsidize nuclear power.

The Natural Gas Supply Association and the American Petroleum Institute jointly filed an Oct. 20 brief supporting an appeal of a New York federal district court’s decision supporting the state’s Zero Emissions Credits (ZEC) program, which utilities and others contend is a disguised attempt to subsidize nuclear power.

The plaintiffs are appealing a July 25 decision by Judge Valerie E. Caprioni in US District Court for southern New York that rejected claims that federal law preempts the state’s Public Service Commission from offering clean energy credits to reduce reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuel-fired power plants.

“The ZEC program infringes on FERC’s exclusive authority to set rates for wholesale electricity markets and disregards decades of FERC efforts to foster fuel-neutral, market-based competition for the benefit of customers,” NGSA Pres. Dena F. Wiggins said following the filing. “We hope the Second Circuit will reverse the erroneous decision from the District Court.”

In their brief, NGSA and API said the recent US energy renaissance that transformed the country from a net gas importer to exporter prompted the nuclear energy industry “to seek unprecedented and blatantly discriminatory subsidies from various states through direct intervention in the design and operation of the organized wholesale electricity markets.

“The nation’s suppliers, transporters, and purchasers of low-cost, natural gas used for electricity generation should not be intentionally and unduly disadvantaged in the organized wholesale electricity markets due to such state policies,” they said.

The problem is compounded if, as Caprioni held in her decision, regulated entities are no longer allowed to sue in an effort to enforce the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authority to regulate wholesale sales and transmission of power in interstate commerce, the brief said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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