Monday, October 11, 2010

Vermont PSB Passes on Feed-inTariff Preemption Issue

In an October 8, 2010 memorandum, the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) concluded that it will not request that FERC examine the validity of Vermont's standard offer program because no party had demonstrated that the standard offer program violates federal law or that it must be suspended. The PSB also declined to halt the program.

The Public Service Board review of the Vermont standard offer program (or Feed-in Tariff) program was triggered by a Vermont Department of Public Service request to review whether Vermont's program would be viewed as preempted due to FERC's decision in California Public Utilities Commission, 132 FERC ¶61,047 (Docket Nos. EL10-64-000 and EL10-66-000, issued July 15, 2010).

In its memorandum, the PSB concluded that it "has an obligation to implement statutes passed by the legislature. In the absence of a clear determination by a relevant body that the Board cannot legally implement a statute, the Board must carry out the obligation under the Vermont law it is tasked with implementing."

Disclosure: SDRS represents Renewable Energy Vermont in this matter.

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