The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning in a case that will have far-reaching effects on America’s ability to provide clean and affordable energy.
The case, FERC v. EPSA, centers on demand response – a tool that helps lower power costs for people and businesses while strengthening reliability and protecting the environment and public health.
“Demand response lowers electricity bills, improves our grid’s reliability, and reduces pollution,” said Michael Panfil, an attorney with Environmental Defense Fund, which filed an amicus brief in the case. “FERC’s Order 745, which puts demand response to work around the country, improves the lives of millions of Americans. We believe the order is firmly grounded in law and science. We’re hopeful that the Supreme Court agrees and decides in its favor.”
FERC developed Order 745 in 2011, with extensive public input, to provide access for demand response in the nation’s wholesale energy markets. Demand response is a resource that relies on people and technology — not power plants — to manage stress on the electric grid during periods of peak energy demand. It pays people to save energy when it matters most, creating a win-win situation for people and the environment. Order 745 effectuates FERC’s central responsibility under the Federal Power Act to ensure “just and reasonable rates.”
A divided three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled against Order 745, with a vigorous dissent by Judge Harry Edwards. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in May of 2015.
U.S. Solicitor Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. will argue the case for FERC today; arguments are expected to last an hour. EDF and a broad group of other environmental organizations, states, state consumer advocates, and leading economists filed amicus briefs in support of FERC Order 745.
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