Law360 Quotes Austin Locke Lord Partner Carrie Collier-Brown on Potential Ramifications of Third Court of Appeals’ Invalidation of Texas PUC’s Pricing Order

March 21, 2023

Carrie Collier-Brown, Partner in Locke Lord’s Austin office, was quoted by Law360 on a blockbuster decision by the Third Court of Appeals‎ that reversed the Texas Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) February 15 and 16, 2021 Orders setting the price of wholesale electricity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas market at $9,000 per megawatt-hour, and remanded to the Commission for further proceedings consistent with the ruling. The decision could force state regulators and courts to figure out how to potentially unwind billions of dollars worth of transactions, Collier-Brown notes. "The word that keeps coming up is 'chaos,'" she said.

Collier-Brown notes that while an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court is highly likely and thus a good chance the lower court ruling will be stayed until the top court weighs in, a final court ruling could be a year away.

“Even if the state legislature can override the Court of Appeals' decision and reinstate the PUC's price cap orders, lawmakers may not agree to do it,” she added. "There were a lot of bills from the state Senate and a lot of rhetoric from the lieutenant governor to undo that and give refunds. But the governor and the PUC held firm on not repricing and not undoing those orders."

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