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New FERC Leadership May End COVID-19 Flexibility for Companies

Law360
November 18, 2020

Boston Associate Steve Bright authored an article for Law360 discussing a potential shift in the approach of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding tariff waiver requests. In recent months, FERC’s decisions signaled its willingness to be flexible with tariff deadlines and associated regulatory responsibilities when COVID-19 caused complications for stakeholders. However, newly appointed FERC Chairman James Danly's written rulings as a commissioner suggest FERC may reverse course under his leadership and adhere more closely to an earlier policy statement increasing the commission’s scrutiny of waiver requests.

“Danly's elevation to FERC chairman may foreshadow the commission's future actions in response to waiver requests or requests for remedial relief, even those noting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bright writes. “Therefore, future waiver requests or requests for remedial relief should strictly adhere to the criteria established in the policy statement, and provide a thorough explanation of the commission's legal authority to grant the request.”

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