D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms FERC’s exclusive jurisdiction over Tri-State exit charges
- Court rejects arguments made by United Power.
(September 16, 2022 – Westminster, Colo.) The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s exclusive jurisdiction over Tri-State's contract termination payment tariff. The court rejected an appeal filed by Tri-State member United Power.
“Tri-State is pleased with today’s ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State CEO. "The ruling confirms Tri-State is subject to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s rate jurisdiction, including exclusive jurisdiction over Tri-State’s exit charges through our member-developed contract termination payment tariff.”
With the court’s ruling, FERC, and FERC alone, will determine the reasonableness and lawfulness of the terms Tri-State offers members who want to leave Tri-State before completing their long-term purchasing commitment.
Highley noted that the court recognized that exit charges are “an important part of the integrated bargain to which a firm agrees when it becomes part of a generation and transmission cooperative” like Tri-State, without which, customers would pay higher electricity charges.
“We will continue to work through the FERC process for the benefit of our membership,” said Highley.
Tri-State became jurisdictional to the FERC on Sept. 3, 2019. In October of 2020, FERC ordered that it had exclusive jurisdiction over any exit fee charged by Tri-State to withdrawing members. As a result of that FERC decision, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission dismissed an exit charge complaint filed by United Power and La Plata Electric Association. United Power appealed the FERC order on jurisdiction to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel of the Court issued today’s decision, rejecting all of United’s arguments and upholding the FERC’s jurisdiction.
Tri-State is a power supply cooperative of 45 members, operating on a not-for-profit basis, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in four states. Together with our member/owners, we deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State, visit www.tristate.coop.
Certain information contained in this press statement are forward-looking statements including statements concerning Tri-State’s plans, future events, and other information that is not historical information. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described from time to time in Tri-State’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tri-State’s expectations and beliefs are expressed in good faith, and Tri-State believes there is a reasonable basis for them. However, Tri-State cannot assure you that management’s expectations and beliefs will be achieved. There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein.