Connecticut’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), under attack by a New York renewable energy company since 2013, received support from a coalition of five environmental groups last week.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Acadia Center, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and Sierra Club filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is currently hearing an appeal of the fourth lawsuit brought by Allco Renewable Energy since 2013.
The lawsuit alleges that the RPS violates the Federal Power Act (FPA) and the dormant Commerce Clause (VIDEO) of the U.S. Constitution. Allco has argued that Connecticut is violating the FPA by requiring utilities to get power from renewable-energy sources except pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), a federal law that encourages the development of small renewable generating facilities.
According to Allco, Connecticut is violating the dormant Commerce Clause with its renewable energy credit (REC) program, which accepts RECs from surrounding states. Allco argues Connecticut’s actions violate the Commerce Clause, which says states cannot discriminate against interstate commerce to protect state interests,
The same issues have been central to the other three cases Allco has filed.
The Second Court of Appeals heard Allco’s previous appeals and upheld lower-court rulings that Allco’s complaints were without merit. This fourth case has been fast-tracked by the court. All amicus briefs will be filed within the next two weeks, and the Court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 9.