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Supreme Court Won’t Hear ZEC Challenges via RTO Insider

By Rich Heidorn Jr.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear challenges to Illinois’ and New York’s zero-emission credit payments to nuclear plants.

The court denied the Electric Power Supply Association’s petitions for certiorari without comment. The decision left standing last September’s rulings by the 2nd and 7th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals that rejected claims that New York’s and Illinois’ ZECs intrude on FERC jurisdiction (18-868 Electric Power Supply Assn. v. Star, Anthony M., et al.; 18-879 Electric Power Supply Assn. v. Rhodes, John B., et al.).

EPSA had been joined by NRG Energy and Calpine in its challenges. The challengers also won support from PJM’s Independent Market Monitor and others, who said lower courts have misinterpreted precedent on federal jurisdiction. (See Courts Misread Hughes on Nuke Subsidies, Supreme Court Told.)

The court’s unsurprising decision — it hears only a small percentage of the cases on which it is petitioned — was a victory for Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear operator. The company is currently lobbying for nuclear subsidies in Pennsylvania. (See related story, Nuke Talks Continue in Pa. Assembly.)

FirstEnergy also is supporting the legislative effort in Pennsylvania and a similar bill introduced Friday in Ohio to support its Davis-Besse and Perry plants.

New Jersey and Connecticut have also approved nuclear subsidies.

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