Entergy Louisiana, Inc. v. Louisiana Public Service Commission, 539 U.S. 39, 6 (2003)

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44

ENTERGY LA., INC. v. LOUISIANA PUB. SERV. COMM'N

Opinion of the Court

has generally had the effect of making ELI, already a short company, even more short, thus increasing its cost equalization payments.

In December 1993, FERC initiated a proceeding under 206 of the FPA, 16 U. S. C. 824e, to decide whether the system agreement permitted ERS units to be treated as available. Respondent Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), which regulates ELI's retail rates in Louisiana, participated in the FERC proceeding and argued that customers of ELI were entitled to a refund as a result of MSS-1 overpayments made by ELI after the alleged misclassification of ERS units as available. FERC agreed that Entergy had violated the system agreement in its classification of ERS units as available, but determined that a refund was not supported by the equities because the resultant cost allocations, while violative of the tariff, were not unjust, unreasonable, or unduly discriminatory. Entergy Servs., Inc., 80 FERC ¶ 61,197, pp. 61,786-61,788 (1997) (Order No. 415). FERC also approved, over the objection of the LPSC, an amendment to the system agreement that allows an ERS unit to be treated as available under MSS-1 if the operating committee determines it intends to return the unit to service at a future date.3 The Court of Appeals for the District of

3 Section 10.02 of the system agreement, as amended on August 5, 1997, pursuant to FERC Order No. 415 provides: "A unit is considered available to the extent the capability can be demonstrated and (1) is under the control of the System Operator, or (2) is down for maintenance or nuclear refueling, or (3) is in extended reserve shutdown (ERS) with the intent of returning the unit to service at a future date in order to meet Entergy System requirements. The Operating Committee's decision to consider an ERS unit to be available to meet future System requirements shall be evidenced in the minutes of the Operating Committee and shall be based on consideration of current and future resource needs, the projected length of time the unit would be in ERS status, the projected cost of maintaining such unit, and the projected cost of returning the unit to service." 80 FERC, at 61,788-61,789 (emphasis deleted).

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