Entergy Louisiana, Inc. v. Louisiana Public Service Commission, 539 U.S. 39, 10 (2003)

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Opinion of the Court

This Court held that the state cost allocation order was pre-empted:

"Nantahala must under NCUC's order calculate its retail rates as if it received more entitlement power than it does under FERC's order, and as if it needed to procure less of the more expensive purchased power than under FERC's order. A portion of the costs incurred by Nantahala in procuring its power is therefore 'trapped.' " 476 U. S., at 971.

Trapping of costs "runs directly counter," id., at 968, to the rationale for FERC approval of cost allocations, the Court concluded, because when costs under a FERC tariff are categorically excluded from consideration in retail rates, the regulated entity "cannot fully recover its costs of purchasing at the FERC-approved rate . . . ," id., at 970.

In MP&L, the Court further defined the scope of filed rate doctrine pre-emption in the cost allocation context. Predecessors of the operating companies concerned here were jointly involved in the construction of the Grand Gulf nuclear power plant in Mississippi. The costs of the project turned out to be significantly higher than had been originally planned, and as a result the wholesale cost of power generated at Grand Gulf was much higher than power available from other system generating units. But the high fixed costs of building Grand Gulf had to be recouped, and the operating companies agreed that each of them would purchase a specific proportion of the high-cost power generated at Grand Gulf. The original allocation was challenged before FERC, which ultimately approved a modified tariff. That tariff required Mississippi Power and Light (MP&L, now Entergy Mississippi) to purchase 33% of the power produced at Grand Gulf.

Mississippi regulators allowed MP&L to pass along these costs to consumers through retail rate increases. The Mississippi Supreme Court, however, reasoned that "FERC's de-

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