When Do State Transmission Siting Laws Violate the Constitution?
Electricity Journal, vol 28, issue 7, pp. 6-18 (2015)
14 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2015 Last revised: 27 Jan 2016
Date Written: September 17, 2015
Many state electric power transmission line siting laws present constitutional problems under the dormant Commerce Clause, specifically statutes that bar out-of-state applicants from seeking to build multi-state energy infrastructure projects in a state or give automatic rights of first refusal to in-state applicants. Dormant Commerce Clause jurisprudence may require state regulators considering transmission line siting applications to consider benefits beyond their jurisdictional borders — particularly in instances where developers propose infrastructure projects to create regional (as opposed to state-specific) benefits in energy markets or where out-of-state developers propose to build interstate lines. This Article assesses the merits and challenges of these kinds of legal challenges to state transmission line siting regimes.
Keywords: Dormant Commerce Clause, Energy Law, Electric Power, Transmission, Infrastructure, Renewable Power
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