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ALLCO Finance Limited v. Klee

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 18, 2016

ALLCO FINANCE LIMITED, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT KLEE, in his Official Capacity as Commissioner of the CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, and ARTHUR HOUSE, JOHN W. BETKOSKI, III and MICHAEL CARON, in their Official Capacities as Commissioners of the CONNECTICUT PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY, Defendants

          OMNIBUS RULING IN RELATED CASES ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS COMPLAINTS AND FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

          CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. Senior United States District Judge

         This ruling concerns two cases, each entitled Allco v. Klee, et al., which bear docket numbers 3:15-cv-608 and 3:16-cv-508. These two cases, related but not formally consolidated, center on the State of Connecticut's implementation of a 2013 state statute that empowered the Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to solicit proposals for renewable energy, select winners of the solicitation, and direct Connecticut's utilities to enter into wholesale energy contracts with the chosen winners. Additionally, 3:15-cv-608 also concerns a statute which requires energy utilities to buy renewable energy credits or produce renewable energy themselves in order to sell energy in the State of Connecticut.

         Plaintiff Allco Finance Limited ("Allco"), a generator of renewable electrical energy, has filed two actions in this Court against Connecticut State industry regulators. Plaintiff Allco contends in each action that the state statutory scheme is precluded by or violates federal energy statutes, and that Connecticut's implementation of its statute has damaged plaintiff. In each action, the same Defendants, who are the Connecticut State regulators, move to dismiss the complaint. Plaintiff opposes Defendants' motions to dismiss, and for its part, moves for preliminary injunctive relief in each case, which Defendants oppose.

         In consequence, these two cases, viewed together, currently present for the Court's consideration two motions to dismiss and two motions for preliminary injunctive relief. The parties and the issues are largely the same. The motions have been elaborately briefed by able counsel. The Court heard oral argument. This Omnibus Ruling decides all four motions.

         I.

         A.

         The discovery of fire was a significant event, creating for mankind warmth against the cold and light in the darkness. We do not know which man or woman first noticed that a burning bundle of sticks produced those useful results of warmth and light, which in modern times are the products of alternative forms of energy. Electrical energy is one of these. The concept of electricity was first deduced by William Gilbert, a physician in the service of Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603). In 1752, Benjamin Franklin demonstrated the practical application of electricity by flying a kite carrying a key into a lightening storm. Today, electricity is a principal source of light and heat for the world and its people.

         As the importance of electricity has increased exponentially in human affairs, politicians and governments inevitably stepped up regulation of the generation and marketing of electrical energy. In the United States, responsibility for the electrical energy industry is divided between the federal Congress and the state legislatures. "In the early 20th century, state and local agencies oversaw nearly all generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity." FERC v. Electric Power Supply Association, 136 S.Ct. 760, 767 (2016) ("EPSA""). When, in 1927, the Supreme Court held that the Commerce Clause barred the States from regulating interstate aspects of electricity transactions, see Public Util. Comm'n of R.I. v. Attleboro Steam & Elec. Co., 273 U.S. 83, 89–90 (1927), a void in the federal regulatory scheme was exposed, which Congress filled in 1935 by enacting the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. § 791a et seq. ("FPA" or "the Act"). The Act fashioned that federal–state division of legislative regulatory responsibility that underlies and gives rise to the cases at bar.

         Created in 1973, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") has exclusive authority to regulate "the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce." 16 U.S.C. § 824(b)(1). A wholesale sale is defined as a "sale of electric energy to any person for resale." 16 U.S.C. § 824(d). "But the law places beyond FERC's power, and leaves to the States alone, the regulation of 'any other sale' – most notably, any retail sale – of electricity." Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, 136 S.Ct. 1288, 1292 (2016) (quoting EPSA, 136 S.Ct. at 762). "The States' reserved authority includes control over in-state 'facilities used for the generation of electrical energy.'" Id. (quoting 16 U.S.C. § 824(b)). "Alongside those grants of power, however, the Act also limits FERC's regulatory reach, and thereby maintains a zone of exclusive state jurisdiction. . . . Accordingly, the Commission may not regulate either within-state wholesale sales, or more important here, retail sales of electricity (i.e., sales directly to users). State utility commissions continue to oversee those transactions." EPSA, 136 S.Ct. at 767–768 (citation omitted).

         Under the FPA, FERC "has authority to regulate 'the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce' and 'the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce.'" Id. at 767 (quoting 16 U.S.C. § 824(b)(1)). The FPA obligates FERC "to oversee all prices for those interstate transactions and all rules and practices affecting such prices, " and further provides that "all rates and charges made, demanded or received by any public utility for or in connection with" interstate transmissions or wholesale sales must be "just and reasonable." Id. (quoting 16 U.S.C. § 824d(a)). If "any rate for charge, " or "any rule, regulation, practice or contract affecting such rate [or] charge" falls short of that standard, FERC "must rectify the problem: It shall then determine what is 'just and reasonable' and impose 'the same by order.'" Id. (quoting 16 U.S.C. § 824e(a).

         Furthermore, within the electricity market there are three general categories of actors: generators (or other entities that buy energy through bilateral contracts), transmitters, and load serving entities (LSEs). See Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, 136 S.Ct. 1288, 1292 (Apr. 29, 2016). Generators include power plants and other sources of energy production. Id. LSEs distribute power to the end user. Division of Energy Market Oversight office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy Primer: A Handbook of Energy Market Basics, 57–63 (2015) (available at www.ferc.gov/market-oversidght/guide/enerty-primer.pdf). Transmitters historically were private entities, but currently are nonprofit “Regional Transmission Organizations” ("RTOs") or “Independent System Operators” ("ISOs"). Id. There are seven RTOs in the United States. Id. The New England ISO ("ISO-NE"), which is of interest in this case, operates in New England, including in Connecticut. Id.

         In 1978, Congress enacted the Public Utility Regulatory Practices Act ("PURPA"). "Technically, PURPA is one of several amendments to the Federal Power Act, " whose provisions are codified in part in the FPA, 16 U.S.C. § 824a-3. See Allco Finance Limited v. Klee, 805 F.3d 89, 91 n. 1 (2015) (hereinafter "Allco II"). Given that the Federal Power Act gives FERC "exclusive authority to regulate sales of electricity at wholesale in interstate commerce, " Allco II, 805 F.3d at 91 (citing 16 U.S.C. § 824(b)(1)), "States may not act in this area unless Congress creates an exception." Id. (citing 16 U.S.C. § 824(b)). "PURPA contains one such exception that permits states to foster electric generation by certain power production facilities ('qualifying facilities') that have no more than 80 megawatts of capacity and use renewable generation technology." Id. at 91–92. That particular aspect of the statutory scheme plays a part in the cases at bar.

         This engrafting of PURPA upon the FPA reflects the fact that FERC's role in ensuring that a public utility's rates or charges for electricity are just and reasonable has evolved over the years as the industry has changed. "Decades ago, state or local utilities controlled their own power plants, transmission lines, and delivery systems, operating as vertically integrated monopolies in confined geographic areas." EPSA, 136 S.Ct. at 768. Since the FPA's passage, electricity has increasingly become a competitive interstate business, in which independent power plants abound, and electricity flows "not through the local power networks of the past, but instead through an interconnected 'grid' of near-nationwide scope." Id. (citation omitted). In that new world, FERC

often forgoes the cost-based rate-setting traditionally used to prevent monopolistic pricing. The Commission instead undertakes to ensure "just and reasonable" wholesale rates by enhancing competition – attempting, as we recently explained, "to break down regulatory and economic barriers that hinder a free market in wholesale electricity."

136 S.Ct. at 768 (quoting Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Public Util. Dist. No. 1 of Snohomish Cty., 554 U.S. 527, 536 (2008)).

         There are two ways in which FERC achieves its regulatory aims. First, Generators and LSEs can enter private, bilateral contracts called “Power Purchase Agreements” (PPAs). See Hughes, 136 S.Ct. at 1292. If these bilateral contracts are made in good faith and are the result of arms-length negotiation, then they are presumed reasonable by FERC. Id. (citing Morgan Stanley, 554 U.S. at 546–48). Second, RTOs can buy from and sell to generators and LSEs through a FERC-approved auction process. Id. RTOs transmit the energy sold by generators to LSEs, but also run several markets under the supervision of FERC, including a same-day auction, a next-day auction, and a capacity auction. Division of Energy Market Oversight office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy Primer: A Handbook of Energy Market Basics, 57–63 (2015) (available at www.ferc.gov/market-oversidght/guide/enerty-primer.pdf). The“capacity auction” is designed to ensure enough generation is available to meet future power demands. Id. For ISO-NE, a is conducted by state regulators three years prior to when the capacity is needed. Id. The RTOs determine how much capacity will be needed in three years’ time, then generators, and utilities that have acquired capacity from generators under bilateral contracts, commit to sell (and the RTOs commit to purchase) the amount of capacity selected in the auction for resale to the LSE in three years’ time. Id.

         B.

         One mechanism FERC employs for that salutary purpose, the Court noted in EPSA, is to

encourage[] the creation of nonprofit entities to manage wholesale markets on a regional basis. Seven such wholesale market operators now serve areas with roughly two-thirds of the country's electricity load (an industry term for the amount of electricity used). Each administers a portion of the grid, providing generators with access to transmission lines and ensuring that the network conducts electricity reliably. And still more important for present purposes, each operator conducts a competitive auction to set wholesale prices for electricity.
These wholesale auctions serve to balance supply and demand on a continuous basis, producing prices for electricity that reflect its value at given locations and times throughout each day. Such a real-time mechanism is needed because, unlike most products, electricity cannot be stored effectively.

136 S.Ct. at 768.

         The Supreme Court filed its opinion in EPSA on January 28, 2016 and filed Hughes almost three months later, on April 19, 2016. EPSA upheld an FERC order which required wholesale electricity market operators to compensate electricity users, or demand response providers, at the same rate as electricity generators, for users' commitment to reduce their electricity use during peak periods. Hughes rejected a state commission order directing state utilities to enter into a contract for differences with new power companies to incentivize the construction of the plant. Hughes gives a detailed explanation of a competitive wholesale auction, of the sort to which EPSA referred more or less en passant.

         The auction in Hughes was conducted by PJM Interconnection, a RTO that "oversees the electricity grid in all or parts of 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern States and the District of Columbia." 136 S.Ct. at 1293. PJM, functioning as an RTO, predicted regional electricity demand three years ahead of time, and initiated a capacity auction to account for the demand. Justice Ginsburg's opinion in Hughes describes what happened next:

Owners of capacity to produce electricity in three years' time bid to sell that capacity to PJM [the RTO] at proposed rates. PJM accepts bids until it has purchased enough capacity to satisfy anticipated demand. All accepted capacity sellers receive the highest accepted rate, called the "clearing price." LSEs must purchase, from PJM, enough electricity to satisfy their assigned share of overall projected demand.

136 S.Ct. at 1293. Justice Ginsburg said approvingly that a capacity auction "serves to identify need for the new generation, " is "designed to accommodate long-term bilateral contracts for capacity, " and "FERC extensively regulates the structure of the PJM capacity auction to ensure that it efficiently balances supply and demand, producing a just and reasonable clearing price." Id. at 1293–1294.

         Bilateral contracts, a separate and secondary feature of the market, are an integral part of the energy market. These contracts are subject to review by FERC. See Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, 554 US. 527 (2008) ("[T]he FPA also permits utilities to set rates with individual electricity through bilateral contracts. . . [which] must be filed with the Commission before they go into effect."). While generally these contracts are between private parties, at issue in this case is a Connecticut State program to solicit proposals for bilateral contracts with renewable energy generators. In Allco II, the Second Circuit said of Connecticut's pertinent statute that it "empowered the Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to solicit proposals for renewable energy, select winners of the solicitation, and direct Connecticut's utilities to enter into wholesale energy contracts with the chosen winners." 805 F.3d at 92.[1]

         The cases at bar arise out of Allco's allegations that the State's implementation of the Connecticut statutory scheme violated provisions of the FPA and PURPA.

         II.

         A.

         In 2013, Connecticut enacted Connecticut Public Act 13-303. Section 6 of that Act empowers the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection ("DEEP") to solicit proposals for renewable energy and thereafter direct the Connecticut Power and Light Company and United Illuminating, the principal Connecticut utility companies, to enter into wholesale power purchase agreements for a term of up to twenty years, serving up to four percent of Connecticut's electricity needs. Section 6 provides in pertinent part that the Commissioner "may . . . solicit proposals . . . from providers of Class 1 renewable energy sources" and "if the commissioner finds such proposals to be in the interest of ratepayers . . . [he or she] may select proposals from such resources to meet up to four per cent of the load distributed by the state's electric distribution companies." Conn. Public Act 13-303, Section 6.

         In July 2013, the Commissioner solicited proposals from providers of renewable energy, pursuant to Section 6 ("the 2013 RFP"). Allco submitted proposals for five solar projects. The Commissioner did not select them. Instead, he selected a wind project located in Maine, Number Nine Wind, and a different solar project located in Connecticut, Fusion Solar, and directed the Connecticut utilities to execute power purchase agreements at fixed wholesale prices with the entities whose proposals had been selected.

         Disappointed by this result, Allco reacted by suing the DEEP Commissioner. The complaint, filed on December 18, 2013, was given docket number 3:13-cv-1874 and assigned to District Judge Arterton. Allco charged that the Commissioner's implementation of Section 6 and attendant selection of energy providers violated federal law. Its theory of the case was that under the FPA, FERC had exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale energy prices; any exceptions to the rule prohibiting states from setting wholesale prices existed only in PURPA. Thus, the Commissioner's implementation of Section 6 by means of the 2013 RFP had the effect of fixing wholesale energy prices, a power reserved to FERC under the FPA; the resulting proposals would be permissible only if they complied with PURPA; and, Allco contends, they failed to do so.

         In an opinion reported at 2014 WL 7004024 (D.Conn. Dec.10, 2014), Judge Arterton granted the Commissioner's motion to dismiss Allco's complaint ("Allco I"). She held that Allco lacked standing, and its claim also failed on the merits. Id. at *10. The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Allco's complaint, on somewhat different grounds. Allco Finance Ltd. v. Klee, 805 F.3d 89 (2d Cir. 2015) ("Allco II"). Certiorari does not appear to have been sought.

         The Second Circuit's decision in Allco II seemingly brought to an end litigation between Allco and the State Defendants arising out of the 2013 RFP. However, under the circumstances described infra, Allco contends that its 2013 FRP claims have been revived, they are risen, and Allco asserts them again in Allco IV, as a ground for equitable relief.

         B.

         The Second Circuit filed its opinion in Allco II on December 1, 2015. On April 26, 2015, while that appeal was pending, Allco filed another complaint [docket number 3:15-cv-608] which was assigned to the undersigned. I will refer to that case as "Allco III." Allco is the Plaintiff. The DEEP Commissioner and the individual Commissioners of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulations Authority ("PURA") are the same Defendants as those in the earlier case before Judge Arterton, which I will call "the 2013 RFP case." Allco's complaint in Allco III alleges at § 29 that on February 26, 2015, DEEP issued a draft request for proposals under Section 6 of the Connecticut Public Act. The State intends to proceed in the same manner as it did in connection with the 2013 RFP. I will call this renewed aspect of the litigation "the 2015 RFP case." The Allco III complaint further alleges that in the 2015 RFP case, DEEP plans to issue its final request for proposals "in the spring of 2015 and compel wholesale energy transactions soon after it completes its review of proposals." Allco III, Complaint, ¶ 30. Allco's theory in Allco III with respect to the 2015 RFP is the same as it was in Allco I with respect to the 2013 RFP: The actions of the State DEEP, purportedly in accordance with Section 6 of the Connecticut statute, violate provisions of the pertinent federal statutes, the FPA and PURPA. Allco also moves for a preliminary injunction in respect of the 2015 RFP. At that time the Allco III complaint was filed, no claims by Allco were pending in respect of the 2013 RFP, because Judge Arterton had dismissed the complaint in Allco I and Allco's appeal to the Second Circuit was pending. That landscape changed when on December 1, 2015, the Second Circuit decided Allco II, the appeal of Allco I. It is necessary to consider that opinion carefully.

         III.

         A.

         In Allco I, which was assigned to Judge Arterton, Allco's claims and theories against the State Defendants with respect to the 2013 RFP mirror the claims and theories Allco pleads against the same Defendants in Allco III with respect to the 2015 RFP. Judge Arterton dismissed Allco's complaint in Allco I, in an opinion reported at 2014 WL 7004024 (D.Conn. Dec. 10, 2014). She held that Allco lacked standing in the case because it had not suffered a legally protected injury within the zone of interests protected by the Federal Power Act. Alternatively, Judge Arterton concluded that Allco's claim failed on the merits because the State Defendants' "implementation of Section 6 does not seek to regulate wholesale energy sales but rather is a permissible regulation of utilities under the State's jurisdiction." Allco I, 2014 WL 7004024, at *10.

         Allco appealed the dismissal of Allco I. The Second Circuit affirmed that dismissal, albeit on what Chief Judge Katzmann's opinion characterized as "alternative grounds." Allco II, 805 F.3d 89, 91 (2015) ("Allco II"). The Second Circuit held that (1) PURPA's private right of action foreclosed Allco's claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 to vindicate any rights conferred by PURPA; "(2) Allco failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, a prerequisite for its equitable action seeking to vindicate specific rights conferred by PURPA; and (3) Allco lacks standing to bring a preemption action seeking solely to void the contracts awarded to" the successful 2013 RFP bidders. Allco II, 805 F.3d at 91.

         The Second Circuit's opinion in Allco II and Judge Arterton's order of dismissal in Allco I, which Alco II affirmed, dealt solely with the 2013 RFP. Allco III, where the complaint was filed on April 26, 2015, and is pending before this Court, deals solely with the 2015 RFP. Allco has filed yet another, more recent case in this Court, which I will call "Allco IV." The complaint in Allco IV was filed on March 30, 2016. In Allco IV, Allco continues to attack the validity of the State's 2015 RFP through its motion for an order to show cause as to why a preliminary injunction should not issue, but also revives its challenge to the 2013 RFP in the complaint.

         As noted, the complaint in Allco I challenged the 2013 RFP, Judge Arterton dismissed that complaint, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal, and the Supreme Court was not asked to interfere. One would have thought that the Allco I controversy over the 2013 RFP was dead, but Allco purports to lift it up, like Lazarus, and makes that claim a part of its complaint in Allco IV. Allco's theory is that events subsequent to the Second Circuit's opinion in Allco II have cured Allco's failure to exhaust administrative remedies, one of the deficiencies noted by the Court of Appeals in Allco II.

         B.

         In the Second Circuit's opinion in Allco II, the Court of Appeals considered two of Allco's requested forms of relief that are relevant to this Court's analysis of the cases at bar. First, the Second Circuit dealt with Allco's request to enjoin the Commissioner from conducting future procurement that violated the Federal Power Act or PURPA. Allco's theory behind its preemption claim relied, as it does here, on PURPA. Allco claimed that "the only way in which the Commissioner can issue a Section 6 contract that is not preempted by the Federal Power Act is if that contract meets the requirements of the PURPA exception." Allco II, 805 F.3d. at 96. The Second Circuit held that Allco could not avoid the administrative exhaustion requirement of PURPA by "characterizing an otherwise covered PURPA-related equitable claim as a Supremacy Clause claim." Id. (citing Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. FERC, 306 F.3d 1264, 1270 (2d Cir. 2000)).

         Second, the court analyzed Allco's request to void the Section 6 contracts already awarded to two power producers under the 2013 RFP. The court said "[t]o the extent that these claims seek only to invalidate the results of the prior procurement . . . Allco lacks standing because that requested relief does not redress its injury, i.e., its not being selected for a Section 6 contract." Allco II, 805 F.3d. at 98. Furthermore, voiding the contracts awarded to the two power producers "fail[s] to redress Allco's injuries, as they do not make it 'likely, as opposed to merely speculative, ' that Allco will eventually receive a Section 6 contract." Id. (citing Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services (TOC), Inc., 528 U.S. 167, 181 (2000)). This remedy, the court noted, "would simply deny Allco's competitors a contractual benefit without redressing Allco's injury-its not being selected for a Section 6 contract." Allco II, 805 F.3d. at 98.

         Notwithstanding these adverse appellate rulings, Allco purports to find in the Second Circuit's Allco II opinion significant support for its cause. Allco acknowledges that the Second Circuit dismissed on standing grounds its request to void the Section 6 contracts awarded to two other power producers as the result of a prior RFP which had been fully executed and the contracts awarded at the end of process. Allco distinguishes that circumstance from its claim in the instant cases that the State Defendants are proposing to violate PURPA in connection with future RFP. As to that aspect of the case, Allco reads Allco II as holding only Allco that had not exhausted its administrative remedies with respect to future RFPs' compliance with PURPA. Allco interprets that particular holding as an implied decision by the Second Circuit that Allco has standing, as a qualifying facility under PURPA, to seek declaratory and injunctive relief against future contemplated or presently promulgated and outstanding RFPs, so long as Allco has exhausted the administrative remedies available to address the grievances complained of.

         This argument has surface appeal, but it does not penetrate below the surface. True enough, the Second Circuit dismissed this aspect of the case in Allco II on the basis that Allco had not exhausted its administrative remedies; but the Court of Appeals said nothing about whether Allco would acquire standing if it thereafter exhausted those administrative remedies. The Second Circuit's opinion added that "[a]s Allco acknowledges, its 'status as a small power producer' under PURPA 'is relevant to [its] Article III standing and to explain[ing] why [its] injury is redressable.' [] As such, any equitable relief relating to future contracts awarded under Section 6 necessarily implicates PURPA; otherwise, such relief would provide no path by which Allco could eventually obtain a non-preempted Section 6 contract." Allco II, 805 F.3d at 96. The Second Circuit did make clear that Allco was not challenging the statute as a "disappointed bidder" but instead is bringing its case to enforce PURPA. Id.

         C.

         Further changes in the circumstances of the case have occurred since December 1, 2015, when the Second Circuit filed its amended opinion in Allco II. Following the Court of Appeals' dismissal of its complaint. Allco petitioned FERC to initiate enforcement proceedings pursuant to PURPA against DEEP and PURA. In a Notice of Intent Not To Act issued on January 8, 2016 [Doc. 33-1], FERC advised:

Notice is hereby given that the Commission declines to initiate an enforcement action under section 210(h)(2) of PURPA. Our decision not to initiate an enforcement action means that Allco may themselves bring an enforcement action against the Connecticut Commission and DEEP in the appropriate court.

         Defendants submitted this Notice from FERC to the Court's attention as an attachment to "Defendants' Third Notice of Additional Authority" [Doc. 33] in Allco III. That submission is in effect a mini-brief in which the Defendants undertake to explain the effect of FERC's declining to bring enforcement actions against DEEP and PURA upon Allco's right to bring the instant action. Defendants' accompanying submission says of FERC's Notice of Intent Not to Act:

The Notice demonstrates the statutory procedure plaintiff Allco failed to follow in an earlier lawsuit challenging a renewable energy procurement conducted by DEEP in 2013. See Allco Fin. Ltd. v. Klee, 805 F.3d 89 (2d Cir. Nov. 6, 2015). Allco's lawsuit arising out of the 2013 procurement was dismissed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second circuit for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Allco v. Klee, 805 F.3d at 97. Specifically, Allco failed to follow 16 U.S.C. § 824a-3(h)(2)(B) which permits FERC the opportunity [sic] to either initiate enforcement against the state regulatory authority, or decline to do so, thereby enabling Allco to bring suit against the state regulatory authority in District court. After dismissal by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Allco petitioned FERC to initiate enforcement proceedings against DEP and PURA. In the attached Notice of Intent Not To Act, FERC declined to do so. Consequently, Allco may now bring action against the state regulatory authority regarding the 2013 procurement in District Court, providing all jurisdictional prerequisites are met.
Count I of the instant case relates to a future procurement to be conducted by DEEP, and potential future action by PURA (providing DEEP finds projects acceptable under the terms of the RFP and an application is filed at PURA). The attached Notice demonstrates the statutory procedure Allco should have followed to bring the instant action, but failed to pursue.

Doc. 33 at 1–2.

         The Notice, and the accompanying discussion intended to explain it, are not models of clarity. FERC's Notice of Intent Not to Act does not identify the target or subject matter of Allco's "petition for enforcement." As of January 8, 2016, the date FERC issued its Notice, two requests for proposals by the state regulatory authorities were subjects of concern: the 2013 RFP (which had been distributed to the industry and fully implemented) and the 2015 RFP (which was contemplated for the future). The State Defendants' quoted discussion appears to view Allco's petition for enforcement as relating solely to the 2013 RFP. I do not know how else to construe the Defendants' statement that as the result of FERC's issuing its Notice of Intent Not to Act, "Allco may now bring action [sic] against the state regulatory authority regarding the 2013 procurement in District Court, provided all jurisdictional prerequisites are met" (a qualifying phrase Defendants do not bother to define). As for the 2015 RFP, which is the subject matter of Allco III, Defendants say only that FERC's Notice "demonstrates the statutory procedure Allco should have followed to bring the instant action, but failed to pursue." I do not know how to construe that statement other than as an assertion by Defendants (or their counsel) that FERC Notice had nothing to do with the 2015 RFP.

         It would seem that Thomas Melone, the CEO of Allco who is also admitted to the Connecticut Bar and appears as counsel of record for Allco, has a different view. On March 30, 2016, Allco filed its complaint in Allco IV, which asserts claims with respect to both RFP 2015 and RFP 2013. Allco IV echoes Allco III's request for a preliminary injunction against the 2015 RFP. On April 27, 2016 the Court heard oral argument on Allco's motions for preliminary injunctive relief. During the hearing on the present motions, Mr. Melone was asked to comment on the Second Circuit's opinion in Allco II, and said this:

[S]ince the Second Circuit went out of its way to say what we didn't have standing with regard to, they were saying that we had standing with respect to everything else once we went through the petiition at FERC from a jurisdictional perspective, which we now have. . . . [W]hat the Second Circuit did say is that our case – we had to go to FERC first from a jurisdictional perspective because that – because we were trying to enforce PURPA, and trying to enforce the specific part of PURPA which says that a state has to implement the FERC's rules, and what the Second Circuit did say explicitly is that what thet meant was that the State couldn't act contrary to the Federal Power Act or PURPA.
So that's why we're here today, because we went to the FERC, we are prosecuting this case based on an enforcement action under PURPA, which the Second Circuit said we had to do it that way, and that means, I think by definition, we have statutory standing, as well as a ...

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