Discussing Energy Economics on the Internet

ECJ Rules Against Spanish Protectionism

Posted in Europe,Legal,Spain by Cheryl Morgan on the July 18th, 2008

Back in 2006 Germany power company, E.ON, attempted to buy Endessa, a Spanish company. Although the European Commission approved the bid, it was blocked by Spain’s National Energy Commission. The wheels of European justice grind fairly slowly, but yesterday the European Court of Justice ruled that Spain had no right to block the purchase. More details on EurActive.

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How Firm is Firm

Posted in Legal by Cheryl Morgan on the July 17th, 2008

The EU Energy Policy blog has a long and interesting post on the question of how and when regulatory authorities can overturn long term contracts. It begins with a discussion of a recent US Supreme Court decision about contracts struck at the height of the California Energy Crisis and notes:

According to the federal judges, the market context at the time of contract formation should be taken into account to establish whether the price originally agreed upon reflected the statutory requirements of justness and reasonableness. Moreover, the contracts should be deemed contrary to the public interest if they are outside the ‘zone of reasonableness’ and resulted in retail rates higher than would be the case if that zone were not exceeded.

The post later goes on the compare and contrast US and EU regulatory approaches, and the varying powers that FERC and the European Commission have to make decisions of this type.

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Around the Web: The Energy Legal Blog

Posted in Legal,Web by Cheryl Morgan on the July 7th, 2008

With most people still recovering from the holiday weekend, it is perhaps a good time to take another look around the Internet. Today’s feature site is the Energy Legal Blog, run by the energy practice of law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani. Most of the material on the site is US-related, but the company does have a presence in other countries as well. There are RSS feeds, so it is easy to follow the stories that they publish.

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