AAI Files Comments With FERC Opposing Utilities’ Proposal to Limit Information Needed to Monitor Horizontal Shareholding

On November 30, 2020, AAI filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Docket No. EL21-14. The Expedited Petition for Declaratory Order was filed by NextEra Energy, Inc., American Electric Power Company, Inc., Evergy, Inc., Exelon Corporation, and Xcel Energy Services Inc. AAI urged the Commission to deny the request. If granted, they would work to essentially expand a “safe harbor” for “horizontal shareholding” from Section 203 (mergers and acquisitions) to Section 205 (market-based rates). Expansion of the safe harbor could potentially limit the reporting of important information that would allow the Commission to assess the competitive effects of horizontal shareholding, or financial institutions’ ownership of securities in multiple, potentially competing, electric utilities. This could weaken Commission oversight of those competitive issues and potentially impede its ability to fulfill its statutory responsibilities to protect competition and ratepayers under the Federal Power Act.