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U.S. Appeals Court Concludes FERC Lacks Authority to Fine Federal Entities for Reliability Violations

In a ruling that could have far-reaching implications for the electric reliability here in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today found that the Federal Power Act does not authorize the Southwest Power Administration (“SWPA”) to pay fines for admitted violations of mandatory electric reliability standards.

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Who Holds the Almighty and Powerful Ring? 13 Steps for Utility Cyber Security Protection

We are happy to announce that Eric Christensen and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Tim Lowenberg of GTH-Governmental Affairs have published the cover story in the May 2014 Northwest …

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Transmission Terrorism: As Details of Substation Attack Come to Light, Senators Call for Action

Just before 1 a.m. on April 16, 2013, as-yet unidentified assailants launched an attack on the Metcalf substation in Silicon Valley. The attack lasted nearly an hour, …

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Ray of Hope for Smaller Utilities Seeking to Lighten Regulatory Load: FERC Rejects Registration of Southern Louisiana Co-op

In a marked departure from its usual approach, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) yesterday rejected the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (“NERC”) conclusion that a small, …

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FERC Refines “Bulk Electric System” Definition, Adopts New Cybersecurity Standards Proving Value of the Definition

At its April meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued Order No. 773-A, which generally reaffirms its December order (Order No. 773, discussed here) approving the …

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Obama Executive Order on Cybersecurity Promises Greater Information Sharing With Industry

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, President Obama singled out cybersecurity as major national security priority, stating: We know hackers steal people’s identities …

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Eric Christensen Publishes Article on Reducing NERC-WECC Regulatory Burdens in February Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin

Eric Christensen published an article in this month’s Northwest Public Power Bulletin entitled “Electric Reliability and the Bulk Electric System Definition: Next Steps for Reducing Regulatory Burdens.” …

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EPA Strains RICE Through the Reliability Screen: Rules on Pollution from Reciprocating Engines Modified To Reflect Reliability Requirements

On January 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued new rules governing pollution from Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (“RICE”) used for emergency electric generation. The new …

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