The Attorney General’s Office has joined the Texas Electrical Reliability Council’s (ERCOT) battle over a lingering legal turmoil challenging the government’s immunity from litigation.
On behalf of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) — the state agency tasked with overseeing ERCOT — Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office opposed the Court of Appeals. dominate From February when it decided that ERCOT could be sued by a private entity. The first instance upheld her ERCOT, which is now on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, before an appeals court overturned the ruling.
The lawsuit stems from a pre-2021 blackout dispute in which Temple-based utility company Panda Power accused ERCOT of providing deliberately false predictions. The figure showed a power generation shortfall, prompting Panda Power to invest his $2.2 billion in three new power plants. Shortly after, grid operators changed their forecasts to indicate power overruns. As a result, the price of electricity sold by Panda Power has fallen compared to what was expected when the project started.
Panda Power sued ERCOT, alleging “fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty.”
Grid operators have claimed government immunity from being sued in court. ERCOT is Government-licensed non-profit organization It works like an air traffic controller in the power market.
The grid operator claims sole jurisdiction over it lies with the PUC.
This position is repeated in PUC’s Amicus Brief. filing: “First, ERCOT is entitled to government immunity when it acts as an agent of the state in carrying out government functions, as it has done here. We have exclusive jurisdiction over the claims of
The state challenged the Court of Appeals’ ruling, stating, “If the multi-billion dollar judgment sought by the pandas extends to ERCOT, the administrative costs paid by wholesale market participants would have to increase significantly to cover the damages.” It may not be possible,” he argued.
“That could mean higher utility bills for millions of Texans. So it’s important that the courts grant ERCOT immunity.”
The state then asked the court to overturn the appeals court’s ruling, and Panda Power began filing petitions with the PUC’s executive branch rather than seeking a judicial forum.
“Panda alleges that ERCOT acted improperly in carrying out the tasks assigned by the commission,” the state added. Panda has filed a lawsuit, circumventing the administrative process, infringing on the commission’s role in determining whether ERCOT has properly performed its functions as agent of the state, and if it has not, it has No regulatory remedies can be sought from the courts.”
The Court of Appeal’s decision rested on the distinction between ordinary negligence and deliberately touching the balance.
Similarly, ERCOT will not be liable for its ordinary negligence when exercising its authority to cause transmission service interruptions for the purpose of maintaining the stability and security of the ERCOT System, but will If we have cause, we may be held liable for gross negligence or willful misconduct. ’” the court ruled.
Anything ERCOT does in relation to its basic functions falls within the power of the PUC, so if the states get their way, such distinctions are irrelevant in court.panda power refuse This argument expresses a position that is in line with the judgment of the Court of Appeals.
“The ultimate question here is whether ERCOT had a duty not to lie in its meetings and in its own reports on power supply and demand,” Panda’s filing said. “Whatever the outcome of these other lawsuits, Panda’s classic common-law fraud claims should be decided in court.”
Following the February 2021 blackout, the Texas Supreme Court has punted In another part of the same controversy, he stated that it was impossible for a trial court’s judgment to be taken away in such a short period of time.[ould] Review the decision of the appellate court from the final judgment of the first instance. ”
No date has been set for oral arguments at this time, but the outcome of this case will undoubtedly have ramifications for a flurry of other lawsuits following the blackout. in progress Deliberations on the redesign of the state ERCOT market.
https://thetexan.news/state-of-texas-joins-contest-over-ercot-governmental-immunity-backs-grid-operators-exemption-claim/ Texas Joins ERCOT Government Exemption Debate, Supports Grid Operator Exemption Claims