"Excessive Burden" or "Something More Than a Small Dent"? The Supreme Court Parses Mobile-Sierra

The Supreme Court's ­Mobile-Sierra­ doctrine, an interpretation of the Federal Power Act and the Natural Gas Act, holds that once a party enters into a FERC-jurisdictional contract, the party can ask FERC to change the contract only if the contract itself allows the request. This paper, published by the National Regulatory Research Institute, discusses the Court's 2008 decision, applying the doctrine to high-cost contracts entered into during the 2000 California crisis.