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Consolidated Edison Co. of New York v. Bodman

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20107
Nos. No. 05-5302, (D.C. Cir., 06/09/2006)

The court upholds the dismissal of a complaint against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) involving a 1986 settlement agreement that allocated refunds of crude oil overcharges. Under the agreement, the refunded overcharges would be apportioned between the parties to the settlement agreement, which included the DOE, all 50 states, and various nongovernmental entities. The agreement also established a reserve fund for those not party to the agreement. In the instant case, a group of energy utilities and manufacturers that are entitled to recover from the reserve fund filed a complaint for a declaratory judgment that the federal and state governments, as well as their respective departments and agencies, are not entitled to recover from the reserve fund because they were parties to the settlement agreement. But a previous federal court already ruled that parties to the settlement were entitled to receive refunds from the reserve fund. The doctrine of issue preclusion, therefore, bars the instant case.