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Northern Laramie Range Alliance v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20237
Nos. 12-9567, (10th Cir., 10/22/2013)

The Tenth Circuit held that landowners lacked standing to challenge two wind energy projects in Wyoming. FERC certified the projects under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act, which seeks to promote renewable energy sources by requiring utilities to buy power from small facilities that meet certain criteria. The landowners argued that the certified wind projects would lead to an increase in local electricity rates. But given the "multitude of uncertainties" surrounding the effect of the project's certification or decertification on electricity rates, the landowners failed to demonstrate either traceability or redressability. The wind projects have not been completed, there is no buyer for the anticipated wind power, and it is unknown whether sales of wind energy would increase or decrease a utility's costs. Even beyond these uncertainties, electricity rates depend on the actions of third parties, those of the utility and the state regulatory commission. The court, therefore, dismissed the case.