DMS update to drop next week

PSC practitioners anticipate updates to DMS much as the rest of the world hangs on the latest version of IOS. We just received notice of these new enhancements coming on Monday, July 18th:

  • Removal of the ability to efile in multiple dockets at one time. This change is necessary to reduce duplicate email notifications and incorrect watermarks.
  • Ability to eFile Excel spreadsheets.
  • PDF filings required to be text searchable.
  • Notice of Electronic Filing form updated to include hyperlinks to Docket and files.
  • Efile Coversheet updated to include additional Matter types.
  • E-Filing Status Notification email indicates Rejected Status in red lettering. Hyperlink to Docket added.
  • Duplicate email issue resolved where a Representative represents multiple Parties.
  • Ability to Confirm and View electronic service of Matters and Orders in eService notifications.
  • Added My DMS Help Button with link to the DMS and Efile System Training Videos.
  • Added Docket Number and Description columns on My DMS E-Service Request screens.
  • Calendar view added to the Meetings/Hearings tab.
  • A single NEF Email will be sent at the end of the day when multiple Letters of Protest/Comments have been received in a Docket during that day.

S.C. A.G. challenges DOE rules for dishwashers and washing machines

Image by Victor Kim from Pixabay

Attorney General Alan Wilson joined eleven of his counterparts in a brief opposing the Department of Energy’s 2022 energy efficiency standards ( “Energy Conservation Program: Product Classes for Residential Dishwashers, Residential Clothes Washers, and Consumer Clothes Dryers.”) for dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. The new rule would repeal a 2020 rule that relaxed stricter appliance standards previously in place. Critics contend that consumers did not save energy with the stricter standards because they often ran the appliances twice to get their clothes or dishes clean. Read more here.

Georgia Public Service Commission faces federal voting rights suit

The trial of a federal voting rights suit challenging the manner in which members of the Georgia Public Service Commission are elected has finished and the parties await a decision. The plaintiffs, who were later joined by the U.S. Department of Justice, claim that Georgia’s method of electing Public Service Commissioners discriminates against Black voters and violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Each Georgia Public Service Commissioner resides in and represents one of five regional districts, but all are elected statewide for six-year terms. The plaintiffs contend the at-large voting system dilutes minority representation and that Public Service Commissioners should be elected from single-member districts. Read more here.

USC law professor cited in US Supreme Court Opinion

The “Burnished Bronze and Garnet Chandelier” in the Perrin Family Lobby at the Senate Street entrance was designed specifically for the University of South Carolina School of Law by American artist, Dale Chihuly.

University of South Carolina School of Law Professor Nathan Richardson was cited by Justice Neal Gorsuch in his concurring opinion in West Virginia v E.PA. issued last week:

Other suggestive factors are present too. “The electric power sector is among the largest in the U. S. economy, with links to every other sector.” N. Richardson, Keeping Big Cases From Making Bad Law: The Resurgent “Major Questions” Doctrine, 49 Conn. L. Rev. 355, 388 (2016). T
West Virginia v. EPA, Nos. 20-1530, 20-1531, 20-1778, 20-1780, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 3268, at *68 (June 30, 2022)

Nice to see our law school get some good publicity!

Opponents of Dominion’s Pamplico Pipeline plan to voice their opposition at the PSC

Dominion Energy South Carolina Pamplico Pipeline project will cross six tributaries to the Great Pee Dee River, and predictably some folks aren’t happy about it. Many pipeline opponents appear to have seized on the Commission’s rulemaking docket, 2020-247-A, as a forum in which to voice their displeasure. The Commission has scheduled a Workshop on June 16, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., on proposed revisions to electric and gas regulations, but some folks seem to have something else in mind. The Commission has received several messages, such as this one from last week:

Good afternoon,
I want to register for docket 2020-247-A concerning Dominion Energy’s proposed pipeline along the Great Pee Dee River

Looks like things could get lively at this otherwise staid proceeding.

Commerce Probe Puts Solar Projects on Hold

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The New York Times reports that solar projects across the country are being delayed while the U.S. Department of Commerce investigates whether Chinese companies are evading U.S. tariffs on solar panel components by routing them through Southeast Asian Counties. The investigation was prompted by a petition alleging anti-dumping violations filed by Auxin Solar, a California-based solar panel assembler, according to Utility Dive. The prices of solar components from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, which are used in the overwhelming majority of solar modules in the U.S. could be retroactively affected. The Times quotes the Solar Energy Industries Association as saying 318 projects across the U.S. have been canceled or delayed and hundreds of companies are considering layoffs.

The Kentucky PSC Lacks a Quorum

The Kentucky PSC is left without a quorum after the state Senate refused to confirm Gov. Andy Beshear’s latest nominee. The three-member body is down to one because Republican lawmakers also refused to confirm another appointment by the Democratic Governor earlier this year. As a result, the pending 2.8 billion dollar sale of Kentucky Power to American Electric Power is in limbo. Read about it here

How the War in Ukraine Affects Energy Markets

US Department of Energy

Two recent podcasts good provide insight into the global effects on energy markets of the war in Ukraine. Josh Rhodes, a Research Associate at the University of Texas at Austin, spoke with Josh Barrow on Very Serious about Europe’s efforts to end its dependency on Russian natural gas. Mark Finley, a former senior economist for BP and former CIA analyst, spoke with former CIA director Michael Morell on Intelligence Matters about the effects of the Russian invasion on oil and gas markets. Both are interesting discussions of complex and interdependent energy markets.