On October 14, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on FERC's "demand-response" rule requiring power users to be paid for scaling back electricity during peak demand.
Conservative justices appeared skeptical that the rule was within the bounds of the agency's jurisdiction, and they may uphold a lower-court decision to strike down the FERC regulation.
Supporters of the FERC program contend that the ramifications of throwing out the rule are high. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who's representing the agency in the court arguments, told the justices that the rule in question could bring about billions of dollars in consumer benefits by lowering electricity rates and would help protect the grid against blackouts and brownouts.
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