Emory Law Journal


Daniel A. Lyons


In a trilogy of recent cases, the Supreme Court has launched a quiet revolution in energy federalism. With little fanfare, it has abandoned its decades-long effort to divide electricity regulation into mutually exclusive spheres of federal and state authority. Instead it has embraced a more sophisticated concurrent jurisdiction model¿against the wishes of Justice Scalia, who opposed this transformation in his final published dissent. This Article explores the ramifications of this revolution, particularly for state energy regulators. The shift to concurrent jurisdiction is long overdue. The historic model of the local vertically integrated utility has long been replaced by regional, complex, innovative electricity markets. Concurrent jurisdiction allows regulators to adapt more nimbly to changing market dynamics, unrestrained by the outdated formalism of the old dual federalism model.