Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Energy Law & Policy

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The purpose of this Article is to suggest that the Supreme Court's decision in Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. Mississippi ex rel. Moore (MP&L) issued on June 29, 1988 may provide an appropriate departure point from which to extend the "bright line" between FERC and state PUC jurisdiction to deal with the costs associated with failed nuclear power plants. The issue of a jurisdictional bright line extension initially is posed where state PUCs, in setting retail electric rates, disallow or severely restrict recovery costs of failed nuclear power plant costs from retail ratepayers. This Article first provides a factual background against which to examine the jurisdictional "bright line" law. Second, it analyzes the MP&L decision's clear affirmation of the statutory, judicial, and constitutional bases for drawing the jurisdictional "bright line" that are found in Part II of the Federal Power Act, the filed rate doctrine, preemption principles, and the commerce clause of the Constitution. Finally, it discusses the extension of that jurisdictional "bright line" to deal with the current and future costs of inoperable, abandoned, or cancelled nuclear power plants.