First, Jones Day’s Charlie Read, chair of PUCAT’s new State Regulatory Committee, explains why we have established this new committee. State regulatory decisions from across the country and in multiple utility industries can all affect the outcome of a client’s proceeding before one or more state commissions. Moreover, as utilities and utility holding companies consolidate and manage operations in different regions of the country, local or regional interests sometimes conflict with the broader economic forces (and with federal policies) that drive developments in our infrastructure industries. As Section members and practitioners, we can help each other and our industries by understanding this complexity and working with state policy makers to shape practical regulatory solutions.
The second article also comes to us from Jones Day. Dickson Chin and Jim Gauch, along with Phil Lookadoo from Reed Smith, dive deeply into the way in which different regulators interpret the same term or phrase to achieve different public policy objectives. This article draws attention to the importance of interpreting language in regulatory context within which the words appear. As the Supreme Court said in the line of administrative law cases cited in the article: “context counts” when interpreting a statute and implementing congressional intent. This article provides scholarly support for interpreting the Dodd-Frank amendments to the Commodity Exchange Act in context as such regulations are applied to nonfinancial entities that participate as end users hedging commercial risks in the physical commodity and commodity swap markets.
As my term as chair of the Section comes to an end, I want to thank Judge Cudahy, the editor-in-chief of Infrastructure, and his committee (with special thanks to Chuck Patrizia) for continuing to challenge our readers, our industries, and regulators with interesting and topical scholarship and public policy perspectives.