Background on FERC-MMS Juridictional Dispute
In the next week, we may see Congressional hearings on how to resolve the FERC-MMS jurisdictional dispute on the Outer Continental Shelf. The Congressional Research Service issued this paper on the topic in October 2008 (click here) and our counsel, Carolyn Elefant wrote an extensive post on the topic at her Renewables Offshore Weblog. Here’s the introduction:
As I remember, the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which authorized the Mineral Management Service to lease property on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for alternative energy projects, were intended to clarify who’s the boss on the Outer Continental Shelf. Before EPAct of 2005, it wasn’t one hundred percent clear how companies like Cape Windcould acquire definitive property rights for siting projects on the OCS and the new law closed that gap.
Except…in closing one gap, EPAct 2005 created another question about which agency, FERC or MMS (or both) have the power to authorize wave or tidal projects on the OCS. Without any further guidance from Congress, FERC and MMS have been duking it out ever since….Read on by clicking here .