Justia Energy, Oil & Gas Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Non-Profit Corporations
Town of Smyrna, TN v. Mun. Gas Auth. of GA
The Authority was formed under Ga. Code 46-4-82(a) to provide member municipalities with natural gas. It operates as a non-profit, distributing profits and losses to member municipalities: 64 in Georgia, two in Tennessee, 12 in other states. It pays its own operating expenses and judgments; it is exempt from state laws on financing and investment for state entities and has discretion over accumulation, investment, and management of its funds. It sets its governance rules; members elect leaders from among member municipalities. Smyrna, Tennessee has obtained gas from the Authority since 2000, using a pipeline that does not run through Georgia. The Authority entered a multi-year “hedge” contract for gas acquisition, setting price and volume through 2014, and passed the costs on. The market price of natural gas then fell due to increased hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but Smyrna was still paying the higher price. Smyrna sued for breach of contract, violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment. The district court denied the Authority’s motion to dismiss based on sovereign immunity under Georgia law and the Eleventh Amendment. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, stating that the Authority’s claim that any entity referred to as a state “instrumentality” in a Georgia statute is entitled to state-law sovereign immunity “requires quite a stretch of the imagination.” View "Town of Smyrna, TN v. Mun. Gas Auth. of GA" on Justia Law
Sierra Club, et al. v. Jackson, et al.
Appellants, nonprofit environmental organizations, appealed from a judgment of dismissal entered by the district court in an action against the EPA under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq., challenging the EPA Administrator's failure to take action to prevent the construction of three proposed pollution-emitting facilities in Kentucky. The court held that the validity of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits issued under the noncompliant State Implementation Plan (SIP), and the possible invalidity of the amended SIP, sufficiently raised a current controversy to save the litigation from mootness. The court also held that the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. 500 et seq., did not provide a cause of action to review the EPA Administrator's failure to act under section 7477 of the CAA because her decision was an agency action "committed to agency discretion by law." Therefore, the EPA Administrator's decision was discretionary and not justiciable and thus, appellants failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Although the district court dismissed the case pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the court affirmed the district court's action because dismissal would otherwise have been proper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).