With Testimony from Analysis Group Expert, Delaware Prevails in Lawsuit over Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

June 29, 2018

Analysis Group was retained by the State of Delaware in its defense of a suit brought by three state residents related to amendment of regulations initially enacted through the state's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's first market-based program to control carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The plaintiffs claimed that they would suffer economic harm in the form of higher electricity bills because the regulations would result in increasing generation costs, which would then be passed on to consumers. Analysis Group Senior Advisor Susan Tierney provided expert testimony on the state's behalf, arguing that its approach to implementing RGGI – including the participating states' use of carbon-allowance auction proceeds to invest in energy efficiency, and the differences between wholesale price formation and retail ratemaking measures – did not support the plaintiffs' contentions that their electricity bills would go up as a result of the RGGI program.

Judge Richard Stokes of the Superior Court of Delaware denied the plaintiffs' motion to exclude Dr. Tierney's testimony, while granting the state's motion to exclude the testimony of plaintiffs' own expert. In his decision, Judge Stokes referred extensively to Dr. Tierney's testimony, ruling that the plaintiffs had not advanced any theory of economic harm sufficient to provide them with standing to sue. Accordingly, the case was dismissed.