CONSUMER ADVOCATE & PROTECTION DIVISION OF THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TENNESSEE v. TENNESSEE REGULATORY AUTHORITY - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 31, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Joseph F. Whalen, Associate Solicitor General; and Vance L. Broemel, Assistant Attorney General, for the Petitioner/Appellant Consumer Advocate & Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

J. Richard Collier and Kelly Cashman-Grams for the Respondent/Appellee Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

J. W. Luna and Jennifer L. Brundige, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Respondent/Appellee Chattanooga Gas Company.

Henry Walker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Petitioner/Appellee Chattanooga Regional Manufacturer’s Association.

Judge(s): KIRBY

This is an appeal from an order of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (“TRA”). The appeal was filed by the Consumer Advocate and Protection Division of the Office of Tennessee’s Attorney General. It challenges the TRA’s authority to allow a gas company to recover attorney fees that were incurred in a proceeding before the TRA that did not involve ratemaking, and the TRA’s authority to order that the attorney fees be recovered from asset management funds. We conclude that the TRA has the authority to order that such litigation fees be recovered as any other reasonable and prudent operating expense of the utility, and that the TRA acted within its authority in ordering that the fees be paid out of asset management funds. The TRA’s decision, therefore, is affirmed.