In December 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) responded to the rising Western Energy Crisis by issuing an order encouraging local utilities to enter into long-term contracts, while promising to monitor the market-based rates (“MBR”) on which the contracts were based to ensure that the rates met the statutory “just and reasonable” standard. The order resulted in a pressurized environment requiring local utilities to hastily negotiate expensive five-to-ten year supply contracts or risk having to shut down.
Wiggins, Lucy. "The Ninth Circuit Confronts the Aftermath of the Western Energy Crisis." Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Spring 2007, 63-64.