FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher said Tuesday the federal regulatory panel agrees with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco regarding its action last Friday to set a settlement conference on the California energy refund proceeding appeals cases. Consolidated appeals petitions will be included in the Sept. 6 conference, continuing the next day if necessary, the court said.

“We agree with the court that settlement is the best path,” Kelliher said in a prepared written statement from the press office at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). “We will support the court’s efforts to promote settlement.”

The conference will allow the parties in the presence of the judge to discuss the status of settlement discussions, whether there is reason to further extend the time for seeking panel rehearing and/or rehearing before an appellate court panel of judges, along with various case management issues regarding Phase II and related cases, the court indicated. The session is expected to take the entire day and perhaps part of Sept. 7 also.

Judge Edward Leavy set the conference, declaring that attendance by the parties was not mandatory, “but is encouraged.” He limited attendance to one representative-per-party in the case. “If a law firm represents multiple parties, the firm shall designate one attorney to represent all parties at the conference,” Leavy said.

“The conference is not intended to inhibit or discourage any ongoing settlement efforts involving these or related petitions for review,” Leavy said.

Parties participating must return an attendance form to the court by Aug. 28.

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