Published on October 18, 2011 | by LawNews
Prof. Stefan Krieger’s Article Shapes Decision by Alaska Supreme Court
On October 7, 2011, the Alaska Supreme Court relied heavily on an article written by Stefan Krieger in rejecting a mechanical application of the doctrine prohibiting retroactive ratemaking in public utility rate cases. In that article published in the University of Illinois Law Review, “The Ghost of Regulation Past: Current Applications of the Rule Against Retroactive Ratemaking in Public Utility Proceedings,” Krieger rejects the tendency of courts to rigidly apply that doctrine without any consideration of the policies underlying it.
In the Alaska case, Alaska Exchange Carriers Ass’n v. Regulatory Comm’n of Alaska, six weeks after a regulatory commission approved rates for charges made by local telephone companies to long distance carriers, the local companies found that the approved rates were based on an erroneous spreadsheet which they had filed. The commission granted prospective relief to the companies but found that the venerable doctrine prohibiting retroactive ratemaking barred any retrospective relief. The Alaska Supreme Court noted the widespread reliance of other courts throughout the country on Krieger’s article and remanded the case back to the Commission for an examination of the issues through the lenses of his policy analysis.