FERC’s cut is the deepest

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2021

The bipartisan infrastructure bill would grant FERC new powers to effectively veto state decisions rejecting new transmission siting, possibly cracking open the way to approve new power connections between areas like those in Midwest and West best suited for renewable energy and the population centers that consume the most energy. But it could also inflame already tense relationships between the commission and state regulators, reports Pro’s Gloria Gonzalez.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners voiced their concerns to Manchin and Energy Ranking Member John Barrasso last month, saying it was “deeply troubled” by language in Manchin’s energy infrastructure bill that would grant FERC greater siting power. “In essence, this new provision simply gives the state an ultimatum: ‘Approve the project or FERC will approve it for you,’” Paul Kjellander, NARUC president, said in the letter.

But FERC Chair Rich Glick has already been working to grease the wheels and build ties with state regulators. FERC and NARUC announced a joint federal-state task force on transmission, with Glick noting in July that states are grappling with similar transmission issues.