FERC Commissioners Testify on Energy Infrastructure, Resiliency, State-Federal Tensions
On April 17, 2018, the five Commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) testified before the House Energy Subcommittee in a hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and FY2019 Budget.” Chairman Kevin McIntyre, along with Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur, Neil Chatterjee, Robert Powelson and Richard Glick discussed a number of topics ranging from cyber security and grid resiliency to baseload resources, removing barriers to entry for energy storage, review of the pipeline approval process, as well as potential modifications to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”) and the Federal Power Act (“FPA”).
Key topics and takeaways included:
- Tension between state energy policies and wholesale electricity markets. Chairman McIntyre commented that finding a balance between state energy policies and FERC’s jurisdiction over the wholesale markets is one of the trickiest areas the Commission faces. He explained that states have the authority to prefer certain energy resources, and FERC has the obligation to ensure that electricity generated by these resources is