Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Last week’s D.C. Circuit cases illustrate why environmental lawyers need to understand FERC.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been called the most important environmental agency that no one has heard of. At the end of last week, the D.C. Circuit decided two undramatic FERC cases that illustrate FERC’s environmental significance. One involved a bailout to coal and nuclear plants, the other involved water quality. The first …CONTINUE READING
The bill gives the Feds broad authority to authorize transmission projects.
We will need a much more robust transmission in coming years. Sources of renewable energy, such as Iowa wind farms, are often located far from the urban centers that need the power. Transmission also helps to deal with weather issues that may impact renewables: even if it’s too cloudy for solar in one state, the …CONTINUE READING
Current federal law provides many ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even without a friendly senate
As the likelihood grows that the United States will have a new president who will preside over a divided government, and various policy think tanks line up to offer suggestions for effective action on various important issues, it seems like the right time to shine a light once again on a series of reports issued …CONTINUE READING
New York regulators and transmission operators consider a carbon adder for wholesale electricity.
The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) operates the state’s electric grid and conducts wholesale power markets. The New York Department of Public Service regulates the state’s investor-owned electricity providers. Together, they have issued a report concluding that the state, ratepayers, and the environment would benefit from placing a charge on wholesale electric power to …CONTINUE READING
Henry Waxman urges FERC to act on greenhouse gas emissions.
In a Congressional hearing this morning, Congressman Henry Waxman had a rare chance to face all five sitting members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at the same time to talk about climate change. He took the opportunity to point out UC Berkeley’s recent report on FERC’s authority under existing law to reduce greenhouse …CONTINUE READING
A new report shows that FERC has extensive power to address climate change.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has captured the attention of the energy world with its proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants – and for good reason. The EPA’s authority is broad and its resolve to address climate change is evident. But other federal agencies are in a position to …CONTINUE READING
Joel B. Eisen is Professor of Law and Austin Owen Research Fellow at University of Richmond School of Law. His scholarly work is available here. Last Friday (May 23), in Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC, a D.C. Circuit panel split 2-1 and vacated Order 745, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rule designed to …CONTINUE READING
In trying to read the effect of the 2012 elections on national energy policy, there are at least five places to look: 1. Continuity at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission One of the more dramatic changes that occurred during the first Obama term was a shift in the mission of the Federal Regulatory Commission. FERC …CONTINUE READING
When federal law tells a federal agency to consult with the states before issuing its rules, what is the agency obliged to do? Is it enough to allow the states to file comments on a proposed rule, or to invite their representatives to speak at a public hearing? According to the recent Ninth Circuit Court …CONTINUE READING
In a decision issued last week, the U.S. Supreme Court continued to chip away at consumer protections embedded in the Federal Power Act, and it is the environment that ultimately may take the biggest hit. First, let’s consider those consumer protections. The Federal Power Act requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to ensure that …CONTINUE READING