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Issues on the Horizon at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Issues on the Horizon at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Full Title: Issues on the Horizon at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Author(s): Gabrielle Murnan, Zoe Ripecky, and Jennifer Chen
Publisher(s): Duke University Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Congress created the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) as an independent agency to
oversee the cross-state transmission of electricity, natural
gas, and oil. As innovations and changing consumer
preferences shape the energy industry, FERC must
grapple with a number of key issues:

• The Trump administration has advocated for
payments to coal and nuclear resources that are
struggling financially, arguing that resources with
“onsite fuel” increase grid resilience. Opponents cite
projected costs to customers and potential to crowd
out newer technologies that would improve grid
flexibility and resilience. FERC is deciding what, if
anything, it should do.
• FERC will review rules that could determine the
ability for newer technologies and non-emitting
resources to compete in the markets. Reforms could
reduce oversupply of generation. This could result
in higher prices for generators but lower total costs
for consumers.
• FERC will decide whether to finalize a proposal to
enable Distributed Energy Resources to compete in
the wholesale electricity markets.
• FERC is considering changes to the Public Utility
Regulatory Policies Act, which could help or hinder
renewable energy growth in certain regions.
• FERC is revisiting its pipeline approval policy, after
increased opposition to pipeline development. Of
nearly 400 pipeline applications filed since FERC’s
1999 policy was enacted, FERC has rejected two.

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