The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the independent regulatory agency responsible for regulating interstate pipelines, hydropower, transmission lines, and the sale of electricity is facing a number of challenges, including the power sector’s rapid shift from coal to natural gas and, increasingly, to renewable energy sources.
FERC is tasked with protecting the reliability of the power supply but it is having to balance reliability requirements with policies and market forces that are putting increasing amounts of intermittent energy onto the power system. The is also growing pressure from activists for FERC to take into account the environmental impacts of projects in its decision-making process.
All of this is happening at a time when the five-member Commission is down to just two members and therefore without the necessary quorum to make major rulings. President Trump has yet to name anyone to fill FERC’s three open seats, so it could be some time before the Commission is back to full strength.
On February 28th, The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research hosted a conversation on these and other public policy issues facing the Commission. The event featured former FERC commissioners Philip Moeller, senior vice president of energy delivery and chief customer solutions officer at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and James Hoecker, senior counsel and energy strategist at Husch Blackwell and founder of WIRES. Glen Boshart of SNL Global moderated The discussion, which was sponsored by Exelon.
Watch the full archived video of the event: