WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Energy and Power Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), on Tuesday held a hearing examining the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) current role in regulating electricity markets, their timeliness as it relates to licensing LNG export facilities, interstate gas pipelines, and non-federal hydropower projects. Members also expressed their concern with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent moves to supplant FERC’s authority over electricity well beyond anything in the Federal Power Act, especially as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
During the hearing Whitfield stated “There are valid concerns that FERC is allowing itself to become a helpless bystander as EPA seeks to dominate the electricity sector in ways that exacerbate the very problems FERC is supposed to protect consumers from. America’s energy situation is better than it has been in decades, but nonetheless there are challenges in the years ahead and a critical role for FERC is dealing with them.”
Norman C. Bay, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, expressed a willingness to ensure FERC keeps pace with changes in electricity markets, “The Commission continues to work to promote great efficiency, competition, and transparency in the wholesale markets. … There is a need for more infrastructure, in terms of both gas facilities and electric transmission, and FERC plays a critical role in permitting and incenting the development of that infrastructure.”