State Legislators from 43 States Call on FERC to Strengthen and Finalize Transmission Planning Rule
October 4, 2023
Today more than 230 state legislators from 43 states submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to finalize and strengthen its regional transmission planning rule.
Expanding transmission is critical for the reliability, affordability, and equity of the power grid. The adoption of renewable energy, led by strong policies in the states, has allowed the grid to withstand threats from drought, floods, storms, and extreme heat. However, to ensure this continued resilience, we must accelerate transmission buildout across the country.
“My colleagues and I have worked hard to transition to renewable energy and provide reliable and affordable electricity for Maryland residents, just as states have led the way on this clean energy transition across the country,” said Maryland Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. “ The impact of our work is limited by the lack of transmission planning, coordination, and development. With this letter, we are asking FERC to be a strong partner in this transition, by strengthening and finalizing their transmission rule.”
That’s why these 234 state legislators have come together requesting FERC finalize its transmission planning rule with four key features:
- Holistic consideration of transmission benefits.
- Method to resolve cost allocation between states.
- A plan for future load and resource mix that considers our changing energy system.
- Incorporation of advanced transmission technologies including high-performance conductors, dynamic line ratings, topology optimization, and power flow control.
States have led the way in transitioning to renewable energy and with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act However, transmission is vital to new clean energy getting to the population centers that need it. In fact, 80% of the value of the IRA will not be realized without transmission expansion. To unlock the full emissions reduction potential of the Inflation Reduction Act, the pace of transmission expansion must more than double over the last decade.
Improving transmission across regions provides benefits beyond increasing renewable energy. It can help to strengthen the economy, ensure a resilient grid, and advance environmental justice.
- Strengthening the economy: In the Eastern U.S. alone, expanding and modernizing the transmission grid would unleash up to $7.8 trillion in investment and generate more than 6 million net new jobs, primarily in rural areas.
- Ensuring a resilient grid: A resilient grid relies on access to power generation sources at all times in order to meet demand. Increasing regional transmission and the use of renewables ensures that power is consistently available when needed.
- Advancing environmental justice: By creating the infrastructure necessary to transmit clean energy across the country, it will be easier to transition away from the dirtiest fossil fuel plants that disproportionately pollute communities of color and low-income communities.
State legislators work hard to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean electricity. With the Federal Power Act, states have decision-making power on energy allocation, and state legislators take this job seriously. Together, these 43 states are calling on the Federal Energy Regulation Commission to finalize a robust transmission planning rule to ensure a national grid that benefits all their constituents. Read the full letter here.
Created by and for state legislators, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,200 environmentally-committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL does not lobby but rather provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.