WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced legislation today that would ensure all transmission transactions are provided parity in the review process by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
“The law should be clear and fair when it comes to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) mergers and consolidations authority,” said Sen. Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “By holding all energy transactions to the same standard, we can empower FERC to operate more efficiently and eliminate burdensome requirements—saving consumers money. I look forward to working with Senator Heinrich to pass this legislation swiftly.”
“Building a network of new regional transmission lines is the key to tapping the full potential for energy development in Western states like New Mexico and Oklahoma,” said Senator Heinrich, member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Our current transmission networks were not designed to integrate decentralized renewable energy sources, incorporate new energy storage technologies, stay protected from cyber threats and natural disasters, or allow different utilities and power consumers to work together efficiently. Reducing barriers for grid infrastructure investments will move us closer toward a more resilient, reliable, and secure electric grid.”
The legislation was praised by Edison Electric Institute:
“We thank Senators Inhofe (R-OK) and Heinrich (D-NM) for introducing this legislation, which will clarify the 2005 Energy Policy Act’s merger and acquisition authority for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “This is an important issue for the electric power industry. S. 1860 will ensure consistent, common-sense implementation of this statute.”
The Parity Across Reviews Act will be considered before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy on Wednesday, October 3, 2017. This legislation is identical to H.R. 1109, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year.