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Senate and House Leaders Welcome FERC Agreement to Seek Action to Address Grid Reliability Concerns



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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate and House leaders today welcomed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to convene a series of technical conferences on the potential threat of new federal environmental regulations to the reliability of the nation’s electric power system.

FERC’s announcement on Tuesday came in response to a letter from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) regarding the lack of a formal consultation process between FERC and the Environmental Protection Agency in the development of EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other major rules impacting electric reliability.

“I appreciate that FERC has agreed to convene a technical conference to examine the significant concerns we raised about the potential impacts the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could have on the electric reliability,” Murkowski said. “A national conference, followed by three regional technical conferences, is no substitute for EPA’s failure to engage FERC and DOE in a formal, documented process to address the impact on electric reliability of EPA’s series of major rulemakings in recent years. I remain hopeful however that the conferences will be useful to develop a better public record on these crucial questions, and I will remain as vigilant on this issue as I have been since 2011.”

“We are pleased to see that FERC is taking prompt action in response to our request and is moving forward with technical conferences to discuss the reliability, infrastructure, and market concerns inherent in EPA’s rule,” Upton and Whitfield said. “Communication and coordination among the agencies and stakeholders is key to ensuring we can maintain access to affordable and reliable electricity as we confront new regulatory challenges and pressures on our electric grid. This is the right move as more public input and transparency is always better.”

FERC announced it would hold four technical conferences, beginning in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 19, to discuss the impact of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule on electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure.

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