For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Mullin
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans for a Clean Energy Grid Senior Adviser, Bill White released the following statement today prior to a U.S. House Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing on electricity transmission and recent actions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC):
“It is encouraging that House lawmakers are taking a closer look at the numerous issues around transmission development today. Building transmission in this country has become an onerous and often overly contentious process that has kept the full scale deployment of clean energy at bay, and hurt consumers and businesses who deserve access to cheaper electricity and a more reliable grid.
“Two of the biggest challenges to building a more modern grid are planning and cost allocation, both of which were addressed in the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rule – Order 1000. The modest changes made by Order 1000 build upon progress that regions throughout the country are already moving forward with, including recognizing the broad benefits of a robust grid, opening up access to competitive energy markets and tapping domestic resources that can lower electricity prices. These reforms reflect the natural progression of our electric grid toward a more strategically planned system that can accommodate the United States’ vast, underutilized domestic energy resources.
“Order 1000 gives deference to the regions to develop plans that fit their unique circumstances. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. However, it is a game changer for a small number of incumbent utilities that benefit from the current, broken system that protects high cost generation and holds many ratepayers captive to artificially high electricity costs. These opponents of common-sense transmission reforms support Congressional action that will override inclusive regional agreements for building transmission and halt investment in our grid.
“Transmission is the backbone of free and competitive electric markets, and essential to giving businesses and consumers access to the best energy resources at the lowest prices. A strong, reliable and modern grid benefits everyone by allowing innovation and competition to drive down prices. We encourage lawmakers to support FERC’s efforts to strengthen this essential market infrastructure.”
Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) is focused on expanding and modernizing the nation’s transmission system to meet America’s growing energy needs and unlock the potential of domestic resources and economic opportunity in every region of the country. ACEG supports smart state and federal policies that will improve the way the grid is developed, planned, and paid for. Policy reforms are the key to ensuring our nation has a more robust, reliable, and secure network that supports expansion of renewable energy, competitive power markets, energy efficiency, and lowers costs for consumers. ACEG is an initiative of the Energy Future Coalition (EFC) – a broad-based, non-partisan alliance that seeks to bridge the differences among business, labor, and environmental groups and identify energy policy options with broad political support.