FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff is pushing his transmission agenda through the FERC rulemaking process. This story in yesterday’s New York Times details the way that Wellinghoff’s agenda will directly impact the PATH project.
Wellinghoff is fighting back against last year’s Seventh Circuit federal appeals court ruling that denied FERC’s claims that ratepayers that did not benefit from transmission projects could be forced to pay for those new lines. The FERC chairman is pushing for new rules changes that would allow FERC to force ratepayers across the US to pay for FERC’s favorite dinosaur power lines, just because FERC claims those lines increase some vague notion of “system reliability.”
The East Virginia SCC’s focus on Dominion Virginia Power’s Alternative 1, and Dominion’s right to fix transmission problems in its own service area before any PJM or FERC projects, is also under attack by Wellinghoff. He wants new FERC rules that would throw out any state law giving local utilities the “right of first refusal” to resolve local transmission problems. Wellinghoff’s new rules would give FERC the sole authority to appoint its favorites (see AEP here) to build Al Gore’s and Dick Cheney’s new “super grid.”
The New York Times article also includes important information about how many states and power companies are fighting back against the FERC steamroller.
You’ll also get a laugh from the Times’ goofy headline that is exactly the opposite of the content of the article, “FERC Moves Ahead With Campaign to Promote Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.” The headline should have read “FERC Pushes Obsolete Transmission Strategy.”