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Overview of FERC

The activities of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) are organized under industry/program areas. The Commission's main industry/program areas are summarized below:

Electricity (http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric.asp)
  • Regulation of wholesale sales of electricity and transmission of electricity in interstate commerce.
  • Oversight of mandatory reliability standards for the bulk power system.
  • Promotion of strong national energy infrastructure, including adequate transmission facilities.
  • Regulation of jurisdictional issuances of stock and debt securities, assumptions of obligations and liabilities, and mergers.

    • Wholesale Power Markets: National policy for many years has been, and continues to be, to foster competition in wholesale power markets. In fulfilling its responsibilities related to that national policy, the Commission relies on the dual approaches of regulation and competition.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/competition.asp
      Point-of-contact: Russell Profozich – 202-502-6478


    • Market-Based Rates: The Commission grants market-based rate authorization for wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services. As a condition of market-based rate authority, the Commission requires, among other things, certain restrictions governing the relationship between a market-regulated power sales affiliate and its franchised public utility affiliate with captive customers.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/gen-info/mbr.asp
      Point-of-contact: Thomas Hoar – 202-502-6401


    • Demand Response and Advanced Metering: The Commission's policy is to facilitate the participation of demand response in organized wholesale power markets. Among other benefits, demand response helps to hold down wholesale prices, increases awareness of energy usage, provides for more efficient operation of markets, mitigates market power, and enhances reliability.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/demand-response.asp
      Point-of-contact: David Kathan – 202-502-6404


    • Electric Reliability: The Commission oversees the development of mandatory reliability and security standards. The Commission monitors and directs the Electric Reliability Organization to ensure compliance with the approved mandatory standards by the users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/reliability.asp
      Point-of-contact: Cynthia Pointer – 202-502-6069


    • Transmission Investment: The Commission promotes the development of a strong national energy infrastructure. Toward that end, the Commission has established rules to bolster investment in the nation's transmission infrastructure, and to promote electric power reliability and lower costs for consumers, by reducing transmission congestion.
      Website: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/trans-invest.asp
      Point-of-contact: Jeffery Hitchings – 202-502-6042


    • Transmission Line Siting: The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the Commission to issue, in limited circumstances, permits for new transmission facilities within National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors designated by the U.S. Department of Energy.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/siting.asp
      Point-of-contact: Jeff Wright – 202-502-8617


    • Order No. 1000 - Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation: Order No. 1000 is a Final Rule that reforms the Commission’s electric transmission planning and cost allocation requirements for public utility transmission providers. The rule builds on the reforms of Order No. 890 and corrects remaining deficiencies with respect to transmission planning processes and cost allocation methods.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/trans-plan.asp
      Point-of-contact: Shiv Mani – 202-502-8240


    • Mergers and Corporate Transactions: The Commission is responsible for determining whether jurisdictional mergers and other corporate transactions applications are consistent with the public interest. In making its determination, the Commission examines the proposed transaction's effect on competition, rates, and regulation, and the potential for cross-subsidization.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/gen-info/mergers.asp
      Point-of-contact: Andy Mosier – 202-502-6274
Natural Gas (http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas.asp)
  • Regulation of pipeline and storage facility construction and abandonment.
  • Regulation of natural gas transportation in interstate commerce.
  • Establishment of rates for services.
  • Regulation of the transportation of natural gas as authorized by the Natural Gas Policy Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
  • Oversight of the construction and operation of pipeline facilities at U.S. points of entry for the import or export of natural gas.


    • Gas Pipelines: Under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act, the Commission reviews applications for the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/pipelines.asp
      Point-of-contact: Michael McGehee – 202-502-8962

    • Natural Gas Storage: Natural gas may be stored in a number of different ways. It is most commonly held in inventory underground under pressure in three types of facilities: (1) depleted reservoirs in oil and/or gas fields, (2) aquifers, and (3) salt cavern formations. Two of the most important characteristics of an underground storage reservoir are its capacity to hold natural gas for future use and the rate at which gas inventory can be withdrawn-its deliverability rate.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/storage.asp
      Point-of-contact: Howard Wheeler – 202-502-8688


    • Blanket Certificates: Under a blanket certificate issued pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act, a natural gas company may undertake a restricted array of routine activities without the need to obtain a case-specific certificate for each individual project. The blanket certificate program provides an administratively efficient means to enable a company to construct, modify, acquire, operate, and abandon a limited set of natural gas facilities, and offer a limited set of services, provided each activity complies with constraints on costs and environmental impacts set forth in the Commission's regulations.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/blank-cert.asp
      Point-of-contact: Gordon Wagner – 202-502-8947


    • Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects: The Commission issued Order No. 2005, which promulgated rules designed to promote competition, exploration, development and production of Alaska natural gas, establish standards for creating open seasons for potential shippers to compete for and acquire initial capacity and future expansion capacity on any potential Alaska pipeline. The rules also provide standards for allocating the capacity to ensure nondiscriminatory access to any Alaska transportation projects.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/angtp.asp
      Point-of-contact: Richard Foley – 202-502-8955


    • Pre-Filing: The Commission has implemented provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 requiring the Commission to coordinate the environmental review and the issuance of all federal authorizations for natural gas infrastructure proposals with other federal and state agencies, and to maintain a consolidated federal record for judicial appeal and review.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/pre-filing.asp
      Point-of-contact: Gordon Wagner – 202-502-8947


    • Environmental Impact Statements: With respect to natural gas projects, the Commission safeguards the environment by disclosing, analyzing and minimizing impacts where it is feasible and reasonable to do so and encouraging applicants to communicate with relevant federal and state natural resources agencies, Indian tribes, and state water quality agencies, prior to submitting an application. The Commission conducts and environmental review of major pipeline projects and includes requirements with any certificate issued to reduce environmental impacts.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis.asp
      Point-of-contact: Lauren O’Donnell – 202-502-8325
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
  • The Commission’s LNG program ensures the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals in the United States.
  • The Commission uses a comprehensive siting process that includes working very closely with the US Coast Guard, Department of Transportation, the States and local governments.
  • The review process ensures that approved LNG terminals and associated LNG vessel traffic meet safety and environmental requirements during construction and operation.
  • The Commission can impose safety requirements to ensure or enhance operational reliability of the LNG terminals.

    • Environmental Impact Statements The Commission is the lead federal agency that will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a LNG terminal and related pipeline facility. The US Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation are cooperating agencies during the EIS preparation. The EIS also addresses LNG tanker operations.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis.asp
      Point-of-contact: Lauren O' Donnell – 202-502-8325
Hydropower (http://www/ferc.gov/industries/hydropower.asp)
  • The Commission issues licenses for the construction of new hydropower projects.
  • The Commission issues licenses for the continuance of existing projects (relicensing).
  • The Commission conducts oversight of ongoing project operations, including dam safety inspections and environmental monitoring.


    • Licensing and Relicensing: The Commission is responsible for the preparation of licenses, major amendments of licenses, 5 megawatt exemptions, and the surrender of licenses for constructed projects.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/gen-info/licensing.asp
      Point-of-contact: Vincent Yearick – 202-502-6174


    • Compliance and Administration: Compliance and Administration: The Commission is responsible for jurisdictional determinations, issuance of preliminary permits, compliance (including audits), penalties, license surrenders, transfer of licenses, and complaints.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/gen-info/comp-admin.asp


    • Safety and Inspections: Dam safety is a critical part of the Commission's hydropower program and receives top priority. Before projects are constructed, the Commission staff reviews and approves the designs, plans, and specifications of dams, powerhouses, and other structures. During construction, Commission staff engineers frequently inspect a project, and once construction is complete, Commission engineers continue to inspect it on a regular basis.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/safety.asp
      Point-of-contact: William Allerton – 202-502-6025


    • Environmental Impact Statements: With respect to hydroelectric projects, the Commission safeguards the environment by ensuring that planned projects will minimize damage to the environment through requirements of consultation with federal and state Natural Resources agencies, Indian tribes, and state water quality agencies prior to submitting an application to the Commission. The Commission issues comprehensive environmental documents and incorporates into licenses conditions designed to reduce environmental impacts.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/enviro/eis.asp
      Point-of-contact: Vincent Yearick – 202-502-6174


    • Hydrokinetics: Hydrokinetics is the hydroelectric generation from ocean waves, tides, and currents and from free-flowing rivers. The Commission is looking at the development of this new source of hydropower that has the potential to add a substantial amount of power to the nation's generation capacity.
      Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/gen-info/licensing/hydrokinetics/energy-pilot.asp
      Point-of-contact: Stephen Bowler – 202-502-6861
Oil (http://www.ferc.gov/industries/oil.asp)
  • Regulation of rates and practices of oil pipeline companies engaged in interstate transportation.
  • Establishment of equal service conditions to provide shippers with equal access to pipeline transportation.
  • Establishment of reasonable rates for transporting petroleum and petroleum products by pipeline.

  • Point-of-contact: Michael Lacy – 202-502-8843
Enforcement and Market Oversight
  • Market Oversight: The Market Oversight section of the Commission's Office of Enforcement provides national and regional information about electricity and natural gas markets. Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/market-oversight/market-oversight.asp
    Point-of-contact: Jerome Pederson – 202-502-8903


  • Enforcement Hotline: The Enforcement Hotline allows market participants and the general public to contact the Commission to complain or report market activities or transactions that may be an abuse of market power, an abuse of an affiliate relationship, a tariff violation, or other possible violation or concern. All information and documents obtained through the Hotline are non-public, consistent with section 1b.9 of the Commission's regulations.
    Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/enforcement/staff-guid/enforce-hot.asp
    Point-of-contact: David Applebaum – 202-502-8186


  • Analytics & Surveillance: Performs surveillance and analysis of data relating to the Nation's physical natural gas and electric power markets and related financial products. Develops and implements surveillance tools to detect potential manipulation, anticompetitive behavior, and other anomalous activity. Identifies potential subjects of nonpublic investigations that are conducted in conjunction with the Division of Investigations. Conducts forensic analysis of complex market data and information to assist in determining whether manipulation or other improper conduct occurred or is occurring.
    Point-of-contact: Lee Ann Watson – 202-502-6317



CONTACT
Office of External Affairs
Telephone: 202-502-8004
Toll-free: 1-866-208-3372
Email: customer@ferc.gov
 
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Updated: October 15, 2014