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About FERC Arrow What FERC Does

 
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What FERC Does


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave FERC additional responsibilities as outlined in FERC's Top Initiatives and updated Strategic Plan. As part of that responsibility, FERC:

  • Regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce;


  • Reviews certain mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions by electricity companies;


  • Regulates the transmission and sale of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce;


  • Regulates the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce;


  • Approves the siting and abandonment of interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities;


  • Reviews the siting application for electric transmission projects under limited circumstances;


  • Ensures the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals;


  • Licenses and inspects private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects;


  • Protects the reliability of the high voltage interstate transmission system through mandatory reliability standards;


  • Monitors and investigates energy markets;


  • Enforces FERC regulatory requirements through imposition of civil penalties and other means;


  • Oversees environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects and other matters; and


  • Administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of regulated companies.

What FERC Does Not Do

(Note: most of the links below are to external websites and you will be leaving FERC's site)

Many areas outside of FERC’s jurisdictional responsibility are dealt with by State Public Utility Commissions External Link. Areas considered outside of FERC's responsibility include:

  • Regulation of retail electricity and natural gas sales to consumers;


  • Approval for the physical construction of electric generation facilities;


  • Regulation of activities of the municipal power systems, federal power marketing agencies like the Tennessee Valley Authority External Link, and most rural electric cooperatives;


  • Regulation of nuclear power plants by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission External Link;


  • Issuance of State Water Quality Certificates;


  • Oversight for the construction of oil pipelines;


  • Abandonment of service as related to oil facilities;


  • Mergers and acquisitions as related to natural gas and oil companies;


  • Responsibility for pipeline safety External Link or for pipeline transportation on or across the Outer Continental Shelf;


  • Regulation of local distribution pipelines of natural gas;


  • Development and operation of natural gas vehicles;


  • Reliability problems related to failures of local distribution facilities; and


  • Tree trimmings near local distribution power lines in residential neighborhoods.


CONTACT
Office of External Affairs
Telephone: 202-502-8004
Toll-free: 1-866-208-3372
Email: customer@ferc.gov
 
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Updated: May 28, 2013