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Commissioner Tony Clark Statement
August 27, 2012
Docket No. ER12-1678-000

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ISO New England

“In concurring with the Commission’s action, I believe it fair to note that this case is illustrative of the highly granular nature of reliability modeling. It is also an example of the difficulty faced by electricity generators that are accountable to both reliability regulators and environmental regulators. Without speaking to the relative merits of the environmental regulations that created the circumstance, it appears that GenOn is being forced to choose between conflicting regulatory regimes administered by the FERC and the Environmental Protection Agency. Flowing from that conflict are significant financial consequences to the generator. What is particularly noteworthy is how relatively small reductions in available capacity can be high consequence actions in terms of risk to reliability. In the instant case, GenOn states that the environmental compliance actions will permanently reduce the Kendall Station’s generating capacity by 27 MW. This amount of capacity, while small in the greater scheme of things, has been shown to be critical to reliability within the Northeast Massachusetts/Boston Load Zone. While the FERC alone lacks the authority to resolve all potential conflicts between environmental regulations and reliability requirements, I believe it is important to acknowledge the highly detailed nature of reliability modeling and the challenge created by conflicting regulatory regimes. In testimony before Congress in May of this year, prior to my joining the Commission, Commission Moeller highlighted this concern. I join with the sentiments expressed by my colleagues in that testimony, wherein they urged that as Congress seeks to resolve these issues “erring on the side of reliability is the responsible approach.”

“Accordingly, I respectfully concur.”