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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Commissioner Philip D. Moeller Statement
February 7, 2012

Opening Remarks of Commissioner Philip D. Moeller at The NARUC/FERC Forum on Reliability and the Environment

“As I said in my concurring statement in the South Carolina petition, if this forum is successful, it will be because it becomes more than an opportunity to hear talking points, it will be the start of a meaningful collaboration and open exchange of data between the EPA, FERC, NARUC, and those persons in the control rooms who actually ensure that the lights stay on. If successful, this forum will help our nation move forward in a way that will minimize the threats to health and safety from blackouts, while at the same time complying with the mandates of the EPA. And if this forum can address ways to minimize regulatory costs imposed on consumers, then all the better.

The electric industry has been regulated by Commissioners like us for nearly one hundred years. We’ve developed open and transparent processes, standards of review, burdens of evidence, procedures for court appeal --- we’ve developed an entire system that is focused on ensuring that we have a reliable system where consumers pay rates that are just and reasonable, and that costs are prudently incurred. With its mercury rule, the EPA will now begin to make decisions on the critical health and safety issues surrounding reliability, and they will balance those reliability concerns against the health benefits of less pollution.

With today’s forum, we’ll soon begin to discuss how the EPA can implement procedures that keep us informed and allow us to participate --- in a manner that allows the EPA to both ensure reliability and ensure that it continues to follow its statutory obligation with respect to pollution.

Finally, I would urge those regulators who may not be directly affected by the mercury rule--especially from Western states--to follow the progress of these discussions. With regional haze rules and cooling water intake rules, you will soon have the opportunity to make difficult decisions on electric reliability also.”