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Statement: November 16, 2006 Print this page
Docket Nos: RM06-12-000

Commissioner Wellinghoff's statement on regulations for filing applications for permits to site transmission facilities

“I support this Final Rule. I believe that two points made in the Final Rule warrant particular emphasis.

First, I hope and expect that transmission siting proceedings under this Final Rule will be rare. As the Chairman stated in June when the Commission issued the underlying NOPR, I expect that most transmission projects will continue to be sited by states under state law. The Final Rule reiterates that state proceedings are the most expeditious way to site facilities and that it is incumbent on a project sponsor and affected States to work together in an attempt to site facilities at the state level. The Final Rule also makes clear that we will not countenance attempts by project sponsors to abuse state siting processes, such as by submitting incomplete information to a state in the hopes of frustrating a state’s ability to act prior to the deadlines set forth in EPAct 2005.

Second, the Final Rule makes clear that in reviewing a proposed project, the Commission will consider all relevant factors on a case-by-case basis. As part of that review, we will look at alternatives, including – where appropriate – alternatives other than new transmission lines. Such alternatives may include demand side alternatives, as well as upgrades to existing facilities. This review will promote efficiency and environmentally sound solutions.”

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