Commissioner Mark C. Christie Statement
July 15, 2021
Docket No. RM21-17-000
Order: E-1

I concur with today’s ANOPR because approximately ten years after the Commission issued Order No. 1000, it is appropriate to review the implementation of that order, assess the successes and problems that have become evident over the past decade, and consider reforms and revisions to existing regulations governing regional transmission planning and cost allocation.  This consideration of potential reforms is especially timely as the transmission system faces the challenge of maintaining reliability through the changing generation mix and efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The broad goal of the Commission’s regulation of our nation’s power grid under the Federal Power Act (FPA) is to ensure a reliable power supply to consumers, which includes residential customers as well as the businesses providing jobs for tens of millions of Americans, at just and reasonable rates.  Transmission is one of the three essential elements of a reliable power system, along with generation and distribution, so continually working to make America’s transmission system more reliable, more efficient, and more cost-effective is our job at FERC.

As with Order No. 1000, the statutory framework governing our potential actions in this proceeding remains section 206 of the FPA, which requires us to ensure that all transmission planning processes and cost allocation mechanisms subject to our jurisdiction result in jurisdictional services being provided at rates, terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.  Any proposals ultimately adopted by this Commission for reforms or revisions to existing regulations must be consistent with this authority.

As Paragraph 4 of the ANOPR makes clear,[1] we have not predetermined that any specific proposal in this ANOPR has already been or will ultimately be approved.   Rather, we seek comment from all interested persons and organizations on the wide range of proposals contained herein, as well as the submission of alternative proposals.  Today is the beginning of a long process and I look forward to hearing from all concerned.

Similarly, my concurrence to issue today’s ANOPR does not represent an endorsement at this point in the process of any one or more of the proposals included in the order.  This ANOPR contains a number of good proposals, some potentially good proposals (depending on how they are fleshed out), and frankly, some proposals that are not—and may never be—ready for prime time, or could potentially cause massive increases in consumers’ bills for little to no commensurate benefit or inappropriately expand the role of federal regulation over local utility regulation.  Given the early stage of this process, however, I agree it is worthwhile to submit a broad range of proposals to the public for comment in the hope that the final result will be a more reliable, more efficient, and more cost-effective transmission system.

For these reasons, I respectfully concur.


[1] ANOPR at P 4 (“We note that the Commission has not predetermined that any specific proposal discussed herein shall or should be made or in what final form; rather, we seek comment from the public on those proposals and welcome commenters to offer additional or alternative proposals for consideration.”).

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