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What is FERC?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent government agency, officially organized as part of the Department of Energy.

The purpose of the Commission is to protect the public and energy customers, ensuring that regulated energy companies are acting within the law.

FERC is responsible for:

  • Regulating the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity;
  • Regulating the wholesale sale of electricity (individual states regulate retail sales);
  • Licensing and inspecting hydropower projects; and
  • Approving the construction of interstate natural gas pipelines, storage facilities, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals.
  • Monitoring and Investigating Energy Markets: Market Oversight
  • Reliability of the electric grid

The Commission is composed of five members, known as Commissioners, who:

  • Are appointed by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate;
  • Serve five-year terms; and
  • Have an equal vote on regulatory matters.

Also, to prevent undue political influence, no more than three Commissioners may belong to the same political party.

The Commission recovers the full cost of its operations through annual charges and filing fees assessed on the industries it regulates as authorized by the Federal Power Act and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986. The Commission deposits this revenue into the Treasury as a direct offset to its appropriation, resulting in no net appropriations. Congress exercises oversight over the Commission by holding hearings on energy related topics where the Commission offers testimony | Visit our Congressional Affairs Section

The Commission's headquarters is located at 888 First Street, NE, in Washington D.C. FERC also has regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Portland, and San Francisco.