On Thursday, October 13, 2011 Chairman Wellinghoff will testify on “The American Energy Initiative: Transmission Issues, Including Topics Related to the Sitting, Planning, and Allocation of Costs for Electricity Transmission Infrastructure”, before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. It will take place at 9:30 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

According to the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s internal memo, the following issues will be examined at the hearing: 

  • The need for new electricity transmission infrastructure and the barriers and challenges to siting and constructing new transmission facilities.
  • The statutory authority of DOE and FERC with respect to the siting, planning, and pricing of electricity transmission infrastructure.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the following entities with respect to the siting, planning, and pricing of electricity transmission infrastructure:
    • DOE
    • FERC
    • State Public Utility Commissions
    • Regional Transmission Organizations
    • Electric utilities
  • The difference between traditional planning and cost allocation principles and those set forth in FERC Order No. 1000.
  • The scope, purpose, and implementation of Section 216 of the Federal Power Act, including its effect on jobs and the American economy.

Given the concerns over FERC Order No. 1000, this should be an interesting hearing. In addition to Chairman Wellinghoff, other panelists include: Ms. Lauren Azar, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, Commissioner Greg White, Michigan Public Service Commission, Commissioner Philip B. Jones, Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission, Mr. John DiStasio, General Manager & CEO, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Mr. Steven A. Transeth, Principal, Transeth & Associates, PLLC,  Mr. Nicholas Brown, President & CEO, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. and Mr. Joseph Welch, Chairman, President & CEO, ITC Holdings Corp.