NARUC recently filed a Request for Rehearing and Clarification regarding FERC’s Order 1000 and it is not alone. At least 62 others have filed either a Request for Rehearing, Clarification or both, highlighting the widespread concern over FERC’s new order that addresses Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities. NARUC is the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. It is the national organization of state commissions responsible for economic and safety regulation of utilities. NARUC’s greatest concern is that it believes Order 1000 fails to acknowledge the state’s role as transmission decision makers:
i. NARUC seeks clarification that Order 1000 compliance filings can and should recognize the authoritative role that State regulators play in the planning process, especially with regard to State policy initiatives and integrated resource plans.
ii. NARUC seeks clarification that compliance filings will ensure that State regulators that are requested to pass through costs under Order 1000 will have the opportunity to evaluate and select transmission projects.
iii. NARUC requests confirmation and clarification that Order 1000 does not intend to interfere with State siting authority, or to provide a basis for expanding FPA Section 216 backstop siting authority that has been limited by the court decisions in the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 16 U.S.C. § 824p; California Wilderness Coalition v. U.S. Dep’t of Energy, 631 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2011); Piedmont Environmental Council v. F.E.R.C. 558 F.3d 304 (4th Cir. 2009). NARUC Request at pages 3-4.
The requests that poured in read like a Who’s Who in the electric industry. Filings came from state commissions, RTOs, ISOs, the Rural Electric Coop Association and many utilities. We previously reported that Commission staff will convene three informational conferences to discuss the requirements of Order No. 1000. The notice says there will be an opportunity to ask questions, making for a few interesting and possibly long couple of days. Based on these filings, if you plan to attend in person, get there early. I have a feeling the Commission Meeting Room will be packed.