The state's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has joined eight other states and the District of Columbia calling for greater collaboration with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

PURA chair Marissa Gillet and her counterparts from Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, D.C., Arkansas, Wisconsin, Nevada, Delaware, and Illinois signed a letter sent to FERC Jan. 20.

The letter calls for FERC and the states to “move toward strengthening the federal-state electricity regulatory relationships and enhancing the cooperation and collaboration between our respective commissions.”

The letter acknowledges that the nations’ power sector is in the midst of one of the most significant transitions in recent history.

The states say the power sector transition has developed as a result of “technological advancements, market forces and consumer demand.” 

Policy Differences

"States are adopting aggressive renewable portfolio standards, clean energy standards, and greenhouse gas targets, as well as pushing to electrify the transportation sector,” the letter reads.

The statement points out that state-by-state energy policies can differ greatly, resulting in new challenges and the pressing need to create a better regional approach to “strengthening federal-state electricity regulatory relationships.”

The letter highlighted:

  • Communication between the federal government and state governments has to remain open. “FERC has been helpful in the advancement of new resources ... likewise, grid operators have taken steps to improve their markets. It is imperative that these doors remain open ... to effectuate ... regulatory clarity, coordination and cooperation.”
  • FERCs’ ongoing involvement and operation is central to the successful transition of the country's electricity regulatory framework. “The optimal path forward calls for states and FERC to take steps to work in concert to manage their complex and sometimes varied regulatory goals.”
  • Federal and state governments will benefit greatly from continuing to facilitate communications within regional forums that discuss matters of “common interest, and to provide clarity and define expectations in advancing policy objectives.” 
  • Successful FERC-NARUC Collaborative may represent one of the better forums to assist state and federal regulators in ensuring “regulatory clarity, coordination and cooperation.”

Challenges

What appears to be one of the greatest challenges is getting each state to work on a cooperative basis. 

To date, when states have implemented policies on a state-by-state basis, the result has often been more costly and less efficient.

The letter notes that “advancing like-minded policies in regional markets has proven to be more cost effective.” 

"Ultimately, success will require leadership," the letter notes. "We call on federal and state electricity regulators to explore a forum where pressing policy issues can be discussed in a way that improves coordination and understanding across the jurisdictional lines."


For more information, contact CBIA's John Blair (860.244.1921).