FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2022
Consumers Urge Biden to Back Electricity Transmission Competition, Consistent with FTC and DOJ Support
WASHINGTON – An 86-member-strong consumer coalition has sent a letter urging President Biden to back electricity transmission competition in the fight against inflation, consistent with the support from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.
The long-run trend of soaring electricity price inflation for consumers continues, according to the latest inflation data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The October Consumer Price Index (CPI) measured annualized electricity services inflation at 14.1%, an increase of 0.1% over the month of September, in contrast to overall CPI which increased by 7.7% on a 12-month basis. The electricity price index also continued to far outpace the indices for gasoline and natural gas.
In a statement, Paul Cicio, Chair of the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition, said: “President Biden has correctly emphasized that ‘capitalism without competition is exploitation’ and issued an executive order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. Unfortunately, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is poised to reject the president’s competition policy and the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission’s position, which they filed jointly on the FERC NOPR. FTC and DOJ said that FERC should support transmission competition – not reinstate federal Right of First Refusal (ROFR) – and protect consumers. Competition is the bedrock of the American economy but by reinstating a federal ROFR, FERC would destroy any hopes of electricity transmission competition.”
Competitively bid electricity transmission projects have been shown to reduce costs to consumers by up to 40 percent according to The Brattle Group. The U.S. will need to spend $2.1 trillion on transmission to reach its net zero goals by 2050, according to Princeton University, which means electricity transmission competition could save as much as $840 billion for Americans. The electric utility industry is opposed to competition and supports the FERC NOPR.
 Comment of the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/p072104_doj_ftc_transmission_comment_to_ferc.pdf
 Brattle Group: Cost Savings Offered by Competition in Electric Transmission, https://www.brattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/16726_cost_savings_offered_by_competition_in_electric_transmission.pdf
 NET-ZERO AMERICA: Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts, Princeton University, https://netzeroamerica.princeton.edu/?explorer=year&state=national&table=2020&limit=200
About the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition
The Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition (ETCC) is a broad-based, nation-wide coalition committed to increasing competition in America’s electricity transmission infrastructure. We advocate for common-sense policies and solutions that result in competitively priced transmission projects, which reduce energy costs for all ratepayers – from large manufacturers to residential consumers. The ETCC represents a diverse group of more than 86 companies and organizations from all 50 states, including manufacturing groups, retail electric consumers, state consumer advocates, public power representatives, think tanks, and non-incumbent transmission developers.
For more information, visit: www.electricitytransmissioncompetitioncoalition.org.