FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2022
FERC Does Not Have the Record to Support Their Anti-Transmission Competition NOPR
WASHINGTON – The Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition (ETCC) today filed reply comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in response to their April 21 notice of proposed rulemaking. The coalition of more than 80 diverse consumer organizations reiterated its call for FERC to abandon its proposals to establish new federal Rights of First Refusal (ROFRs) for jointly-owned facilities and right-sizing, reject calls for more expansive ROFRs, and firmly and unquestionably embrace competition as a means for achieving just and reasonable transmission rates. ETCC reiterated its position that all transmission projects 100 kV or larger should be competitively bid.
In its filing, ETCC highlighted that FERC does not have the record to support reinstating federal ROFRs and to retreat from requiring transmission competition. The new report prepared by Concentric Energy Advisors and submitted by a group of incumbent transmission owners, which attempts to cast doubt upon the benefits of six early competitive projects awarded to non-incumbents, is so methodologically flawed as to be inconsequential, the ETCC reply comments noted.
Electricity price inflation is accelerating and is up 15.8% from this time a year ago, almost 100% higher than the overall CPI of 8.3%. The Wall Street Journal reported today that U.S. utility customers are set to pay even higher prices this winter for electricity. Against such an economic backdrop, it would be a mistake to reject competition and lock in price hikes for homeowners and businesses for decades to come.
The Commission has already found that ROFRs are unjust and unreasonable and therefore counter to the primary aim of the Federal Power Act. The arguments against competition put forward by the incumbent utilities protecting their financial self-interest are unsupported by evidence and go against the interests of consumers.
In a statement, Paul Cicio, Chair of the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition urged the Commission to embrace transmission competition. “FERC should take this opportunity to fulfill its mandate and protect consumers from unjust and unreasonable rates. Transmission competition reduces costs and encourages innovation.”
“Electricity transmission competition has been shown to lower costs by as much as 40 percent”, Cicio said. “In an era of soaring electricity price inflation, it is essential that transmission projects that are 100kV or larger are competitively bid.”
You can read the full ETCC filing here.
Comments in support of electricity transmission competition can be read here.
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 70 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.