Good afternoon and thank you for joining. I want to begin by making a short statement about E-1, our notice of proposed rulemaking on various issues related to electric transmission planning and cost allocation.
Let me start by again thanking my colleagues who were able to come to a sweeping bipartisan agreement to advance this proposal. Every significant aspect of this more than 450 page NOPR was heavily negotiated, and the amount of consensus we’ve reached is remarkable. That is FERC at its best.
Turning to the substance of the NOPR, this is the first of what I hope will be a series of rulemakings coming out of last summer’s ANOPR. Together, these rulemakings will help develop the transmission facilities that we need to improve resilience and bring down the cost of electricity. In so doing, they will help us address the needs of the changing resource mix—and the changing role of electricity in our society more generally.
Today’s NOPR tackles what I believe to be two of the most significant challenges in developing new transmission infrastructure: Planning and cost allocation. Transmission facilities provide a broad range of benefits, usually for several decades into the future. Planning those facilities intelligently and allocating their costs fairly is absolutely critical to ensuring that customers’ rates are just and reasonable.
But while today’s order is an important step in the right direction with respect to both planning and cost allocation, there is more work to be done. I hope that in the months ahead, the Commission will also take up:
reforms to the generator interconnection process to ensure that new resources can come online in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost;
reforms to enhance interregional transmission development to capture the economies of scale that come with integrating the different regions of the country;
reforms to our transmission incentives regime to ensure that we are incentivizing efficient investments so that customers are getting their money’s worth from any incentives we provide; and, last but by no means least,
reforms to our oversight of new transmission development to prevent customers from being saddled with unnecessary or excessive expenses.
Finally, I want to take a minute to put our actions today in a larger context. The United States has been blessed with abundant energy resources. With those resources, we have the capacity to provide consumers with reliable, affordable energy, and do so in a way that meets customers’ seemingly ever-growing demand for clean energy. In addition, those resources have the potential to provide the United States—and its allies around the globe—with unparalleled energy security.
But American energy in all its forms depends on robust energy infrastructure. And there is no question that we need a lot more of that infrastructure if we are to fully realize the benefits of the abundant resources with which we are so blessed. World events and the situation here in the U.S. reminds us that infrastructure, including pipelines, LNG export facilities, and the electric transmission facilities that are subject of today’s NOPR, play an essential role in ensuring that American energy is available for our citizens and our allies around the world. I hope—and believe—that today’s NOPR is an important step toward developing the infrastructure that we need, when we need it, and at a cost we can afford.