FERC Announces Members and Establishes First Meeting for Joint Federal-State Transmission Task Force

On August 30, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order advancing its efforts on the Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission (“Task Force”)[1] initially announced in a June 17, 2021 FERC order.[2]  The August 30 FERC order identified Task Force members, announced an initial meeting date, and requested that interested stakeholders submit recommended agenda topics for the Task Force’s initial meeting to FERC.  FERC identified the following broad goals for the Task Force:  “identifying barriers that inhibit planning and development of more efficient and effective transmission necessary to achieve federal and state policy goals, both within FERC rules and regulations regarding planning and cost allocation of transmission projects and at the state level, as well as potential solutions to those barriers.”[3]

The Task Force will be comprised of the FERC Commissioners and 10 state public service commission commissioners, identified below and nominated by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (“NARUC”).  The Task Force is generally assigned the responsibility of identifying ways to increase federal-state coordination to improve the electric transmission development process.  Over the next three years, after which the Task Force will expire unless its term is extended pursuant to an agreement between FERC and NARUC, the Task Force plans to convene multiple formal public meetings, as well as possible regional meetings, to examine issues “related to efficiently and fairly planning and paying for transmission.”[4]  Task Force members will sit in an advisory capacity with equal vote and opportunity to participate on Task Force matters.  FERC considers transmission development to be “ripe for greater federal-state coordination and cooperation” because federal and state regulators each exercise authority over transmission-related matters.[5]

The first public meeting of the Task Force will be held on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.[6]  FERC plans to release the agenda no later than October 27, 2021.  Interested persons are welcome to file comments in Docket No. AD21-15-000 by September 10, 2021[7] and Task Force issuances will be made in the same proceeding. 

Task Force Members

For the one-year term, commencing September 1, 2021, and expiring August 31, 2022, the following state commission representatives will serve on the Task Force:

  • Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners:
    • Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
    • Chair Jason Stanek, Maryland Public Service Commission
  • Mid-America Regulatory Conference:
    • Chair Andrew French, Kansas Corporation Commission
    • Chair Dan Scripps, Michigan Public Service Commission
  • New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners:
    • Commissioner Riley Allen, Vermont Public Utility Commission
    • Chair Matthew Nelson, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
  • Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners:
    • Commissioner Kimberly Duffley, North Carolina Utilities Commission
    • Chair Ted Thomas, Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners:
    • Commissioner Kristine Raper, Idaho Public Utilities Commission
    • Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen, California Public Utilities Commission
       
       
 

[1] Order Listing Members, Announcing Meeting, and Inviting Agenda Topics, 176 FERC  ¶ 61,131 (2021) (“August 30 Order”).

[2] Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission, 175 FERC ¶ 61,224 (2021) (“June 17 Order”).

[3] August 30 Order at 6.

[4] June 17 Order at P 6.

[5] Id. at P 2.

[6] August 30 Order at P 6.

[7] Id. at P 8.