11/27/2017 - Electricity Law Initiative

Climate Implications of FERC Proceedings

by Ari Peskoe, Kate Konschnik

The Policy Initiative released a white paper today about how Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decisions affect the mix of resources on the electric grid and energy sector greenhouse gas emissions. FERC oversees interstate electricity transmission and wholesale rates as well as interstate natural gas pipelines. The electricity and natural gas sectors are re­sponsible for more than 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. While FERC does not directly regulate emissions, its decisions can have substantial consequences for the competitiveness of different fuels and technologies and thus greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector.

Climate Implications of FERC Proceedings,” by Policy Initiative Senior Fellow Ari Peskoe and former Executive Director Kate Konschnik, connects FERC’s market oversight to these indirect effects. It also discusses legal strategies employed by opponents of new natural gas infrastructure in FERC permitting proceedings and litiga­tion. The paper is intended for advocates, policymakers, and technical experts who are broadly familiar with FERC’s responsibilities and would benefit from a review focused on how FERC decisions facilitate or hamper greenhouse gas reduction efforts.