FERC Pulls Plug on Unwise Subsidy Rule

This week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order to terminate its proposed rulemaking that was submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Energy that would have used consumer-paid subsidies to prop up uneconomical coal and nuclear generators in the name of grid reliability and resiliency.

OMA Energy Group (OMAEG), among other customer groups, twice submitted comments to FERC opposing the proposed rule.

In this summary of the FERC’s decision, OMA energy counsel Kim Bojko of Carpenter Lipps & Leland wrote: “… FERC concluded that although the goal of grid reliability and resiliency is a worthy one, the record in this case simply does not support the existence of a reliability or resiliency problem. And even if it had, the Proposed Rule did not put forth a solution that would actually solve that problem.”

And, “FERC’s Order … will benefit … consumers by not implementing a rule that would force consumers to fund a bailout to certain, select generators that can no longer compete in the market.  The Order defined resiliency and set forth a process to explore … whether a problem even exists.  The Order also appears to be stating that if a problem does in fact exist, FERC will look for market solutions on a regional basis.” 1/11/2018