Blog

The Sustainable FERC Project is a coalition of environmental and clean energy organizations focused on developing policies for a cleaner, more efficient electric grid (more here). Our blog site is intended as a location for the productive and constructive sharing and exchange of policy ideas for use by all interested members of the coalition and others interested in our issues. Read the full blogging policy.

To Green the Grid, Take a Lesson from the Auto Industry

July 15, 2019 by Tom Rutigliano, Senior Advocate Consider for a moment why hybrid cars are so efficient: most of the time, when you’re cruising, the engine charges the battery. When you do need peak power, the battery and engine work together to move the car. This lets the car get away with a smaller engine, and lets the engine…

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Three Strikes, You’re Out: The Unneeded Jordan Cove Project

July 11, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Developers who wish to build new interstate gas pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) export or import terminals must get approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). While the standards of review are different (see here for more), in both cases, FERC looks at the public interest, which includes a review…

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After Broad Run, FERC’s GHG policy is on thin ice

 June 7, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney The DC Circuit fired a warning shot this week at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with gas pipeline projects. The court rejected the core legal arguments that underpin the agency’s policy and admonished FERC for its “less-than-dogged” efforts to build a robust record regarding these emissions.…

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Pipeline Case Brief: FERC Enables Environmental Injustice

April 15, 2019 by Montina Cole, Senior Attorney Several parties filed an appeal recently in the D.C. Circuit challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The ACP, a 600-mile, $7.5 billion (and counting) project slated for West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, is controversial for lots of reasons: it’s a duplicative project that…

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While Power Plants Fail, the Grid Works

February 13, 2019 by Tom Rutigliano, Clean Energy Advocate Fossil fuel plant owners hype their reliability, but when the weather turned bitterly cold in late January, coal and gas plants froze up. The polar vortex was a test for the power grid. When we needed them most, many of the very same power plants that are clamoring for a bailout…

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Customer Bills and Clean Energy at Stake in PJM Market

October 3, 2018 by Miles Farmer, Clean Energy Attorney NRDC and the Sustainable FERC Project, together with a coalition of clean energy and consumer advocates, are pressing the nation’s grid regulator, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to protect consumers from billions in extra charges, and respect states’ rights to advance clean energy. The groups submitted several different filings (linked…

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FERC Should Reconsider Staff Delegation for Key Orders

September 4, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week lifted its order halting work on the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline located in Virginia and West Virginia. Wait. That’s wrong. Let’s try that again. FERC staff, relying on its delegation authority, lifted a FERC staff order halting construction on Mountain Valley. The FERC commissioners…

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The Coal/Nuke Plant Bailout: We Must Remain Vigilant

October 16, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Recent media reports suggest that the White House has tabled its plan to bail out costly coal and nuclear plants. While this would be an encouraging development for consumers and the nation’s energy markets, it is far too soon to let down our guard. This is already round three in this saga.…

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McNamee Should Recuse Himself in FERC Resilience Dockets

December 18, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney The Natural Resources Defense Council today joined with other organizations in formally asking new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Bernard McNamee to recuse himself from two pending proceedings related to the Department of Energy’s proposal to bail out coal and nuclear power plants, which McNamee signed while at DOE. We joined…

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FERC Can’t Just Check the Climate Box

February 26, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Federal law requires that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) take a “hard look” at a proposed energy’s project’s effect on climate change. In last week’s order approving the Calcasieu Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, FERC adopted what it called a “new approach for consideration of direct greenhouse…

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