Founded in 1995, the Sustainable FERC Project is a partnership of state, regional and national environmental and other public interest organizations working to expand the deployment of clean energy resources into America’s electricity transmission grid and to reduce and eventually eliminate carbon pollution from the U.S. power sector. The Project and its partners advocate at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and regional transmission organizations, leverage state advocacy, and litigate in the courts to remove barriers to clean energy and build energy systems that support a carbon-free future.
FERC and FERC-regulated regional power markets, which now cover most of the country, play crucial roles in avoiding the worst effects of climate change. However, these regional power markets often maintain rules that were designed for a power system comprised of large power plants located close to towns and cities. Lower-cost renewable energy, coupled with customer-controlled distributed energy resources (like solar power, electric vehicles, and demand response), continue to face significant barriers to fully participating in the FERC-regulated areas of wholesale markets and transmission planning. FERC’s rules also impact state clean energy policies, which depend on large transmission networks and complementary wholesale power market designs to fully achieve their purposes.
FERC also has significant power over carbon and methane emissions through its authority to approve permits for interstate natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. Historically, FERC has approved nearly all requests for these permits, enabling a massive nationwide buildout in gas infrastructure. FERC reviews critical questions like pipeline need and a project’s carbon emissions through a restrictive and incomplete lens. The Project and its partners combine regulatory and legal advocacy to support reforms to FERC’s pipeline and LNG review process and the statutes through which FERC undertakes its reviews.