House, Senate Republicans Seek FERC Response on EPA Power Plant Meetings

Energy and Climate Report provides current, thorough coverage of clean energy, efficiency, and climate change legislation, regulation, policy, legal developments, and trends in the U.S. and...

By Andrew Childers

Dec. 22 — Key Senate and House Republicans are asking each commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to describe any meetings with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the proposed Clean Power Plan.

The Dec. 22 letter asks whether FERC staff were given access to EPA documents related to the proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants and to describe any substantive interagency review activities planned in the future.

It was signed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee. The letter asks each commissioner to respond individually by Jan. 12.

The Republicans said that prior FERC statements and correspondence suggest that the commission has had limited interaction with the EPA during the development of the Clean Power Plan, which would set carbon dioxide emissions guidelines for existing power plants. That is something disputed by the EPA.

“Your views about the extent of collaboration between FERC and EPA on these matters, and especially about the details of your personal involvement or that of your staff in any or all of these meetings listed in the Dec. 3 correspondence, will contribute significantly to the public record,” the letter said.

FERC has agreed to hold a series of technical conferences on the EPA's proposed rule. The first conference will be held Feb. 19 at FERC headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Docket No. AD15-4-000). It will be led by the commissioners and will be national in scope.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Childers in Washington at achilders@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl in Washington at lpearl@bna.com

The letter is available at 1.usa.gov/1xEAVh6.