“There are valid concerns that FERC is allowing itself to become a helpless bystander as the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to dominate the electricity sector in ways that exacerbate the very problems FERC is supposed to protect consumers from,” U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (R-KY), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman, said. “America’s energy situation is better than it has been in decades, but nonetheless there are challenges in the years ahead and a critical role for FERC is dealing with them.”
Of chief concern during the hearing was the FERC’s licensing processes for LNG export facilities, gas pipelines running across multiple states and hydro-power projects not undertaken by the federal government. The hearing also discussed the FERC’s role in the face of increased electrical regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), like the Clean Power Plan.
“The commission continues to work to promote great efficiency, competition, and transparency in the wholesale markets," Norman C. Bay, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said. "There is a need for more infrastructure, in terms of both gas facilities and electric transmission, and FERC plays a critical role in permitting and incentivizing the development of that infrastructure.”