WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Martin Heinrich, Ed Markey, and 19 other senators called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) to strengthen and finalize its proposed transmission rule.
“In order to grow our economy, keep communities safe during extreme weather events, address historic environmental injustices, and decrease energy costs for consumers, a robust and well- planned transmission grid is essential,” wrote the senators. “FERC’s final rule should ensure that transmission planners account for these factors by requiring a long-term, forward-looking, 20-year planning horizon that addresses the changing circumstances and the evolution of our energy system.”
Improved and increased transmission is urgently needed for reliability, affordability, and clean electricity. The Department of Energy’s National Transmission Needs Study anticipates that transmission capacity will need to double in many regions of the country between now and 2035 if we are to meet clean energy policy goals, even assuming only moderate overall load growth. Billions of dollars in federal clean energy investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law cannot be fully leveraged if we do not expand our nation’s transmission capacity.
Earlier this year, Hickenlooper introduced the Building Integrated Grids With Inter-Regional Energy Supply (BIG WIRES) Act, legislation to update and streamline the country’s patchwork energy transmission system.
Text of the letter is available HERE.