Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe joined New Mexico’s Sen. Martin Heinrich this week in introducing legislation that they said would ensure all transmission transactions are provided parity in the review process by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Their Parity Across Reviews Act would also target renewable energy efforts that create challenges to transmission networks.
“The law should be clear and fair when it comes to the Federal energy Regulatory Commission’s mergers and consolidations authority,” said Sen. Inhofe. “By holding all energy transactions to the same standard, we can empower FERC to operate more efficiently and eliminate burdensome requirements—-saving consumers money.”
Sen. Heinrich pointed out that construction of new regional transmission lines is the key to tapping the full potential for energy development in Western states like Oklahoma and New Mexico.
“Our current transmission networks were not designed to integrate decentralized renewable energy sources, incorporate new energy storage technologies, stay protected from cyber threats and natural disasters or allow different utilities and power consumers to work together efficiently,” said Heinrich. “Reducing barriers for grid infrastructure investments will move us closer toward a more resilient, reliable and secure electric grid.”
Edison Electric Institute was one of those supporting the two Senators. The proposed Act will be considered by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee on Energy on Oct. 3. Senators Inhofe and Heinrich say their act is identical to H.R. 1109 which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year.