Reaction to FERC rules on transmission lines

Right of First Refusal and FERC’s transmission line expansion rules—they drew the attention of some observers.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission okayed two rules on Monday to allow for greater and faster expansion of major electric transmission lines across the nation.
While Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso was highly critical of the rules, saying they would lead to higher consumer costs, the head of the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition, Paul Cicio reacted differently.
“We will be evaluating the full text of the FERC rule to determine its full impact on consumers nationwide,” he said of FERC Rule 1920.
“While the removal of the Federal Right of First Refusal from the initial proposed rule is welcome, we have deep concerns about the potential impact of the right-sizing ROFR. The Federal Power Act is a consumer protection statute, FERC should keep that in mind as it continues to regulate transmission.”
Had ROFR been retained in the rule, it would have allowed utilities to refuse competitive bidding on the construction of the major transmission lines.
ROFR has been the source of dispute in the Oklahoma legislature where a modified bill remains to be handled. Consumer groups had directly opposed the initial bill that would have allowed utilities to ignore competitive bidding on major transmission projects. They contend the higher costs of the construction projects will be passed along to consumers and ratepayers.