FERC members confirm to Sen. Heinrich there is no national security emergency to justify Trump Administration’s directive to require rate-payers to subsidize coal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) participated in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing with members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
During the hearing, Senator Heinrich pointed to Commissioner Robert Powelson’s testimony expressing concern with the Trump Administration’s recent unprecedented directive to the Department of Energy to require rate-payers to subsidize certain resources, coal-fired and nuclear power plants, for political purposes. Senator Heinrich questioned all five FERC Commissioners on whether there is a national security emergency on the electric power grid and none of the commissioners responded in the affirmative, a stark contrast to the Trump Administration’s directive.
Senator Heinrich also pressed Chairman Kevin McIntyre on prioritizing the completion of a rule to pave the way for consumers, including homes and businesses, to sell power from their rooftop solar system on competitive electrical markets. The FERC rule would help renewable energy aggregators to integrate distributed energy resources (DER) into competitive capacity and energy markets nationwide. Distributed energy resources add security and resilience to the grid and can reduce the need for new transmission. Senator Heinrich recently sent a letter to Chairman McIntyre urging action on this rule.
A list of witnesses and testimony, and the archived webcast of today's hearing will be available here.