Draft House bill broadens FERC's role in electric markets


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Sept. 24 -- A draft electricity bill pending in the US House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission broader powers to oversee the wholesale electricity system's transmission, reliability, siting of new facilities, and market behavior.

The proposal would give FERC sweeping new controls over the federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority and Bonneville Power Administration and extend similar controls to most municipally owned utilities and rural cooperatives.

Committee members are circulating the proposed "Electric Supply and Transmission Act" among industry players for review and comment.

The bill would require FERC to issue rules governing open access to transmission service owned by most utilities participating in the bulk power market. The only exceptions would be state and municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives that are small (sell no more than 4 million Mw-hrs/yr) or don't own or operate transmission lines that are part of the bulk power system.

The bill would eliminate the ban on wholesale competition for utilities within the TVA region and would bring TVA completely under FERC jurisdiction. TVA would not be allowed to make direct retail sales of power outside or inside its territory, unless the local distribution companies consent to the sale.

Clamp down on TVA
The bill would also clamp down on TVA in the wholesale market. It would not be allowed enter into contracts of less than 3 years to sell electric power for firm delivery to new wholesale customers at rates more favorable than those offered to local distribution companies in the TVA region. TVA would be allowed to build and acquire new generation facilities, if they are necessary to supply the local distribution companies in the region.

BPA's retail sales would be restricted to existing customers and it would be brought under FERC jurisdiction.

The bill includes many items from the wish-list of the electric power supply industry and investor-owned utilities, including repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. It would also stop all new power purchases that public utilities are required to make from small generators and renewable power facilities known as qualifying facilities under the Public Utility Regulatory Polices Act of 1978.

The bill would make FERC the ultimate arbiter of disputes that may arise from penalties assessed by an 'electric reliability organization' for violating reliability standards, an apparent reference to the North American Reliability Council (NERC). The 'reliability organization' would develop implement and enforce the reliability standards. The standards must be FERC approved.

FERC would have the power to extend eminent domain authority to companies or others proposing transmission facilities, if an individual state has not responded to an application within 12 months or rejected the proposal in the public interest.

FERC would also have the authority to investigate and gather information from all wholesale sellers of electric energy when looking into anticompetitive conduct. The agency would have uniform refund authority over all wholesale electricity sellers and would be able to increase civil and criminal penalties for violating the Federal Power Act.

Weighing in on conservation, the bill also directs FERC to implement demand management policies in consultation with the states and other participants. The programs would have a goal of reducing demand by 5% by 2004 from 2001 level. The agency would play a role in advancing policies that remove barriers to distributed generation, advanced metering, and other programs that reduce demand.

Related Articles

Kinder Morgan to deliver natural gas to Corpus Christi Liquefaction

12/11/2014 Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) companies Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, Kinder Morgan Tejas Pipeline, and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. (TGP) have entered in...

BG agrees to sale of Australian gas pipeline to APA Group

12/10/2014

BG Group PLC agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Queensland Curtis LNG Pipeline Pty. Ltd. (QCLNG) to APA Group for about $5 billion.

More West Texas gathering, processing to come onstream

12/09/2014 EagleClaw Midstream Services LLC, Midland, Tex., has bought natural gas gathering and processing in Reeves County, Tex. The company declined to ide...

Methane controls just part of complete climate strategy, speakers say

12/08/2014 Reducing oil and gas operations’ methane emissions is an essential, but far from the only, part of a comprehensive climate strategy, speakers at a ...

Rail tank car rule could cost economy billions, report says

12/08/2014 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) proposed rail tank car rule could cost the US economy as much as $60 billio...

Renewed dilbit investigation faces similar hurdles of past debate

12/05/2014 A National Research Council committee opened a second investigation of potential environmental consequences from diluted bitumen (dilbit) spills fr...

Southwestern continues Marcellus expansion

12/03/2014 Southwestern Energy Co., Houston, has signed an agreement to purchase oil and gas assets, including 46,700 net acres, in northeast Pennsylvania fro...

Keyera to own interest in new deep-cut gas plant

12/02/2014 Keyera Corp., Calgary, will take a 35% stake with Bellatrix Exploration Ltd., Calgary, in a deep-cut natural gas processing plant and related pipel...

After scuttling South Stream, Russia plans line to Turkey instead

12/02/2014 Russia has decided against the construction of the 930-km South Stream natural gas pipeline across the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria, citing de...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected