States, utilities try to hobble FERC’s landmark grid rule

By Zach Bright | 06/13/2024 06:40 AM EDT

State regulators want assurances from federal regulators that regional transmission planning won’t overlook their interests.

FERC headquarters.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/E&E News

State regulators and power companies are fiercely contesting a landmark grid rule approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that aims to overhaul how the U.S. plans and pays for long-distance power lines.

In requests for FERC to reconsider the rule, which passed on a 2-1 Democratic-led vote last month, concerns revolve around the use of federal power to compel state involvement in regional electricity planning.

Backers of a deliberate planning process view it as necessary to get high-voltage transmission lines built to move more electricity, particularly wind and solar power, and also to strengthen vital infrastructure against extreme weather.


But critics have spent much of their energy opposing the FERC effort through the lens of state authority. Federal law has given states broad powers to reject transmission projects that cross their lines.