To Gut Federal Law Promoting Clean Energy
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of eight attorneys general and public utilities commissions opposing proposed changes that would undercut a federal law that has been instrumental in developing renewable energy resources and ensuring just and reasonable electricity rates for ratepayers.
In comments filed today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the coalition argues that any proposed changes to FERC’s regulations implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Pricing Act (PURPA) that are contrary to the law’s objectives are unlawful and should be rejected. Those objectives include encouraging development of alternative sources of energy, including wind and solar power, and maintaining fair electricity rates for ratepayers.
“PURPA plays a crucial role in helping states meet their clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and combat climate change,” said Attorney General Frosh.
The states further argue that FERC should not restrict the states’ abilities to implement creative policies that are consistent with PURPA’s objective of fostering investment in renewable energy projects.
Enacted more than 40 years ago, PURPA still plays an important role in helping states reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases by providing owners of clean energy projects with an opportunity to sell their renewable energy and capacity to public utilities. In their comments, the attorneys general note that the law has enhanced competition in the wholesale energy market, which helps to ensure fair and affordable rates for ratepayers. The comments contend that FERC should not implement any changes that would reduce these important benefits.
In addition to Maryland, today’s comments were joined by the attorneys general of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Oregon, as well as the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.