If you turned on the lights or heated your home today, a little-known agency called the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) likely played a part in that. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission oversees energy markets and ensures consumers have access to reliable, safe, secure, and affordable energy. And with the right leadership, FERC can play a critical role in accelerating a just clean energy transition and meeting U.S. climate commitments. Right now, there is a vacancy on the Commission, and we need to urge President Biden to fill the spot.
We are running out of time to transform our energy system to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis — and FERC can expedite that transition. A vacancy increases the chances that the four remaining commissioners will deadlock on or fail to make important decisions. Tell President Biden to immediately nominate a new FERC commissioner with an extensive record on environmental justice and climate change.
FERC has broad authority over the electricity and gas sectors, regulating the interstate transmission of electricity and the permitting of gas pipelines, among other things. FERC’s decisions drive investment, shape planning, and will determine how quickly the United States transitions to clean energy — or how much longer we rely on burning fossil fuels.
We’re entering a crucial moment in the transition to renewable energy and cannot afford to leave a commissioner seat vacant. The Inflation Reduction Act included the largest investment ever in upgrading America’s power grid, and FERC faces a slew of critical decisions in 2023 as the law is implemented. A deadlocked FERC will hamper that potentially transformational investment and squander time we cannot spare.
The new FERC commissioner will have their work cut out for them, but there’s a clear path forward. Earthjustice and our partners released a roadmap outlining how FERC can accelerate the transmission infrastructure we need to meet U.S. climate goals, while preventing harm to impacted communities. FERC must act on these principles in 2023.
FERC must also stand strong against gas industry pressure to weaken climate and environmental justice policies it rolled out last year, and make sure it considers the full impact of gas projects on communities and the environment.
Join us in calling on President Biden to swiftly nominate a FERC commissioner with the experience to lead our country through this pivotal transition.