A coalition of environmental and environmental justice organizations today sent a letter to President Biden recommending a set of principles to accelerate the transmission infrastructure we need to meet our climate goals, while preventing harm to impacted communities. These principles provide a forward-looking roadmap for policymakers to ensure our transmission system can meet the growing demand for clean energy.
Many recent legislative proposals containing transmission reform, including the Building American Energy Security Act of 2022, have lacked adequate and meaningful engagement with key stakeholders. This set of recommendations helps to address the real hurdles to building new transmission lines — such as identifying and expediting key interstate transmission corridors, allocating costs in a fair manner, and conducting meaningful community engagement.
“We need a clean energy revolution shaped by justice and equity,” said Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “We have done the work of ensuring that clean energy projects and permitting processes are funded through the Inflation Reduction Act. These principles will help deliver a transmission system that lives up to our ideals.”
“We must reject the false choice between accelerating clean energy transmission and ensuring communities are included in the process,” said Abigail Dillen, President of Earthjustice. “These principles outline how we can and must do both to build an equitable clean energy future.”
The principles include recommendations to establish a bright line defining transmission projects that can get Federal Energy Regulation Commission review; a requirement that all stakeholders have a meaningful opportunity to have a say in transmission planning and siting reviews; and a change to the cost allocation rules to recognize the full benefits of transmission lines.
These principles were developed by WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Center for American Progress, League of Conservation Voters, National Hispanic Medical Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists.