Earthjustice Applauds FERC Rules to Reform Regional Transmission Planning

New rules tackle long-standing challenges to building and paying for new transmission lines


Alexandria Trimble,

Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalized much-needed regulatory reforms to the transmission planning process, updating the process for planning and paying for transmission infrastructure.

Christine Powell, deputy managing attorney at Earthjustice and former FERC attorney-advisor, issued the following statement in response:   

“We applaud FERC for meeting the moment with reforms that will modernize and vastly expand transmission to meet the existing and growing demand for clean energy. The rule requires long-term assessments and comprehensive planning to identify efficient, affordable solutions. These reforms to regional planning will ultimately increase competition to deliver reliable, affordable power to every home in America. We look forward to engaging with FERC to center equity and environmental justice in transmission planning.”


Aging and inadequate transmission infrastructure has been thwarting the clean energy transition. FERC’s new rule, along with other recent federal actions, addresses many of the challenges that stymied the buildout of clean energy and the necessary infrastructure to support it.

FERC’s rule will require planning regions to perform long-term, robust assessment of the region’s future energy mix and demand and require comprehensive planning to identify efficient, affordable solutions. The FERC rule addresses many of the issues that prevented the development of interstate transmission lines and effectively stalled thousands of proposed clean energy projects.

The rule encourages early engagement with state commissions to improve region-wide support for regional transmission solutions. Now FERC must ensure that regions incorporate equity and environmental justice considerations early in the planning process to design better projects and get them built faster.

Electricity transmission lines.
Electricity transmission lines. (Tim Peters / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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