Wednesday, December 19, 2012

US Senators tells FERC there needs to be more Consumer Protection

Remember the letter  RICL's Jayshree Desai sent to the Department of Energy complaining that state's regulators are beneath Clean Line, state regulations are cumbersome and an unnecessary burden for Rock Island Clean Line, (ICC Docket # 12-0560).

Jayshree would much rather the federal government give RICL the power of eminent domain than have RICL justify the project to the ICC and Iowa's Public Utility Board.  STOPPATH WV brought another letter to attention  with the article "Dear Mother FERC: Your Little Brats are Outa Control". 

 Connecticut's US Senators Liebreman and Blumenthal have written a letter to FERC requesting the agency keep a closed eye on RTO's like PJM and MISO.   If built, RICL wants PJM, the Regional Transmission Authority, to manage and operate the RICL powerline.  The Senators question FERC and whether RTO's are responsibly lookout for consumers interests and providing economical energy.  According to a press release from Senator Blumenthal:

Under federal electricity restructuring legislation, RTOs were provided with the authority to develop their budgets and implement electricity distribution and generation policies subject to FERC’s oversight.  Because RTOs are predominantly operated by transmission line operators and electricity generators, the consumer must rely on effective intervention by state public agencies charged with representing the consumer’s interests and FERC’s careful scrutiny of RTOs.  Unfortunately, the experience since establishment of the seven RTOs in the United States has been one of relatively lax oversight, budgets that have grown out of proportion to the economy and policies that have been subject to intense consumer criticism.

It's great to see there are a few men in Washington who see the value of state agencies to protect the consumers and keep energy prices economical.  Too often Washington is full of people who think solutions can only come from the federal government.

Without the Illinois Commerce Commission, consumers have little of a voice.   This letter from the Senators is further proof RTO's, who are ran by powerline companies, have biased judgments weighted against the consumers. Senator Blumenthal's office went on to says the joint letter urges FERC to strengthen consumer agency input and involvement around the RTO budget process.

RICL in its letter from Jayshree is wrong.  As a consumer, it is offensive and scares me that they would try to lobby the Department of Energy to take powers away from the states.  Deregulation for the benefit of venture capital into the power industry has gone too far.  There is clearly a need for state agencies (ICC) to regulate.  The letter sent from the Connecticut Senators proves the need is there.

Who else will protect consumers?

Who else will be an advocate for landowners across the state but the ICC in Illinois?

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