This is a great read about how legislation is created at the state level through bill mills. I highly encourage reading this blog on the Council of State Governments. Their idea of Transmission Siting Interstate Compacts is quite disturber. Like Keryn Newman says, this seems to be an automatic approval process with the only possible outcome being approval and the (NIMBY) public has no voice in this situation.
http://www.stoppathwv.com/stoppath-wv-blog.html Transmission Siting Interstate Compact Neutralizes State Authority
The Power Line
Please, go there and read these. It’s far better than anything I’ve written bellow.
from industry lobbying, it looks to me states fear FERC trumping them
with Federal Siting Authority, so they set up Mini-FERC's with
interstate transmission siting compacts to automatically approve
projects before the feds can override state’s vetoes. It is
understandable transmission company’s feel their multistate projects do
not receive the recognition they feel the projects deserve (arrogance
and a contempt for the “nimby” public, but I would argue the current
system is better with slight modifications. Yes, there is clearly a
bias from FERC that needs to be recognized for wanting more transmission
for any reason. Because of FERC’s prejudice towards more transmission
projects of any kind regardless of reason, large multistate projects
deserve more scrutiny from the states, not less.
The idea of
less oversight for large multistate projects scares the hell out of
me. The current system offers better checks and balances with projects
requiring seeking approval in multiple states. More hoops should be
jumped through for larger projects and not less for larger projects.
Project approval should face a process of checks and balances and not a
one stop automatic approval. If a project runs from Iowa, through
Illinois and into Indiana, the project’s owners should jump through
three hurdles and not one joint hurdle.
The other state
commissions should be intervening in each other's states to provide
better checks and balance. In this example, the Iowa commission's voice
should be heard in Indiana. Iowa is a stakeholder in this, and their
opinion should matter in the other states. If Combined Multistate
Transmission Siting is approved, future projects are going to be bigger
rather than smaller for the sake of easier approval. Two state projects
will be avoided.
In the end, there is no emphasis on economically
priced energy with Combined Multistate Transmission Siting. More
transmission is encouraged rather than more localized generation.
Potential Projects compare themselves to alternate routes or alternate
projects. Local generation through local sources is not considered. If
there is truly a "need" shouldn't it come from generation and long term
jobs rather than transmission and short term construction jobs? It
would be smarter for states to seek energy independence policies that
encourage economical local generation rather than multistate
The Council of State Governments website recommended this ISO New England Report.
It’s interesting the New England states ask for a report from the ISO
about New England’s capabilities to create renewable energy and the RTO
provides an Appendix E which says building powerlines
to the Midwest will provide a lower priced energy from coal power.
When “transmission” is indeed an RTO’s middle name, the solution for
everything is more transmission. Ask for a report about the potential
for local renewables and receive a report saying building more
powerlines to the Midwest is the answer. Do Regional Transmission
Organizations have only one tool in their toolbox? More powerlines.
only tool in the RTO’s toolbox is a hammer and every problem is a
nail. The solution to everything is building more powerlines for
energy that is far away. What is even more absurd from this report’s
expert view of natural gas energy being expensive while Midwest coal
energy and increased transmission is considered economical.
RTO’s ever consider the opportunities within the region or only look at
opportunities elsewhere for an excuse to create more transmission?
No, state commissions have not lost there relevance.