March 20 Monday

Tension Between Wholesale Power Markets and State Policies: The Next Big Threat to Climate Progress?

  • Monday, March 20, 2017 at 12:10PM - 1:00PM
  • Room 112
  • Open To The Public
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With federal leadership on climate change practically out of the question in the near future, we are even more dependent on state policies to drive pollution reductions. But states are increasingly facing challenges arguing that policies designed to reduce pollution from the power sector are preempted by the Federal Power Act. In addition, opponents of these state policies contend that many such policies are at odds with the design of the wholesale electricity markets regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). These challenges have already created considerable uncertainty for states, and threaten the fundamental workability of the Federal Power Act. At the same time, legitimate questions regarding how wholesale markets and state policies can be designed to function compatibly must be addressed. Do FERC’s current rules threaten state policies, and should they be changed? Are state actions to preserve existing uneconomic (and sometimes highly polluting) generators distinguishable from state actions to spur new renewables, and should they be treated differently? FERC is slated to address these pressing topics at a technical conference this May (such conferences are often precursors to broad FERC rulemakings). Miles Farmer, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council engaged in defending state policies in courts and at FERC, will discuss these challenges and explore how state policies can continue to be compatible with FERC-regulated wholesale energy markets.

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Yale Environmental Law Association