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Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to provide more flexibility to utilities regarding compliance with FERC's Order No. 1000.

Order No. 1000 is a FERC rule that changes transmission planning and cost allocation requirements applicable to transmission entities subject to its jurisdiction. The commission initiated the Order No. 1000 rulemaking process in 2010.

In a letter addressed to FERC Chairman Jeff Wellinghoff, Wyden expressed his concerns that Order No. 1000 may have adverse impacts on the Northwest region.

“As you know, the majority of the Northwest power system is composed of utilities that generally are not subject to FERC jurisdiction and that are the creation of, and subject to, state or federal statutes,” Wyden wrote. “This makes the Order No. 1000 process akin to trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole for the Bonneville Power Administration and other governmental utilities.”

Wyden asked FERC not to use the Order No. 1000 compliance process to attempt to take away the authority of Bonneville and other governmental utilities to decide what transmission they build in the Northwest and who pays for it. Instead, Wyden suggested that the commission show that it is “truly committed to the principle of regional flexibility” in the Order No. 1000 process.


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