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Lawmakers Applaud FERC Action to Modernize PURPA, Protect Electricity Customers

September 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) and U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and James Risch (R-ID) released the following statement after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced plans to update regulations implemented under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). Earlier this year, Barrasso and Risch introduced the UPDATE PURPA Act (S. 1760) in the Senate and Walberg introduced the PURPA Modernization Act (H.R. 1502) in the House. Many of the Commission’s reforms unveiled today mirror the provisions included in the lawmakers’ legislation.

“Four decades after PURPA’s inception, the energy landscape looks totally different and the market is more diverse than ever before,” said Rep. Walberg. “The time has come for reform. For several years, we have been calling for changes to PURPA’s outdated regulatory structure in order to increase competition and help bring down electricity costs for consumers. We are pleased to see Chairman Chatterjee and FERC take these commonsense steps that will prevent abuse of the one-mile rule and give greater flexibility to the states.”

“I’m pleased the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) took action today to modernize the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA),” said Sen. Barrasso. “The electricity markets have changed drastically in the four decades since PURPA became law. Today’s proposed reforms align with legislation we’ve introduced to eliminate outdated regulations. They will go a long way in lowering Americans’ electricity bills while encouraging the development of all sources of American energy.”

“America’s energy production has changed in ways that were unimaginable when this law was written 40 years ago, and we are glad the FERC and Chairman Chatterjee agree that it’s time for an update,” said Sen. Risch.  “The changes they are proposing will protect Idaho ratepayers, give the states more flexibility, and still encourage development of renewable sources of energy.  This is a great step forward.”