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Power & Pipes

FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments

FERC announced on February 22 that it will open a new proceeding to examine the threats of climate change and extreme weather to electric reliability. The investigation will assess how grid operators prepare for and respond to extreme weather events, including, droughts, extreme cold, wildfires, hurricanes, and prolonged heat waves. The proceeding will include a technical conference with an opportunity for parties to submit comments in advance of that conference.

Chairman Richard Glick stated that “[t]he effects of climate change are already apparent” and “we must do everything we can within our statutory authority to ensure that the electric grid is capable of keeping the lights on in the face of extreme weather.”

FERC’s announcement follows last week’s outages across Texas and the Midwest, as well as FERC’s decision to examine potential wrongdoing in the wholesale natural gas and electricity markets related to those outages. The announcement also follows FERC’s order last week terminating its investigation into the resilience of the bulk power system in Docket No. AD18-7.