FERC report on energy independence executive order

Monday, November 6, 2017

U.S. energy regulators have issued a final report describing actions taken by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pursuant to an executive order promoting energy independence and economic growth.

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13783, titled Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth. Executive Order 13783 includes a variety of directives, generally aimed at reducing federal regulations affecting domestic energy production. Among these mandates is a requirement that all federal agency heads "review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources."

On October 31, 2017, the Commission released its final report presenting a review of its actions pursuant to Executive Order 13783. In that report, the Commission identified nine "agency actions that potentially materially burden the development or use of domestic energy resources." The Commission considers agency actions that potentially affect not only oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources, but also hydropower and other renewable generation resources.

Of the nine agency actions identified by the Commission as potentially materially burdening the development or use of domestic energy resources, eight relate to the Commission's regulation of hydropower resources. The Commission's final report identified three broad areas where potential material burdens may exist: licensing processes; exemption processes; and determinations on deficient applications. A ninth relates to liquefied natural gas (LNG) proceedings.

The report also describes the Commission's examination of policies regarding centralized electric capacity markets and generator interconnections, and its decision not to identify any potential material burdens regarding these items.

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