FERC's Clements: 'Grave threat' of climate change will 'underlie my approach as a commissioner'
Tension over FERC's role amid a rapid power sector transition and the mounting urgency of the climate crisis has been heightened over the past few years. Federal inaction on climate led to a wave of state-set emissions reduction targets and strengthened renewable portfolio standards. And those policies triggered opposition from unregulated generators who worried state preferences for renewables were creating unjust market conditions.
Under that framework, FERC's majority has unveiled a number of rules in an effort to address "distorting" market effects that clean energy advocates and state leaders have characterized as an attack on state efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Glick has consistently been the sole dissent on such orders, similarly arguing those actions suppress state's rights, and Chatterjee has begun to signal that he's willing to focus on issues that lower barriers to clean energy technologies and incorporate state desires to reduce carbon emissions. Chairman James Danly, a Republican appointee, has made it clear he views FERC's role as an "adjudicator" and disagrees with FERC's involvement in policies such as carbon pricing.
Clements' signal on Thursday gives the ideologically split commission greater ability to forward a clean energy agenda.
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