Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave FERC additional responsibilities as outlined in FERC`s Top Initiatives and updated Strategic Plan.
Mission: Reliable, Efficient and Sustainable Energy for Customers.
Assist consumers in obtaining reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means.
- Organizational Excellence: The Commission strives to use its resources efficiently and effectively to achieve its strategic priorities.
- Due Process and Transparency: Paramount in all of its proceedings is the Commission's determination to be open and fair to all participants.
- Regulatory Certainty: In each of the thousands of orders, opinions and reports issued by the Commission each year, the Commission strives to provide regulatory certainty through consistent approaches and actions.
- Stakeholder Involvement: The Commission conducts regular outreach to ensure that interested parties have an appropriate opportunity to contribute to the performance of the Commission's responsibilities.
- Timeliness: The Commission's goal is to reach an appropriate resolution of each proceeding in an expeditious manner.
What FERC Does
As part of that responsibility, FERC:
- Regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce;
- Reviews certain mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions by electricity companies;
- Regulates the transmission and sale of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce;
- Regulates the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce;
- Approves the siting and abandonment of interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities;
- Reviews the siting application for electric transmission projects under limited circumstances;
- Ensures the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals;
- Licenses and inspects private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects;
- Protects the reliability of the high voltage interstate transmission system through mandatory reliability standards;
- Monitors and investigates energy markets;
- Enforces FERC regulatory requirements through imposition of civil penalties and other means;
- Oversees environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects and other matters; and
- Administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of regulated companies.
What FERC Does Not Do
Many areas outside of FERC’s jurisdictional responsibility are dealt with by State Public Utility Commissions . Areas considered outside of FERC's responsibility include:
- Regulation of retail electricity and natural gas sales to consumers;
- Approval for the physical construction of electric generation facilities;
- Regulation of activities of the municipal power systems, federal power marketing agencies like the Tennessee Valley Authority , and most rural electric cooperatives;
- Regulation of nuclear power plants by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ;
- Issuance of State Water Quality Certificates;
- Oversight for the construction of oil pipelines;
- Abandonment of service as related to oil facilities;
- Mergers and acquisitions as related to natural gas and oil companies;
- Responsibility for pipeline safety or for pipeline transportation on or across the Outer Continental Shelf;
- Regulation of local distribution pipelines of natural gas;
- Development and operation of natural gas vehicles;
- Reliability problems related to failures of local distribution facilities; and
- Tree trimmings near local distribution power lines in residential neighborhoods.