US President Joe Biden’s first 100 days have brought a shift at a key independent regulator with oversight over energy markets and interstate gas pipelines, thrusting a Democrat with a strong interest in climate into a leadership position.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick has sought to smooth tensions with states whose varied clean energy policies have come into conflict with the nation’s mandatory power capacity markets. In its natural gas project work, FERC has begun to elevate considerations of climate change, environmental justice and community impacts, at times rattling pipeline companies worried about the permanence of its decisions supporting projects.
“Glick is attacking everything. He is at warp speed right now,” said Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen, rattling off multiple policy initiatives, rulemakings and workshops on the gas and power agenda.
At the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees energy market derivatives, attention has also shifted to considering climate risk, though the pace of action has been slower.
Jeff Dennis, managing director and general counsel at Advanced Energy Economy, commended FERC’s focus early in the Biden administration on gathering information on barriers to wholesale power market entry and its efforts to move quickly to support clean energy.
FERC’s convening of technical conferences geared at reforming electricity market design and assessing resource adequacy issues also indicates an emphasis on removing the minimum offer price rule, or MOPR, regime imposed on eastern regional grid operators, he said.
[Jasmin Melvin, Maya Weber, Zack Hale]