FERC’s Wellinghoff Tells Platts Energy Podium Stimulus Bill is ‘Seed Money’ at Best for US Power Updates
The stimulus bill funding would be “the seed money,” Wellinghoff said. “But it really isn’t [enough] money to make huge advances in the overall backbone grid that we’re talking about to integrate substantial amounts of wind.”
While details of the House-Senate stimulus bill compromise are still unclear, the measure could provide
Wellinghoff went on to tell the podium audience that he would push Congress to strengthen federal authority to site interstate high-voltage electric transmission lines to carry wind power to metropolitan areas.
In his first press event since being tapped by President Obama on
Wellinghoff said he recently met with top Senate Democrats, and he expects strong collaboration with Capitol Hill as Congress drafts legislation. “We’ll become involved in all those matters,” he said. “FERC has a very critical role to play given the authorities we’ve been given in the 2005 and 2007 acts and our capabilities with respect to policy and implementation of energy infrastructure.”
The last two major energy bills to come out of Congress significantly bolstered FERC’s policymaking authority to help jumpstart transmission tie-ins to renewable energy, smart grid technology and demand response, Wellinghoff noted.
Sponsored by Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Platts Energy Podium provides an ongoing forum for prominent newsmakers and the press to address important energy and environmental issues. A recording of the Jon Wellinghoff session is available via podcast at http://www.platts.com/energypodium/index.xml.
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