U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is welcoming an announcement that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will establish a joint federal-state task force on electric transmission.
“Planning delays continue to stand in the way of siting the regional high-voltage transmission lines that we need to connect renewable resources to the grid and power a clean and carbon-free electricity sector,” Heinrich said. “This is a welcome development that shows that, a decade after FERC’s Order 1000, there is recognition that we need to find a better path forward that removes barriers in siting and permitting this critical energy infrastructure. We don’t have any more time to waste in getting these projects off the ground.”
Heinrich has championed policies to overcome transmission planning challenges, including his Interregional Transmission Planning Improvement Act of 2021. The bill, first introduced by Sen. Heinrich in 2019, directs FERC to explicitly consider multiple benefits: economic, reliability, operational, public policy, and environmental, including reductions in carbon emissions. It further requires stronger interregional collaboration and consistent consideration of those multiple benefits.
Heinrich also recently introduced the Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act to improve the resilience of the grid and support new projects that connect modern renewable energy resources to the power demands of regional consumer markets.
The bill would create an investment tax credit to help promote construction of regionally significant transmission projects across the nation.
According to a recent American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) analysis, a transmission ITC would create upwards of 650,000 good-paying jobs, enable an additional 30,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, spur more than $15 billion in private capital investment in the near term, and provide $2.3 billion in energy cost savings for the lower 80 percent of income brackets.
President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan includes a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of high-voltage capacity power lines and mobilizes tens of billions in private capital off the sidelines – right away.