Herding Cats: What to Do When States Get in the Way of National Energy Policy

June 16, 2012

Shifting the United States’ primary source of electricity from non-renewable energy to renewable energy requires expanded capacity to facilitate long-range transmission from regions where it can be efficiently produced to large population centers where it will be used. In Piedmont Environmental Council v. FERC the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could not site new interstate transmission lines if a state had already denied approval. Denying FERC’s authority to site new transmission lines within National Corridors will significantly influence the growth of renewable energy. This Recent Development explores the impact of the court’s ruling on the spread of renewable energy and offers a legislative solution to potential problems.