|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2001
|For More Information, Please Contact:
Office of External Relations
MARYLAND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
URGE FERC TO RE-EVALUATE ITS PROCESS
Baltimore, MD - The Maryland and District of Columbia Public Service Commissions stated today that "the Federal Energy Commission appears determined to continue down the risky path of merging the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection, LLC electric interconnection grid with New York and New England independent system operators no matter what the consequences are."
FERC is playing Russian Roulette with the economic future of the entire northeastern region of the United States. In an abrupt policy change on July 11, with no notice regarding public hearings, FERC ignored the law and its own regulatory process by issuing a mandate that transmission owners join the Northeast Regional Transmission Organization (RTO). "Without any cost benefit analysis and no certainty that this is truly a good idea, let alone workable, a federal regulatory body took unwarranted and unsupportable action, potentially overtaking the national electric grid without ever hearing about costs or possible negatives."
Congress should put the brakes on FERC's proposal until it knows whether this merger can work, how much it will cost, whether the benefits are worth the cost, and what are the risks. FERC is trying to undo 70 years of reliable, stable systems in less than 120 days. Congress should ask - why the rush? The potential for creating another California-type situation is just too great to continue sprinting toward an ill-detailed goal.
The Maryland and District of Columbia Commissions urge Congress and FERC to slow down, evaluate reliability and cost, consult with parties with different points of view, and allow everyone a chance to be heard. FERC has not done that yet!
Accordingly, the Maryland Commission will conduct legislative-type fact-finding hearings and gather the necessary information in order to evaluate the merits, risks and costs of the proposal. All interested parties are invited to attend the hearings, including the Honorable Pat Wood III, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, 2001, at 11:00 a.m., and Thursday, October 4, 2001, at 10:00 a.m., in the Commission Hearing Room, 16th Floor, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland.