NRDC Sues FERC Over Orders that Threaten NY Clean Energy
NRDC is suing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court to overturn two FERC orders that thwart New York’s development of clean energy: an order targeting storage and an order targeting demand response resources. These FERC orders undermine New York’s State efforts to achieve the landmark clean energy targets set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). They also compromise efforts to replace dirty peaker plants in New York City with renewable energy and battery storage solutions, which is vitally important for reducing the disproportionate health impacts in communities of color where these peaker plants are located.
FERC, which regulates wholesale electricity markets, is attacking states’ authority to craft their own electricity policies in regional wholesale electricity markets around the country. FERC’s power grab, discussed here, is an unlawful federal overreach that threatens to reshape the entire electricity sector in ways that protect old, polluting power plants and undercut our transition to a carbon-free energy system.
New York is blazing the trail for a clean and just energy transition
New York raised the bar on climate action with the CLCPA by establishing a comprehensive framework to fight climate change. At the heart of the law are provisions for a rapid transition to a clean, efficient electric sector, including a requirement to supply 70 percent of the state’s electricity needs with renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030 and achieve 100 percent GHG emissions-free electricity supply by 2040. The CLCPA also mandates a just and equitable energy transition by requiring that at least 35 percent of the benefits of the state’s clean energy program accrue to historically marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change.
As the above graph shows, New York needs considerable amounts of new clean energy resources to achieve its nation-leading targets. The goals, however, are not out of reach. A new analysis demonstrates that 90% clean, carbon-free electricity can be achieved nationwide by 2035, dependably, and at no extra cost to consumers; but without robust policy reforms, most of the potential to reduce emissions and increase jobs will be lost.
FERC’s two orders are examples of federal policies blocking the clean energy transition…