FERC Transmission Backstop Siting Rule Will Ensure Energy Permitting Centers Communities, Wildlife

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new rule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lays out a path toward a clean energy transition that will prioritize the needs of Tribes, environmental justice communities, landowners, wildlife, and the environment. The backstop siting rule will help to modernize the grid at the rapid pace needed, while applying a comprehensive siting analysis informed by the best available science. The rule will require transmission planning processes to center Tribes and communities while also ensuring the needs of wildlife and the environment are prioritized.  

“The pressures on our country’s power grid are growing from climate change. Tribes and environmental justice communities have carried the burden of our power needs for over a century,” said Veronica Ung-Kono, a staff attorney and clean energy transmission policy specialist at the National Wildlife Federation. “A resilient and well-planned power grid is critical to alleviating that burden and meeting the needs of wildlife and all people while ensuring those impacted have a seat at the table. This rule creates a milestone opportunity for access to reliable, affordable, and clean energy, now and for future generations.” 
According to a study from the Department of Energy, the United States has a pressing need for additional transmission infrastructure. The rule follows Congressional requirements to prioritize wildlife and the environment, Tribes, environmental justice communities, and landowners with a new Air Quality and Environmental Noise Resource Report, Tribal Resource Report and Tribal Engagement Plan, Environmental Justice Communities Resource Report and Environmental Justice Communities Engagement Plan, and Applicant Code of Conduct. 

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