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NEMA Responds to Court Ruling on Transmission Corridors


2/3/2011 9:41 AM

(ROSSLYN, Va.)—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today expressed its disappointment with the outcome of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) efforts to establish two National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETC) as a result of yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that overturned DOE’s 2007 NIETC designations. The NIETCs were proposed under authority granted in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58).

According to NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, the court’s decision to invalidate the designation of these two corridors delays the timely development of a more reliable electric grid in two of the most congested areas in the country.

“Delivering power, including power from renewable energy sources, to where it is needed should be a national priority and this cannot be done without adequate high-voltage transmission lines,”

Gaddis said.

DOE designated the Mid-Atlantic region and a region in the Southwest surrounding Los Angeles and San Diego as areas where electric constraint or congestion is hurting consumers to an unacceptable degree. While not an approval of any particular interstate transmission project, this designation would allow the applicant to apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) if the applicant fails to receive approval from a state.

The court decision only reinforces the importance of NEMA’s advocacy for a legislative solution that gives FERC expanded authority to site high-priority interstate transmission lines and the ability to coordinate federal environmental reviews, just as FERC has for interstate natural gas pipelines.

“The current process for siting interstate transmission lines is too slow and too costly to the public. NEMA is redoubling its efforts to ensure that the nation’s transmission infrastructure is not an impediment to our energy security,” said Jim Creevy, NEMA director of government relations.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.



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