LPPC letter to Congressman Pete Olson in support of H.R. 271, the Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2013, January 13, 2013

January 17, 2013

The Honorable Pete Olson
U.S. House of Representatives
312 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Olson:

On behalf of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC), I am writing to express our support for H.R. 271, the Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2013. LPPC represents 26 of the largest locally owned and operated not-for-profit electric systems in the nation. Members are located in 11 states and Puerto Rico, and supply electricity to some of the largest cities in the country — including Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Phoenix, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Orlando and Austin.

Collectively, our members own and operate approximately 35,000 circuit miles of transmission lines and over 86,000 megawatts of generation, reflecting a portfolio of renewable energy, fossil fuel, nuclear, hydropower and other resources.

LPPC supports H.R. 271 as an important tool to help maintain the electric grid reliability. In the narrow set of circumstances under which an electricity generation unit must run under an emergency order of the Federal Power Act, this bill would protect the unit from being in violation of environmental laws and would ensure that electricity generators are not forced to choose between conflicting legal obligations when acting to comply with an emergency reliability order from the U.S. Department of Energy. We anticipate that Emergency Orders may become more frequent as utilities take actions to comply with the new EPA regulations.

The members of the LPPC remain concerned that electric reliability could be jeopardized unless there is an effective mechanism in place to extend the utility MACT compliance deadline for those electric generating units that pose local or regional reliability problems.

Thank you for introducing this narrowly focused legislation that highlights an important issue affecting electric utilities.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance in this matter, please feel free to contact me or LPPC’s Executive Director, Missy Mandell at lppc@lppc.org or call 202-430-0101.

Lonnie N. Carter
LPPC Chairman