Pending Federal Transmission Rule is Good for Alabama and Business

We see a lot of polarization around us but I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want cheaper electricity bills, more job creation, and economic growth.

Right now, federal regulators are poised to finalize a transmission planning and cost allocation rule that would give us all three.

That’s why we’re calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Chairman Willie Phillips to act as soon as possible.

As the Commission noted two years ago in the original draft rule, reforming the existing regional transmission planning and cost allocation rules is absolutely critical because, with electricity demand expected to triple by mid-century, the current system simply can’t keep up.

What’s needed is twofold. First, we need a significant expansion of the nation’s network of long-distance electric transmission lines. Second, we must substantially update the framework under which transmission lines are planned and paid for.

Unfortunately, this issue has turned into a heated political debate. What should be an engineering challenge has become a political mess, and that’s a shame.

Here’s why.

If FERC’s new rule is adopted, the result would be a resilient grid that can withstand attacks and extreme weather. Closer to home, it would make Alabama more competitive for economic development.

At its core, enhanced electric transmission planning is a catalyst for economic growth. A modern and robust transmission grid serves as the backbone of our energy infrastructure, facilitating the efficient and reliable delivery of electricity to homes, businesses, and industries across our state.

By strategically expanding and upgrading our transmission network, we can unlock new markets for clean energy development, attract investment, and create high-quality jobs in construction, engineering, and technology.

A resilient grid allows for rapid responses and recovery efforts, and minimizes economic disruptions. By reinforcing our transmission infrastructure and implementing advanced technologies, we can better withstand the impacts of extreme weather and protect our communities from costly outages and downtime.

Furthermore, a modernized transmission grid improves energy efficiency and reduces transmission losses. This leads to cost savings for consumers and businesses alike. Who wouldn’t want that?

By optimizing the flow of electricity and integrating renewable energy sources like wind and solar, we can lower electricity bills and stimulate economic growth across sectors.

Investing in enhanced electric transmission planning doesn’t just make economic sense. It is also a strategic imperative for building a more resilient, sustainable, and prosperous Alabama for all.

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