On January 4, 2012, FERC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (“NARUC”) announced they will host three forums on reliability issues facing the electric utility industry with the issuance of new Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) emissions requirements. (See December 5, 2011 edition of the WER)  The three reliability forums will coincide with three annual NARUC meetings, and the forums stem from a recent NARUC resolution that called for collaboration with EPA and FERC to address reliability concerns.

Reliability issues and the impact of EPA emissions requirements have been the topic of ongoing discussions and conferences.  On November 29-30, 2011, FERC held a technical conference and devoted an entire day of discussion to the impact of the final EPA regulations on reliability and specific local and regional reliability issues. (See December 4, 2011 edition of the WER)  Due to the integral nature of state Public Utility Commissions to many of the issues at hand, NARUC’s role in the new process will be important going forward.

The first FERC/NARUC forum will take place on February 7, 2012 in Washington DC, and the meeting will be chaired by leaders from each organization.  FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and Cheryl LaFleur will serve as the federal co-chairs, and NARUC’s Washington Vice President Philip Jones and Indiana’s Treasurer David Ziegner will be the state co-chairs for the event.

A link to the news release on the reliability forum is available here.