On October 1, 2018, FERC released its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2018-2022.  FERC affirmed its mission of maintaining reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy for consumers by setting three primary goals: (1) ensuring that rates, terms, and conditions are just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential; (2) promoting the development of safe, reliable, and efficient energy infrastructure that serves the public interest through the review of natural gas and hydropower infrastructure proposals; and (3) managing resourcing to support its mission through organizational excellence.

Under each goal, FERC lays out several objectives.  To ensure just and reasonable rates, FERC’s objective is to identify emerging issues to determine where modification to its rules and regulations is necessary.  In addition, FERC set forth several strategies to ensure that rates are just and reasonable, including:

  • Evaluate existing FERC rules and policies to determine whether modification of such rules and policies is necessary or new rules or policies need to be developed;
  • Analyze and act upon filings in a fair, clear, and timely manner.  Where filings do not provide FERC with sufficient information to act upon their merits, facilitate settlements of disputes or, in the absence of settlement, develop an accurate record for Commission action;
  • Increase compliance by identifying anomalies and potential rule improvements, and through stakeholder education and outreach; and
  • Detect and deter market manipulation by identifying and conducting investigations of potential violations.

FERC’s second goal of developing safe and efficient energy infrastructure is intended to minimize risks to the public associated with jurisdictional energy infrastructure.  FERC’s primary strategies to achieve this goal are to:

  • Ensure natural gas and hydropower infrastructure is constructed and operated in compliance with environmental mitigation conditions in FERC orders;
  • Conduct comprehensive and timely inspections of hydropower and LNG facilities;
  • Identify reliability and security risks regarding the secure operation of the bulk-power system; and
  • Work with regulated entities and stakeholders to protect against cyber and physical security threats to jurisdictional energy infrastructure.

FERC’s main strategies to achieve its third goal, to support organizational excellence, are to provide tools and services that enable FERC staff to effectively perform their jobs and maintain processes and public information services in accordance with principles of transparency and open communication.

In addition to laying out its various goals and objectives, FERC’s Strategic Report discusses factors that may affect each goal and FERC’s evaluation of its various programs.  A copy of the strategic plan is available here.