WASHINGTON, D.C. – The recently passed COVID-19 relief package contains language directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to inform Congress within 180 days how it will design, fund and operate the Office of Public Participation. Public Citizen has led efforts to establish this office for more than a decade. Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program, released the following statement:
“The statutory mission of the Office is to encourage public participation at FERC, authorizing FERC to provide a powerful tool to get the public engaged: financial compensation for costs associated with intervening at FERC. Providing intervenor compensation to consumer groups, environmental justice organizations and other members of the public interest will revolutionize public interest representation and democratize policy making at FERC.
“FERC has sweeping authorities over power markets, pipelines and other infrastructure that directly impacts billions of dollars in rates and decisions that impact developments in communities across the country. For too long, public interest organizations have lacked the resources to meaningfully participate in important FERC proceedings.
“Public Citizen looks forward to working with Commission to ensure that the report to Congress proposes a robust and effective Office of Public Participation that will work on behalf of all those impacted by FERC’s jurisdiction.”