Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 19, 2002
Contact: Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136
Alt Contact: Michael Marchand, Governor’s Communications Office, 360-902-4136
Gov. Gary Locke Joins 17 Governors in Urging Congress to Slow Restructuring of Energy Markets
Gov. Gary Locke and 17 other governors today urged Congress to delay the federal government’s adoption of proposed standard energy market rules until Congress and the states evaluate the impact on energy costs and services.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposal calls for the creation of “a seamless, national market for wholesale electricity” and seeks to finalize these rules by mid-2003. The standard energy market rules were proposed by FERC seven weeks ago.
Utility regulators, public utilities and other public officials in more that 25 states have argued that the proposed rules create problems that would result in higher energy prices for consumers and a reduction of the states’ authority to oversee retail energy services.
In their letter to U.S. House and Senate energy committee chairs, the governors called FERC’s proposal “an exceptionally far reaching proposal which represents a significant shift in this nation’s policy.” They also said that the proposal “is moving too rapidly and has not been adequately evaluated.” They asked Congress to keep FERC from adopting rules until problems and alternate solutions have been identified and discussed.
“I have already stated my strong misgivings about the sweeping proposals to restructure energy markets nationally and FERC’s almost reckless speed in implementing them. If the FERC can’t figure out on its own the need to proceed carefully, then it is up to Congress to slow it down,” Locke said upon signing the letter.
Joining Locke on the letter were governors from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
- Letter to Energy Committee Chairs