Van Hollen Joins Duckworth, Bustos, Colleagues in Sending a Letter to PJM Advocating for Affordable Clean Energy
This week, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) joined Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and 18 Democratic colleagues in sending a letter to Manu Asthana, President and CEO of PJM Interconnection, to urge a delay in PJM’s annual capacity auctions so states can mitigate the expansion of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) and understand how this decision will impact consumers. FERC’s recent decision directs PJM, which provides electricity to 65 million customers, to create an artificial floor for how much clean energy like wind, solar and nuclear cost—which the Members of Congress worry will dramatically increase energy rates and threaten a burgeoning clean energy market.
In part, the letter reads: “According to FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, who opposes the MOPR, this rule will push clean energy generation out of the PJM capacity market and artificially restrict energy supply. The result will be increased costs in the market by at least $2.4 billion annually. Our concern is that these costs will be borne by the most vulnerable among us.”
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Bob Casey (D-PA) joined Duckworth and Bustos in sending today’s letter, as did U.S. Representatives Anthony Brown (MD-04), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Sean Casten (IL-06), Danny Davis (IL-07), Mike Doyle (PA-18), Bill Foster (IL-11), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Mike Quigley (IL-05).
A full copy of the letter is available below and online here.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dear Mr. Asthana:
We urge you to delay PJM’s annual capacity auctions to 2021. Like you, we are extremely concerned by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s unprecedented expansion of the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) and how this rash decision will impact PJM’s Capacity Market. Specifically, we believe this decision will have crippling impacts on your consumers and our constituents, including dramatic increases in rates and threatening a burgeoning clean energy market. Giving states in your network a year to understand how this decision will impact them will help mitigate any disruption to the capacity market. It will also give FERC time to respond to your recent request that they reconsider parts of their decision.
Under your leadership PJM has provided reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy to approximately 65 million customers in thirteen states and the District of Columbia. These states are leading the Nation in climate action. For example, of the thirteen states in PJM’s market, nine remain committed to the goals of the Pairs Climate Accord. All of them have a renewable energy mandate which PJM has helped cultivate by providing flexibility.
Clean energy is not only good for the environment, it’s good for low-income households. According to a report published in 2016, low-income families spend approximately 7.2 percent of their income on energy bills. That is more than double what higher-income families spend, which is approximately 2.3 percent. According to FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, who opposes the MOPR, this rule will push clean energy generation out of the PJM capacity market and artificially restrict energy supply. The result will be increased costs in the market by at least $2.4 billion annually. Our concern is that these costs will be borne by the most vulnerable among us.
FERC’s expansion of MOPR would undermine clean energy and will come at a high price for consumers. By delaying your capacity auction by a year, you will help states pursue policies that can mitigate the impacts of FERC’s decision. We urge you to take this crucial step.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of our request.
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