House Democratic Caucus Sends Letter Opposing FERC Ruling

The following letter was signed by all 25 members of the House Democratic Caucus and sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

May 27, 2016

The Honorable Norman C. Bay
Chairman
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

Dear Chairman Bay,

We have read with deep disappointment the recent news that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is requiring that Delaware electricity customers shoulder the bulk of the cost of a power line project on Artificial Island, despite Delaware customers receiving only a small portion of the benefits of said project.

The $272 million project to build a transmission line to Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants will have little benefit for the state, but our residents will have to bear the expense of the project. The Delaware and Maryland Public Service Commissions filed a complaint with your agency, alleging the financial burden is “unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory and preferential,” using a flawed assessment of the requirements of the cost allocation model. Despite the PSCs’ best efforts to reduce costs on utility customers, the FERC denied the request.

It’s outrageous that the commission essentially charged Delmarva ratepayers more than 90 percent of the cost for a project for which they will only receive 10 percent of the benefits. As local legislators we have heard from our residents, many of whom cannot fathom why they will be asked to shoulder cost increases they cannot bear.

It is difficult to accept that the FERC has chosen to ignore a more accurate pricing methodology in favor of one that is so badly skewed. As Governor Markell has noted, “The Commission’s Order will have a significant direct negative impact on customers in the Delmarva Zone, and on the economy of the region.” We concur. We join with Governor Markell in urging you and the other FERC Commissioners to grant the request for rehearing submitted by the Delaware and Maryland Public Service Commissions.

The House Democratic Caucus stands united in opposition to the FERC’s decision and urges the FERC to reconsider this ruling. Our small businesses and residents do not deserve to be unfairly targeted with such a burden. They deserve a fair and just review that takes their interests into consideration. 

Sincerely,                        

W. Charles “Trey” Paradee III                                   Paul S. Baumbach
State Representative, 29th District                              State Representative, 23rd District                                                                          

Andria L. Bennett                                                       David Bentz  
State Representative, 32nd District                              State Representative, 18th District                     

Stephanie T. Bolden                                                   Gerald L. Brady
State Representative, 2nd District                                State Representative, 4th District

William J. Carson                                                        Debra J. Heffernan
State Representative, 28th District                              State Representative, 6th District                        

Earl G. Jaques Jr.                                                        James Johnson
State Representative, 27th District                              State Representative, 16th District                                

S. Quinton Johnson                                                     Helene M. Keeley
State Representative, 8th District                                State Representative, 3rd District                       

John A. Kowalko Jr.                                                   Valerie Longhurst
State Representative, 25th District                              State Representative, 15th District                             

Sean M. Lynn                                                             Sean Matthews
State Representative, 31st District                              State Representative, 10th District                 

John L. Mitchell Jr.                                                     Michael P. Mulrooney
State Representative, 13th District                              State Representative, 17th District                                   

Edward S. Osienski                                                    Charles Potter Jr.
State Representative, 24th District                              State Representative, 1st District                 

Peter C. Schwartzkopf                                                Bryon H. Short
State Representative, 14th District                              State Representative, 7th District                      

Melanie George Smith                                                John J. Viola
State Representative, 5th District                                State Representative, 26th District

Kimberly Williams
State Representative, 19th District