FERC held its first open meeting with Chairman McIntyre at the helm and a full complement of Commissioners at his side. A series of staff appointments and key staff retirements were announced, and a full complement of orders were voted on, both by consent and discussion agenda. All the Commissioners voted unanimously on the orders issued. The meeting was peppered with some levity, including Commissioner LaFleur presenting Commissioner Chatterjee with a Ziploc bag of pulverized coal in recognition of his brief tenure as Chairman and his affinity for the DOE-initiated Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing rule that the Commission will act upon in January.
Substantively, the Commission touched on three major policy initiatives:
- FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) under Section 215 of the Federal Power Act directing NERC to modify the existing CIP Reliability Standards to improve reporting of cybersecurity incidents that compromise, or attempt yo compromise Electronic Security Perimeters or Electronic Access Control or Monitoring Systems.
- FERC closed its NOPR on Fast Start Resource Pricing without issuing a rule applicable to all RTO/ISOs, and instead initiated three Section 206 proceedings affecting NYISO, PJM and SPP, with customized issue identification for each, and initial briefs due in 45 days and reply briefs 30 days thereafter.
- FERC announced that it will make review of its 1999 Policy Statement on Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Facilities a priority.
Chairman McIntyre announced his initial staff appointments, comprised of a team of existing staffers from the Office of Electric Markets Regulation, Office of General Counsel, and Office of Enforcement. He did not make any announcements of other key appointments, including who will lead the Office of Enforcement or who will replace retiring Chief Accountant Bryan Craig moving forward.
As this will likely be my last insight of 2017, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.