On March 21, 2019, FERC issued a notice of inquiry requesting “information and stakeholder views to help the Commission explore whether, and if so how, it should modify its policies concerning the determination of the return on equity (ROE) to be used in designing jurisdictional rates charged by public utilities. The Commission also seeks comment on whether any changes to its policies concerning public utility ROEs should be applied to interstate natural gas and oil pipelines.”
The high rate of return on equity (a guaranteed 14% for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline) allows for the construction of unnecessary pipeline projects, leaving the US with newly built fossil fuel infrastructure in a time of rapidly falling renewable energy prices and growing concern about climate change. Because utilities can pass along costs to consumers in their monthly bills, FERC has effectively allowed them to use their customer’s money to build pipelines that may never be fully used.
We urge everyone to comment to FERC, suggesting it change the way it determines rate of return. Comments from the public on FERC’s new inquiry are due on June 26, 2019. Because FERC makes it so difficult for people to submit comments electronically, we urge you to print, sign, and mail this letter – or write your own letter and mail it! Your letter must be postmarked by June 26.