[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 242 (Tuesday, December 19, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 60134-60135]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-27187]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

18 CFR Part 35

[Docket No. RM18-1-000]


Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notification of extension of time to take final action on the 
proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: On October 10, 2017, the Department of Energy (the Department 
or DOE) published a proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule for final 
action by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or 
FERC). Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (the Secretary) directed FERC 
either to publish an immediately-effective interim rule or to take 
final action on the proposed rule within 60 days of publication, 
thereby establishing a deadline of December 11, 2017. By letter dated 
December 7, 2017, the Commission requested an extension of the proposed 
rule's deadline. By letter dated December 8, 2017, the Secretary 
granted the Commission's request. The Secretary's letter is set forth 
in full below.

DATES: The Commission is granted an extension for final action on the 
proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 10, 2017 (82 
FR 46940) by Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald (R.J.) Colwell, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and 
Fossil Energy (GC-76), Forrestal Building, Room 6D-033, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585; (202) 586-9507; email 
ronald.colwell@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 10, 2017, pursuant to authority 
in section 403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act, 42 U.S.C. 
7173, the Department published a proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule 
for final action by the Commission. 82 FR 46940. The Secretary proposed 
that the Commission exercise its authority under the Federal Power Act 
(FPA) to establish just and reasonable rates for wholesale electricity 
sales. Under the proposal, the Commission would impose rules on 
Commission-approved independent system operators (ISOs) and regional 
transmission organizations (RTOs) to ensure that certain reliability 
and resilience attributes of electric generation resources are fully 
valued. The Secretary directed the Commission to take final action on 
this proposal within 60 days of publication of the proposed rule in the 
Federal Register or, in the alternative, to issue the rule as an 
interim final rule immediately, with provision for later modifications 
after consideration of public comments. By letter dated December 7, 
2017, the Commission requested an extension of time to take final 
action on the proposed rule (the letter is available at https://www.ferc.gov/DOE-letter.pdf). By letter dated December 8, 2017, the 
Secretary granted FERC's request, setting a new deadline of Wednesday, 
January 10, 2018, for action by the Commission. In the letter, the 
Secretary stated that the Commission is nevertheless authorized to act 
at any time prior to this deadline and urged the Commission to act 
expeditiously. The Secretary's letter is set forth, in full, below.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2017.
Bernard L. McNamee,
Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy, Office of the General 
Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy.

December 8, 2017

The Honorable Kevin J. McIntyre, Chairman
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

Re: The Secretary of Energy's Granting of the Request for an 
Extension of Time for the Commission to Take Final Action on the 
Proposed Grid Reliability and Resiliency Pricing Rule, FERC Docket 
No. RM18-1-000

Dear Chairman McIntyre:
    On December 7, I received your request for an extension of time 
(``Extension Request'') for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
(``Commission'') to take final action on the proposed Grid 
Resiliency Pricing Rule in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(``Notice'' or ``Proposal'') published in the Federal Register on 
October 10, and referenced in the above-captioned FERC docket.
    In the Notice and in my accompanying letter of September 28, I 
made clear that there is a problem today and that urgent action is 
required to reform the Commission's market rules. I stated that, in 
light of serious threats to the nation's electricity grid, it is the 
Commission's immediate responsibility to take action to ensure that 
generation resources with on-site fuel supplies and the ability to 
provide essential energy and ancillary reliability services 
including voltage support, frequency services, operating reserves, 
and reactive power are fully valued and, in particular, to exercise 
its authority to develop new market rules that will achieve this 
urgent objective. In the letter I further stated that failure to act 
expeditiously would be unjust, unreasonable, and contrary to the 
public interest. The voluminous comments filed in the record of this 
proceeding provide substantial evidence of, and otherwise confirm, 
the threat to the nation's electricity grid and the urgent need for 
Commission action to reform market rules to preserve fuel-secure 
generation resources.
    Because of the urgency of this matter, the 60-day deadline 
imposed in the Notice is reasonable within the meaning of Section 
403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act and is otherwise 
compliant with applicable law. The better course would be for the 
Commission to adopt the Proposal within this reasonable deadline. If 
the Commission fails to adopt the Proposal within the original

[[Page 60135]]

deadline for the reasons stated in the Extension Request, the 
security of our nation's electric grid will continue to be at risk.
    However, I understand that Section 403 assigns the Commission 
the responsibility to take final action on the Proposal within the 
reasonable time period set forth by me and it is solely within my 
authority under Section 403 to grant an extension of time for final 
action. On the assumption that the Commission cannot act on the 
proposal within the 60-day deadline, I hereby grant the request for 
an extension of time for the Commission to deliberate and take final 
action on the Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule for an additional 30 
days.\1\ The new deadline is Wednesday, January 10, 2018. The 
Commission is nevertheless authorized to act at any time prior to 
this deadline and I urge the Commission to act expeditiously. During 
this additional period, the Department will continue to examine all 
options within my authority under the Department of Energy 
Organization Act, the Federal Power Act, and any other authorities 
to take remedial action as necessary to ensure the security of the 
nation's electric grid.
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    \1\ This extension is granted pursuant to my authority under 
section 403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act, among 
other powers and authorities granted to me by law.
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    I continue to believe that urgent action must be taken to ensure 
the resilience and security of the electric grid, which is so 
vitally important to the economic and national security of the 
United States. I look forward to the Commission taking final action 
in this matter for the benefit of the American people.

Sincerely,

Rick Perry

[FR Doc. 2017-27187 Filed 12-18-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6450-01-P