For the purpose of assuring an abundant supply of electric energy throughout the United States with the greatest possible economy and with regard to the proper utilization and conservation of natural resources, the Commission is empowered and directed to divide the country into regional districts for the voluntary interconnection and coordination of facilities for the generation, transmission, and sale of electric energy, and it may at any time thereafter, upon its own motion or upon application, make such modifications thereof as in its judgment will promote the public interest. Each such district shall embrace an area which, in the judgment of the Commission, can economically be served by such interconnection and coordinated electric facilities. It shall be the duty of the Commission to promote and encourage such interconnection and coordination within each such district and between such districts. Before establishing any such district and fixing or modifying the boundaries thereof the Commission shall give notice to the State commission of each State situated wholly or in part within such district, and shall afford each such State commission reasonable opportunity to present its views and recommendations, and shall receive and consider such views and recommendations.
Whenever the Commission, upon application of any State commission or of any person engaged in the transmission or sale of electric energy, and after notice to each State commission and public utility affected and after opportunity for hearing, finds such action necessary or appropriate in the public interest it may by order direct a public utility (if the Commission finds that no undue burden will be placed upon such public utility thereby) to establish physical connection of its transmission facilities with the facilities of one or more other persons engaged in the transmission or sale of electric energy, to sell energy to or exchange energy with such persons: Provided, That the Commission shall have no authority to compel the enlargement of generating facilities for such purposes, nor to compel such public utility to sell or exchange energy when to do so would impair its ability to render adequate service to its customers. The Commission may prescribe the terms and conditions of the arrangement to be made between the persons affected by any such order, including the apportionment of cost between them and the compensation or reimbursement reasonably due to any of them.
(1) During the continuance of any war in which the United States is engaged, or whenever the Commission determines that an emergency exists by reason of a sudden increase in the demand for electric energy, or a shortage of electric energy or of facilities for the generation or transmission of electric energy, or of fuel or water for generating facilities, or other causes, the Commission shall have authority, either upon its own motion or upon complaint, with or without notice, hearing, or report, to require by order such temporary connections of facilities and such generation, delivery, interchange, or transmission of electric energy as in its judgment will best meet the emergency and serve the public interest. If the parties affected by such order fail to agree upon the terms of any arrangement between them in carrying out such order, the Commission, after hearing held either before or after such order takes effect, may prescribe by supplemental order such terms as it finds to be just and reasonable, including the compensation or reimbursement which should be paid to or by any such party.
(2) With respect to an order issued under this subsection that may result in a conflict with a requirement of any Federal, State, or local environmental law or regulation, the Commission shall ensure that such order requires generation, delivery, interchange, or transmission of electric energy only during hours necessary to meet the emergency and serve the public interest, and, to the maximum extent practicable, is consistent with any applicable Federal, State, or local environmental law or regulation and minimizes any adverse environmental impacts.
(3) To the extent any omission or action taken by a party, that is necessary to comply with an order issued under this subsection, including any omission or action taken to voluntarily comply with such order, results in noncompliance with, or causes such party to not comply with, any Federal, State, or local environmental law or regulation, such omission or action shall not be considered a violation of such environmental law or regulation, or subject such party to any requirement, civil or criminal liability, or a citizen suit under such environmental law or regulation.
(4)(A) An order issued under this subsection that may result in a conflict with a requirement of any Federal, State, or local environmental law or regulation shall expire not later than 90 days after it is issued. The Commission may renew or reissue such order pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) for subsequent periods, not to exceed 90 days for each period, as the Commission determines necessary to meet the emergency and serve the public interest.
(B) In renewing or reissuing an order under subparagraph (A), the Commission shall consult with the primary Federal agency with expertise in the environmental interest protected by such law or regulation, and shall include in any such renewed or reissued order such conditions as such Federal agency determines necessary to minimize any adverse environmental impacts to the extent practicable. The conditions, if any, submitted by such Federal agency shall be made available to the public. The Commission may exclude such a condition from the renewed or reissued order if it determines that such condition would prevent the order from adequately addressing the emergency necessitating such order and provides in the order, or otherwise makes publicly available, an explanation of such determination.
(5) If an order issued under this subsection is subsequently stayed, modified, or set aside by a court pursuant to section 825l of this title or any other provision of law, any omission or action previously taken by a party that was necessary to comply with the order while the order was in effect, including any omission or action taken to voluntarily comply with the order, shall remain subject to paragraph (3).
During the continuance of any emergency requiring immediate action, any person or municipality engaged in the transmission or sale of electric energy and not otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission may make such temporary connections with any public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission or may construct such temporary facilities for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce as may be necessary or appropriate to meet such emergency, and shall not become subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission by reason of such temporary connection or temporary construction: Provided, That such temporary connection shall be discontinued or such temporary construction removed or otherwise disposed of upon the termination of such emergency: Provided further, That upon approval of the Commission permanent connections for emergency use only may be made hereunder.
After six months from August 26, 1935, no person shall transmit any electric energy from the United States to a foreign country without first having secured an order of the Commission authorizing it to do so. The Commission shall issue such order upon application unless, after opportunity for hearing, it finds that the proposed transmission would impair the sufficiency of electric supply within the United States or would impede or tend to impede the coordination in the public interest of facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission. The Commission may by its order grant such application in whole or in part, with such modifications and upon such terms and conditions as the Commission may find necessary or appropriate, and may from time to time, after opportunity for hearing and for good cause shown, make such supplemental orders in the premises as it may find necessary or appropriate.
The ownership or operation of facilities for the transmission or sale at wholesale of electric energy which is (a) generated within a State and transmitted from the State across an international boundary and not thereafter transmitted into any other State, or (b) generated in a foreign country and transmitted across an international boundary into a State and not thereafter transmitted into any other State, shall not make a person a public utility subject to regulation as such under other provisions of this subchapter. The State within which any such facilities are located may regulate any such transaction insofar as such State regulation does not conflict with the exercise of the Commission's powers under or relating to subsection (e).
In order to insure continuity of service to customers of public utilities, the Commission shall require, by rule, each public utility to—
(1) report promptly to the Commission and any appropriate State regulatory authorities any anticipated shortage of electric energy or capacity which would affect such utility's capability of serving its wholesale customers,
(2) submit to the Commission, and to any appropriate State regulatory authority, and periodically revise, contingency plans respecting—
(A) shortages of electric energy or capacity, and
(B) circumstances which may result in such shortages, and
(3) accommodate any such shortages or circumstances in a manner which shall—
(A) give due consideration to the public health, safety, and welfare, and
(B) provide that all persons served directly or indirectly by such public utility will be treated, without undue prejudice or disadvantage.
(June 10, 1920, ch. 285, pt. II, §202, as added Aug. 26, 1935, ch. 687, title II, §213, 49 Stat. 848; amended Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 343, 67 Stat. 461; Pub. L. 95–617, title II, §206(a), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3141; Pub. L. 114–94, div. F, §61002, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1772.)
2015—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–94, §61002(a), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added pars. (2) to (5).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 114–94, §61002(b), inserted "or municipality" before "engaged in the transmission or sale of electric energy".
1978—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 95–617 added subsec. (g).
1953—Subsec. (f). Act Aug. 7, 1953, added subsec. (f).
Pub. L. 95–617, title II, §206(b), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3142, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [adding subsec. (g) of this section] shall not affect any proceeding of the Commission [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] pending on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 9, 1978] or any case pending on such date respecting a proceeding of the Commission."
Functions of President respecting certain facilities constructed and maintained on United States borders delegated to Secretary of State, see Ex. Ord. No. 11423, Aug. 16, 1968. 33 F.R. 11741, set out as a note under section 301 of Title 3, The President.
For provisions relating to performance of functions by Secretary of Energy respecting electric power and natural gas facilities located on United States borders, see Ex. Ord. No. 10485, Sept. 8, 1953, 18 F.R. 5397, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 12038, Feb. 3, 1978, 43 F.R. 4957, set out as a note under section 717b of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.