Attorney General Becerra Urges FERC to Respect State Jurisdiction and Leadership in its Proposed Policy on Carbon Pricing

Monday, November 16, 2020
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined a multistate coalition in commenting on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) proposed policy statement encouraging efforts by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) to incorporate state-determined carbon pricing in wholesale electricity markets. While applauding FERC's show of support for state programs that price carbon emissions, the coalition encourages FERC to respect state jurisdiction in this area and, when appropriate, to take a case-by-case approach to its review of RTO/ISOs rules.

“We are encouraged by FERC’s support for renewable energy programs and hope they will be an ally in the fight for a clean energy future,” said Attorney General Becerra. “However, FERC’s proposed policy could result in a one-size fits all approach that ignores the diverse realities of our 50 states. We hope FERC will respect longstanding state authority on this issue, and will take a case-by-case approach to reviewing state carbon pricing programs, if and when such review is requested.”

In today's comment letter, the coalition urges FERC to continue to respect states’ authority to determine their own portfolio of electric resources and to exercise their police powers to promote the health and welfare of their residents.

The coalition appreciates FERC’s recognition of carbon pricing as an important, market-based tool in state efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the coalition notes that the proposed policy statement, if adopted, may encourage RTO/ISOs to develop rules where none are needed. Further, FERC should refrain from prejudging the need for, and attributes of, carbon-pricing rules and instead review the necessity and attributes of RTO/ISO rules on a case-by-case basis, and only when appropriate under the Federal Power Act. 

Attorney General Becerra joins the attorneys general of Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia in filing the comment letter.

A copy of the comment letter can be found here.

# # #