Securing a Reliable Electricity Grid: A New Era in Transmission Siting Regulation?


A capacious and reliable electric transmission grid is vital to public health and safety, the economy, and national security. The recent shift from local generation and use of electric power to regional and national markets in electric production requires substantially augmented transmission facilities. However, new transmission capacity often has been blocked by local favoritism, not-in-my-backyard concerns, and legislative and judicial doctrines mandating that benefits that would inure to other markets or states be disregarded in the approval process. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 contains siting provisions that offer some promise of relief. This article analyzes present conditions and the extent to which the new Act is apt to be efficacious.