As a candidate for public office in 2022, I pledge to support legislation to replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with the Federal Renewable Energy Commission, whose job it will be to ensure just, safe and affordable green energy for all people in this country.
It is time to replace FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with FREC, a Federal Renewable Energy Commission. There is historic precedent for this. FERC was created in 1977 when Congress enacted legislation to replace the Federal Power Commission, created in 1935, with FERC. Over 40 years later, with a very different energy reality than 1977, it’s time for a new FREC to replace the old FERC.
We must create an independent energy agency which leads the critically needed shift away from all fossil fuels to jobs-creating, justice-based, renewable green energy from proven renewable technologies including, but not limited to, ecologically-sound solar, wind, small-scale hydro and geothermal. FREC would be about renewables first, ensuring that distributed energy resources and transmission of sustainably-generated electricity are provided to all, with priority to environmental justice communities long damaged by fossil fuel production. Neither war nor anything else can alter this as a top, immediate priority.
FERC cannot play this leadership role given its decades-long history as a captured agency by industry.
A new FREC must center genuine public participation in decision-making from affected communities, particularly low-income, Indigenous and people of color communities which have historically suffered from environmental pollution and governmental injustice.
A new FREC would not be funded by fees on industries applying for permits, a reality which has corrupted FERC decision-making, but by Congressional appropriations.
And a new FREC would prioritize making information and data easily accessible and shareable to the public, as well as simplify the process for informed public participation in decision-making about proposed new energy projects.