The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) filed for rehearing with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over its National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC) for the Mid-Atlantic region while also filing suit against the designation in the U.S. District Court.
In its petition for rehearing before DOE and its filing in the U.S. District Court, the PUC maintained that the NIETC is overly broad, calling the plan beyond the scope intended by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The filing before the U.S. District Court also asks the court to prevent the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from implementing the NIETC at this time.
According to both filings, the PUC alleges that the DOE's ‘expansive interpretation of its own powers is neither reasonable, nor reasonably required to effectuate Congress' purpose,’ nor is it supported by the Act.
In addition, the PUC says:
– the federal government failed to apply the law in a manner that is minimally intrusive on traditional state siting authority and jurisdiction
– DOE failed to adequately identify congestion levels and sources, and lacks the required findings of fact
– the NIETC boundaries fail to adhere to the requirements of the law
– the federal government used an inadequate basis for the NIETC designation, and
– DOE failed to include the requirement that a project not conflict with regional planning in its designation.
The current NIETC includes 52 out of Pennsylvania's 67 counties in the corridor's Mid-Atlantic region.