On June 12, 2017, the United States House of Representatives passed a slate of ten energy-related bills. Notably, two of the passed bills seek to amend the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) and FERC’s attendant authority.
H.R. 2274, the Hydropower Permit Extension Act, would authorize FERC to issue a preliminary permit to a hydropower construction license applicant for up to four years, instead of three as currently authorized. Additionally, the bill would authorize FERC to extend the time a hydropower licensee has to commence construction on a project from the current two-year deadline to eight years.
Separately, H.R. 1109 would amend Section 203 of the FPA to require FERC authorization only when a public utility merger or consolidation is valued in excess of $10 million. Additionally, the bill would require FERC to promulgate a rule requiring that a public utility notify FERC within 30 days of consummating a merger or consolidation valued in excess of $1 million but less than $10 million.