In 1978, as part of the sweeping changes to the Federal Power Act (FPA) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), Congress ordered the creation of an “Office of Public Participation” at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). For forty years, this mandate remained unfilled. On February 22, 2021, in response to a further congressional directive, FERC issued Docket No. AD-21-9 to solicit public input on how the Commission should establish and operate the Office of Public Participation (OPP) and held a series of listening sessions over the following months. Over the course of spring 2021, FERC received more than a dozen hours’ worth of spoken comment and more than 100 written comments on the form, function, and goals of the OPP. Stakeholders included landowners and community members affected by proposed projects, environmental and consumer advocates, energy companies, State and Tribal governments, and many more.
This report, accompanied by a "Quick Take" executive summary, explores in detail the key recommendations from this diverse and experienced set of commenters. Across these recommendations, the report identifies four common themes:
This report was prepared by M.J. Bradley & Associates for the Sustainable FERC Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).