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Published on June 15, 2024
Texas AG Ken Paxton Leads 19-State Coalition Against FERC's Green Energy Rules Over States' Rights ConcernsSource: Wikipedia/

File:Ken Paxton by Gage Skidmore.jpg
By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is at the helm of a 19-state challenge against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), over new rules promoting a shift to green energy. According to a press release by the Texas Attorney General's office, the rules issued under FERC Order No. 1920 are described as an attempt by the Biden Administration to enforce a costly and inefficient transition to renewable energy sources.

The May 13, 2024, order ostensibly tasks FERC with expanded oversight of electrical grids, which the coalition argues could undermine state control over their own energy infrastructure. The states are contesting FERC's authority to dictate the construction of regional transmission lines to support green energy—an expense that may not align with the states' individual energy strategies and could potentially lead to compromised grid efficiency and reliability.

Notably, FERC's maneuver has never been backed by precedents granting the commission the power to reconfigure state energy grids or mandate states and their consumers to support transmission lines that might not carry sufficient energy volume to warrant the investment. The coalition suggests that the ruling would encroach upon states' rights to choose their energy sources, in a move that might shift the financial burden of transmission line construction onto electric consumers as opposed to the developers of renewable energy projects.

"Biden’s attempt to seize unprecedented control over energy production and distribution is a recipe for disaster," Paxton stated, leading a charge that the coalition hopes to stop what they deem an unlawful energy transition scheme. Paxton's stance, expressed in concern for the skyrocketing energy costs and the potential decline in resource reliability, reflects a broader debate over federalism and the administration's climate policies.

The legal filing from the coalition holds that the Commission's rule would, "usurp the States’ exclusive authority over generation choices by adopting planning rules designed to benefit remote renewable generation and renewable developers, and shift billions or trillions of dollars in transmission costs from those developers onto electric consumers." This case will likely become a pivotal moment in defining the balance between state and federal powers in the realm of energy policy and environmental stewardship.