With Compact, States may Collaborate in Siting Electric Transmission Lines
LEXINGTON, Ky.—A team of state and federal leaders creating an agreement to streamline the process for moving electric power from where it is produced to where it is needed plans to circulate an initial draft to interested stakeholders for review and comment early this year.
The drafting team, convened by The Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts and comprised of state legislators, federal agency representatives and other key stakeholders, is continuing efforts to develop an electric transmission line siting compact. The group met for the second time in December at The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., and will likely meet once more following the 2012 state legislative sessions. Its goal is to have compact language complete and ready for stakeholder review by the summer of 2012 and ready for consideration by state legislature starting in 2013.
“States will be able to work together to effectively site transmission lines, using this compact,” said North Dakota Rep. Kim Koppelman, one of the co-chairs of the committee and a former chair of CSG. “The electric transmission grid is in great need of modernization and improvement. This interstate compact can be a valuable tool in accomplishing that. I continue to be pleased by the progress the drafting team is making.”
Once completed, such an agreement, and its requirements, would be triggered on an ad hoc basis and pertain only to those states that are both members of the compact and affected by the proposed line.
“This compact represents an important step toward developing a more robust national high voltage transmission line system. It also represents an opportunity to bring together state legislators, interested stakeholders and federal officials in an attempt to promote cooperation and improve the system for siting transmission lines and it provides a chance for states such as Kansas and North Dakota to more fully develop their renewable energy generation potential,” said Kansas Sen. Tom Sloan, co-chair of the committee. “I applaud CSG for its continued leadership of this effort and look forward to continuing this important policy discussion.
Interstate compacts function, legally, as a contract between the states. Most states belong to more than 20 different agreements among the more than 215 interstate compacts in existence.
CSG, through its National Center for Interstate Compacts and with guidance from the Advisory Committee and Drafting Team, is uniquely qualified to lead this effort toward greater efficiency in electricity transmission line siting cooperation with its more than 75 years of experience in forging interstate compacts.
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.