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ITC Holdings Corp., an independent electricity transmission company based in Novi, Mich., has raised concerns about the lack of comprehensive electricity transmission policy reforms included in the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The company also praised the Senate on its proposal addressing how to plan, build and pay for transmission in the U.S.

ITC commended efforts by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Jay Inslee, D- Wash., to expand the transmission title of the legislation, but the outcome was a very limited proposal that is less helpful than its Senate counterpart, according to the company.

"Chairman Waxman and Rep. Inslee clearly appreciate the critical role transmission plays in facilitating the achievement of the energy policy goals and objectives of the legislation, including the development of renewable, emissions-free resources," says Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC. "Unfortunately, they were unable, in the limited time available, to craft the needed provisions to be included in the bill."

The House bill does not address the issue of how needed transmission will be paid for, Welch adds. While it has provisions related to planning, the measure essentially only serves to codify the disjointed processes that exist today.

Welch goes on to say that the House bill attempts to address transmission siting by giving the federal government the ability to step in if states do not site facilities. But the new provision only applies to the Western Interconnection. Superior, high-quality wind resources are abundant within the Eastern Interconnection.

Welch pointed out that under the current system of balkanized regulatory oversight, it is difficult to develop and implement strategically planned, cross-regional transmission projects.

SOURCE: ITC Holdings Corp.


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