Summary of The Energy Policy Act Energy Policy Act 2005

President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) on August 8, 2005. It was the first omnibus energy legislation enacted in the United States in more than a decade, and makes the most significant changes in the Federal Energy Commission’s authority since the New Deal’s Federal Power Act of 1935 and the Natural Gas Act of 1938.  Proponents of this act advertised it as an attempt to combat growing energy problems. This legislation changed US energy policy by providing tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production. When this act was passed, it repealed the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 addresses energy production in the United States. This includes:

– Energy efficiency

– Renewable energy

– Oil and gas

– Tribal energy

– Nuclear matters and security

– Vehicles and motor fuels

– Hydrogen

– Electricity

– Energy Tax incentives

– Hydropower and geothermal energy

– Climate change technology

When Congress signed and passed the EPAct, it signaled a strong vote of confidence for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As well, the Commission has dedicated itself to meeting these obligations in a timely manner as laid out by Congress.

Goals of EPAct

The policy goals of the statute that relate to the Commision three main focuses:

– It reasserted a commitment to competition in wholesale power markets and made this

 national policy

– It recognized that protecting consumers from exploitation and assuring them fair

 competition was a necessary regulation that strengthened the Commission’s regulatory

 tools

– It made development of a stronger energy infrastructure possilbe

With the modification of the Federal Power Act, the Natural Gas Act and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, the Commission gained significant new responsibilities and authority to these new responsibilities.

Responsibilities

Some of the new responsibilities that the Committee now has the authority over include:

– Managing the reliability of the nation’s electricity transmission grid

– Implementing and overseeing new tools to prevent market manipulation

– To review certain public utility acquisitions of generating facilities

– To review certain holding company mergers and acquisitions that involve utility facilities

– To provide rate incentives for the promotion of electric transmission investment

The Energy Policy Act gave many new responsibilities to the Committee in addition to the ones mentioned here.

In summary, EPAct gave the Commission the authority:

– To issue rules to prevent market manipulation in jurisdictional wholesale power and gas

  markets, and in jurisdictional transmission and transportation services

– To oversee electricity reliability and infrastructure

– To encourage more investment in the United States’ natural gas infrastructure

– Have access to books and records of holding companies and their members if this is necessary

 for determining jurisdictional rates

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