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Definition: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – FERC
It is a United States federal agency that has jurisdiction over electricity sales between states, determination over wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, pricing of natural gas and rates of oil pipelines. The FERC is regulatory agency which is independent and is within the United States Department of Energy.
The other functions of FERC are reviewing proposals to construct LNG terminals and natural gas pipelines between states and also licensing hydropower projects. The activities of FERC are not subject to any further review by the Secretary of the Department of Energy or any officer or employee of the same. The regulations of the FERC can be found in Code of Federal Regulations under Title 18 Chapter 1. FERC can conduct reviews or investigations on matters pertaining under its jurisdiction and these may be public or private and formal or preliminary.
If any formal investigation is ordered then the Commission or its investigating officer can subpoena witnesses, take evidence or order the production of any documents, contracts, books, memoranda or any other material relevant to investigation.
There are other responsibilities that are assigned to the Commission which are: -
• The Commission has the right to review certain mergers and acquisitions of electricity companies and transactions associated with them.
• The Commission approves the siting and abandonment of natural gas pipelines between states.
• The Commission ensures the safe operation and reliability of operating and proposed LNG terminals.
• The Commission also monitors and investigates energy markets.
• The Commission also enforces the regulatory requirements through civil penalties and other means.