Pallone Sends Letter Requesting Hearing on JCP&L’s Proposal to Increase Transmission Rates

Dec 5, 2016 Issues: Energy and Gas Prices, Environment

Long Branch, NJ - Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voicing his concerns over Jersey Central Power and Light’s (JCP&L) proposal to increase electric transmission rates in 2017. Pallone requested a public hearing on the proposal which would increase rates by 150% and argues that “any increase of this magnitude should be carefully scrutinized.”

Pallone has voiced concerns with other JCP&L proposals which could have negative impacts on New Jersey communities. In October, Pallone sent a letter to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) voicing his concerns over Jersey Central Power and Light’s (JCP&L) proposal for the Monmouth County Reliability Project (MCRP). The plan for JCP&L’s new transmission line would impact Aberdeen, Hazlet and Middletown in Pallone’s district and run along New Jersey Transit’s North Jersey Coast line. Many residents have argued that the project is unnecessary and potentially harmful to the public health, environment, and economy of their communities. In August, he shared his concerns with BPU regarding JCP&L’s proposal to transfer all of its transmission assets to Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission. JCP&L withdrew its transfer proposal in September, a week after Pallone’s statement.

The text of the letter can be found below:

December 5, 2016

The Honorable Norman Bay
Chairman
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

Dear Chairman Bay:

I write regarding Jersey Central Power & Light’s (JCP&L) proposal to increase electric transmission rates in 2017. I respectfully request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hold a hearing on this proposal to determine whether it is necessary, just and reasonable, particularly in regard to the impact the increase would have on ratepayers. The public should also be allowed an opportunity to comment on this proposal.

As you know, FERC’s approval is necessary for any rate increase by JCP&L to take effect. In making its decision, FERC should take into account concerns raised by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the state Division of Rate Counsel, and other stakeholder groups. This rate increase could be a significant burden on ratepayers; according to the Rate Counsel, JCP&L’s proposal would increase rates by 150%. FERC should hold a hearing to investigate a rate increase of this magnitude.

This is not the only JCP&L proposal my constituents have concerns about. Over the past year, JCP&L, and its parent company FirstEnergy, attempted to transfer all of JCP&L’s transmission assets to a separate company, Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, and to build a new 10-mile transmission line in my district, known as the Monmouth County Reliability Project. While the benefits of these proposals for ratepayers are dubious, JCP&L would certainly reap financial benefits if either of these proposals were approved.

That is why I am respectfully urging FERC to provide a serious and sincere opportunity for the public to comment on JCP&L’s proposed rate increase. New Jersey ratepayers should not be subjected to onerous energy costs, and any increase of this magnitude should be carefully scrutinized.

Thank you in advance for your most serious consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

FRANK PALLONE, JR
Member of Congress

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