FERC Technical Conference on COVID-19 Impacts
- May 21, 2020 1:27 pm GMTMay 21, 2020 1:30 pm GMT
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Take notice that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) will convene a Commissioner-led technical conference in the above-referenced proceeding on Wednesday and Thursday, July 8-9, 2020 from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time each day. The conference will be held remotely. The Commission will issue a supplemental notice providing the agenda for the technical conference.
The purpose of this conference is to consider the ongoing, serious impacts that the emergency conditions caused by COVID-19 are having on various segments of the United States’ energy industry. While the Commission and its staff have already taken multiple steps to provide the public and regulated entities with regulatory relief in the short-term, the Commission now wants to explore the potential longer-term impacts on the entities that it regulates in order to ensure the continued efficient functioning of energy markets, transmission of electricity, transportation of natural gas and oil, and reliable operation of energy infrastructure today and in the future, while also protecting consumers.
The conference will serve as a public forum for the Commission and energy stakeholders to discuss a wide range of energy issues that the country faces going forward as it recovers from the COVID-19 emergency. The conference will also provide the public with an opportunity to hear high-level discussions of how COVID-19 has impacted the energy industry. It will include multiple panels and cover diverse issues, including consideration of: (1) the energy industry’s ongoing and potential future operational and planning challenges due to COVID-19 and as the situation evolves moving forward; (2) the potential impacts of changes in electric demand on operations, planning, and infrastructure development; (3) the potential impacts of changes in natural gas and oil demand on operations, planning, and infrastructure development; and (4) issues related to access to capital, including credit, liquidity, and return on equity issues.
 For instance, the Commission issued a suite of orders and notices on March 19 and April 2 to address immediate needs. See Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Coronavirus: FERC Response, http://www.ferc.gov/media/coronavirus.asp (providing a comprehensive list of actions taken by the Commission in response to COVID-19). The Chairman also named a Pandemic Liaison to provide industry with a means to contact Commission experts with questions related to the impacts of COVID-19 on Commission-jurisdictional activities.