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Quigley, Whitehouse Introduce Bills to Power Clean Energy Future

Aug 6, 2021
Press Release

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced two bills aimed at improving our nation’s power infrastructure and streamlining the regulatory process to help put the country on the path to a sustainable future. The Streamlining Interstate Transmission of Electricity (SITE) Act and the Advanced Energy Technologies and Grid Efficiency Act will create jobs, stimulate the economy, and make critical strides in the transition to clean energy. 

“The future of our planet demands that we transition to clean energy. If we want to make that future a reality, we must begin with the critical work of preparing our electric grid now,” said Quigley. “Too many barriers currently stand between the power sector and more widespread adoption of renewables. I was proud to work with Senator Whitehouse on two legislative initiatives that will not only reduce those barriers but also ensure that the process is not abused to the detriment of American landowners.”

“The first step to scaling up renewable energy is upgrading the nation’s electric grid,” said Whitehouse.  “Our proposals will make it easier to get clean energy from the remote locations where it is often generated to the homes and businesses where it is needed.” 

Specifically, the SITE Act will establish a new federal siting authority at FERC to smooth the process of constructing long-range, inter-regional high voltage transmission lines. These transmission lines are a necessary step in the transition to renewable energy. Presently, these projects face significant hurdles due to the complex and intensive coordination required between states, federal agencies, regulators, industry, and local landowners. The new siting authority created by the SITE Act will eliminate some of those barriers. Additionally, the SITE Act will create new eminent domain authority under the Federal Power Act to prevent abuses with transmission siting.

The Advanced Energy Technologies and Grid Efficiency Act will bring together a cross-section of federal and regional agencies to pinpoint gaps in our electric grid that may hamper the introduction of clean energy sources in the future. The legislation authorizes funding to upgrade electricity delivery infrastructure and would help determine whether federal regulators have the necessary authorities to oversee the siting of the transmission lines necessary for expanding clean energy.