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Home arrowNews arrowJune 10, 2013

New Presidential Memorandum to Speed Modernization of Electric Grid, Save Money

On June 7, 2013, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (PM) entitled “Transforming our Nation’s Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting, and Review” which will speed the modernization of the nation’s electric grid. This will help make electricity more reliable, save consumers money on their energy bills, and support homegrown American clean energy jobs and industries by making renewable energy easier to access across the country. This new PM directs federal agencies to create an integrated pre-application process across the federal government to help identify and address issues before the formal permit application process begins, and streamline the coordination of permitting processes across the federal, state, and tribal governments.

The new PM also directs federal agencies to identify and improve the use of energy corridors on federal lands that are most suitable for siting electric transmission projects, to help expedite permitting while improving environmental and community outcomes. These energy corridors are designed to reduce regulatory conflicts, minimize negative impacts on natural and cultural resources, and address concerns of local communities, decreasing the potential for permitting delays. For these corridors, federal agencies will work together to integrate new and innovative ways to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impact on environmental and cultural resources. The PM also prioritizes meaningful engagement with stakeholders and the public to arrive at the best quality projects with the least conflicts and most support.

These steps build on the best practices identified by the Administration’s interagency Rapid Response Team for Transmission, which since 2011 has brought together federal agencies to identify ways to improve efficiencies and coordination in the permitting and review processes for transmission projects.  As a member of this Rapid Response Team, the ACHP worked with other agencies across the federal government to develop this PM and will be actively involved in mapping out its implementation.

For more information on the Presidential Memorandum read here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/07/building-21st-century-electric-grid

 

 

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