Policy Issues

Roundtable Advises FERC that Uniform Federal Data and Voluntary Standards are Needed to Avoid State, City “Patchwork” of Carbon Pricing Protocols

November 10, 2020


The growing number of state and local mandates to reduce GHG emissions and increase renewable energy supplies are driving the need for uniform and voluntary federal-level practices to measure and price carbon, The Roundtable advised in comments submitted on November 10, 2020.

  • Commercial real estate stakeholders are paying increased attention to their “energy supply chain” and need to know “where the electricity they purchase derives from,” The Roundtable wrote in the letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

  • This is because dozens of state and city laws are setting energy measurement, reduction, and emissions targets on buildings, and imposing renewable energy “portfolio standards” that require greater power supplies from solar, wind, and other carbon-free sources.
  • These state and local mandates have “effectively forced the issue – throughout the United States – that carbon emissions are an economic liability, and carbon reductions are an economic asset,” the letter explains.  Environmental demands from investors, tenants, employee talent, and other audiences also impel real estate owners to voluntarily purchase “clean” power and “offset” carbon emissions.
  • While FERC itself lacks authority from Congress to set a price on carbon, within the Commission’s sphere of regulating bulk electricity sales in “wholesale markets” it can play a “vital role to help facilitate a harmonious nationwide system of standards relating to carbon measurement and pricing,” the comment letter provides.

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