The addition of transmission lines could help lower "congestion fees" paid by customers in fast-growing regions such as Washington. North American Electric Reliability Corp., the power industry's watchdog and accountability group, released a report this week stating that the electric power industry in the mid-Atlantic region has failed to keep pace with long-term demand. The region will lose the Benning Road and Buzzard Point power plants in the District when they close in 2012. (The Wash Post/Times)
The power line proposals in the Washington region fall under the U.S. Energy Department's national interest designation. Therefore, they will test a new federal law that gives power companies authority to bypass state regulators and secure land through the federal government if their services are deemed vital to national energy interests. Pepco will host public meetings in coming months to discuss the proposal and gather public input. Pepco delivers electricity and natural gas to about 2 million homes and businesses in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and the District.