FERC to Begin Revising Order 888 this Summer

FERC will formally begin revising its landmark order requiring open-access transmission by issuing a notice of inquiry within the next few weeks.  Chairman Pat Wood has indicated that the notice will issue before his June 30 departure.  The impetus for change began last summer, when then-newly appointed Commissioner Joseph Kelliher suggested that the agency needed to evaluate whether Order 888 should be broadened to protect against transmission market power.  Kelliher began an informal process to determine whether the open-access transmission tariffs of jurisdictional utilities' were sufficient to ensure open access to the transmission grid.  At a technical conference on transmission market power in December 2004, both Wood and Kelliher indicated the agency was considering an update to the nearly ten-year-old open-access rules.  A notice of inquiry, if issued, would institute a broad stakeholder process inviting comments on the issue, and may result in a formal rulemaking.  [NEW MATTER]