Crady deGolian, Director of CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts, outlines the top 5 compacts to watch in 2014, including those dealing with the siting of electricity transmission lines,  interstate reciprocity regarding online education, and several compacts related to licensing, including EMS licensing, medical licensing, and physical therapy and telepsychology licensing compacts. 

The siting of interstate transmission lines has long-been a problem that has vexed both states and the federal government.  With the expected growth in electricity demand, coupled with the need to bring renewable energy to market and the necessity to enhance and secure the nation’s energy infrastructure, the need for added transmission capacity has never been more apparent.  However federal needs and state interests frequently do not align, leading to an underdeveloped and over-stressed electricity transmission system.

The need to more efficiently site transmission lines has consistently been identified in western states as one of the most pressing policy challenges facing the region.  One possible solution state legislators are just beginning to consider is a transmission line siting compact.  The compact, which was developed by a drafting team of subject matter experts, with input and guidance from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts will be featured during the Energy and Public Lands Committee session at this year’s CSG-WEST Annual Conference in Las Vegas. 

In a recently released report by the Western Governors Association entitled Ten Year Energy Vision: Goals and Objectives, interstate compacts were mentioned as a way to promote a more robust energy infrastructure.  WGA went on to mention compacts as a viable way to promote interstate cooperation and more effectively lead to the siting of interstate projects. 

The Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts is working with several stakeholder groups on issues ranging from electric transmission lines, distance learning, and licensing of EMS and other medical services personnel. Find out more about compacts relating to these issues, all of which are in various stages of development.

Earlier this week the Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) encouraged the US Department of Energy (DOE) to more actively engage in efforts to support the Electrical Transmission Line Siting Compact.  The compact, which was developed by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts, is intended to improve efficiencies and create standardization during the siting process by establishing common applications, joint hearings, predetermined timelines, uniform public comment periods, and a common record for judicial review.

Crady deGolian, Director of CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts, outlines the top 5 compacts to watch in 2013, including those dealing with the siting of electricity transmission lines, surplus insurance lines, interstate reciprocity regarding online education, and EMS licensing.  

Interstate Compacts to Watch in 2013

Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are among the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. The modern compact provides states with a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges.

Compacts, which are governed by the tenets of contract law, give states an enforceable, sustainable and durable tool capable of ensuring permanent change without federal intervention. With more than 215 interstate compacts in existence today and each state belonging to an average of 25 compacts, the legal and historical precedence for the development and use of the tool is considerable.

The siting of interstate electricity transmission lines has long been a problem for both states and the federal government. With the expected growth in electricity demand—combined with the need to bring renewable energy to market and the necessity to enhance and secure the nation’s energy infrastructure—the need for added transmission capacity in the United States has never been more critical. Attendees learned more about a member-driven initiative aimed at improving the siting process through common applications, pre-determined timelines and coordinated publichearings during this session. This new compact will be ready for legislative introduction beginning in 2013. Subject matter experts discussed the need for the compact, the development process and specific areas covered by the new interstate agreement.

A new transmission line siting compact developed by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts could be the key for states hoping to spur transmission line growth without the interference of the federal government.

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