Renewable group says bill doesn't set right standard for who pays for power lines

The Senate energy bill sets the costs to a standard that is “reasonably proportionate to measureable economic and reliability benefits,” according to the letter, which was sent by the Energy Future Coalition. That is, whoever benefits the most should pay most of the tab.

But Bill White, who handles renewable and transmission issues for the coalition, said the standard sets up an “analytical gridlock” because it is hard to pinpoint with any precision who benefits from a transmission line. Everyone benefits from cleaner air, after all, even if a transmission line isn't bringing electricity to their homes.

The coalition also objects to the language that seems to not allow for consideration of environmental and energy security aspects of a new power line.

The letter calls for "meaningful reforms" in policies that dictate power line development "to support development of domestic renewable energy resources."