Institute for Policy Integrity logo


Building a New Grid Without New Legislation

  • December 14, 2020
  • 12:00pm–1:30pm ET
  • Webinar

A video recording of the event is available here.


Expanding and strengthening the transmission grid is a key enabler of an affordable and rapid transition to a zero-carbon power sector in the United States. However, it has become conventional wisdom that sufficient development of new long-distance high-voltage transmission projects is not practically achievable due to onerous state requirements for permitting and acquiring land for such projects. Congressional action could certainly address the regulatory and barriers that currently prevent long-distance high-voltage transmission from being developed at the necessary speed and scale. However, according to new research from the Center on Global Energy Policy and NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could use existing authorities to overcome state regulatory obstacles and advance transmission development, even without new Congressional action. 

CGEP and Policy Integrity hosted an event to discuss this new research and potential next-steps that these agencies could take that would allow them to facilitate transmission system development in order to accelerate the transition to zero-carbon electricity.

Welcome Remarks

  • Dr. Melissa C. Lott, Senior Research Scholar & Lead, Power Sector and Renewables Research Initiative, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA


  • Professor Michael Gerrard, Founder and Faculty Director, Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law


  • Justin Gundlach, Senior Attorney, NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity
  • Sam Walsh, Partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP


  • Lauren Azar, Owner, Azar Law LLC & Azar Consulting LLC
  • Rob Gramlich, Founder and President, Grid Strategies LLC
  • David Hill, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA
  • Cheryl LaFleur, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA