For Immediate Release: September 20, 2019

Contact: Mark Brueggenjohann  202-728-6014

Statement from IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson on FERC's Efforts to Modernize PURPA  

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s announcement that it intends to modernize the implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.

“America’s energy industry has dramatically changed since Congress first passed PURPA more than 40 years ago. Renewables, for example, now account for more than 17 percent of U.S. electrical generation, and they keep growing as costs continue to decline.

“This makes modernizing PURPA to meet the demands of our changing energy system more vital than ever.

“Under PURPA’s current rules, developers have figured out ways to game the existing system in order to crowd out less expensive renewable projects, which hurts workers and customers alike.

"FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee’s move to update how PURPA is implemented will introduce more competition into renewable power projects, slashing prices for energy consumers while encouraging more opportunities for IBEW members to modernize the energy grid. It’s a win for workers, consumers and the environment, and we commend it.”


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.