Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in a wide variety of applications, from medical devices to laptops — and now, increasingly, in electric vehicles (EVs). With the market for personal and commercial EVs growing, it is essential for U.S. manufacturers to have a secure, reliable supply chain of the critical minerals needed to produce EV batteries, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper. Indeed, a recent study highlights the growing demand for these minerals — and the challenges the U.S. faces to meet this demand from mined sources.
On March 2, 2023, in a 3–1 decision, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected, without prejudice, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) proposal to adopt an Effective Load Carrying Capacity (ELCC) capacity accreditation methodology for wind and solar resources (Rehearing Decision). Commissioner Allison Clements issued a concurring statement, and Commissioner James Danly issued a dissenting statement. The Rehearing Decision reverses FERC’s August 2022 decision accepting, subject to conditions, SPP’s proposal to accredit wind and solar resources based on historical performance using an ELCC methodology (August Decision).
On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the White House Office of Management and Budget issued a set of recommendations for broadening public engagement in the federal regulatory process and invited public input on the recommendations through March 10, 2023. The recommendations were developed in response to a commitment to support greater public engagement in the rulemaking process included in the Fifth U.S. Open Government National Action Plan released December 2022. OIRA stated that the recommendations were informed by written submissions and a public engagement session held in November 2022. Thus, OIRA’s solicitation for public input on the recommendations provides a unique opportunity for stakeholders to potentially shape future federal regulatory reform actions.