This comment explores the legal theory behind the FPA to demonstrate that environmental protection has been an inherent aspect of the hydropower licensing process. Secondly, the attempt of the 1986 ECPA amendments to coerce greater FERC consideration of fish and wildlife values into the procedure is evaluated. Finally, the future of hydropower licensing is examined in the context of policy decisions embodied in the final rule.
We investigated the "need to negotiate" in a comparative case study of multi-agency negotiations in the FERC licensing process. Researchers interviewed participants in two cases involving environmental consultations and asked about parties' level of need to negotiate throughout the process. Participants identified a need to negotiate, and when this need was strongly felt, there was an increased opportunity for an agreement to be reached. An intense need to negotiate by all parties is not a prerequisite to successful agreements. When key participants have a strong need to negotiate, they can instigate negotiations and encourage the involvement of other parties.
We studied six interagency negotiations covering Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydroelectric power licenses. Negotiations occurred between state and federal resource agencies and developers over project operations and natural resource mitigation. We postulated that a balance of power among parties was necessary for successful negotiations. We found a complex relationship between balanced power and success and conclude that a balance of power was associated with success in these negotiations. Power played a dynamic role in the bargaining and illuminates important considerations for regularoty design.
This comment analyzes the Federal Power Act in light of FERC's calimed authoity under the Policy Statement, and argues that FERC possesses the authority to deny a license or to impose uneconomic conditions in fulfilling its statutory duty to protect the public interest.