Texas is heading up a multi-state coalition challenging the Biden administration’s new rules forcing states to comply with a transition to unreliable energy sources.

According to the request for rehearing—a legal tool for challenging administrative rules—the states argued Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order No. 1920 forces states to cover the costs of expensive regional transmission lines optimized for “green energy.”

The coalition led by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office further contended that the final rule hinders individual states’ ability to determine the most efficient composition of energy sources for their electrical grids.

Order 1920, also known as “Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation,” was finalized on June 11 for the FERC. It is set to come into effect on August 12.

It requires transmission providers to follow several procedures that optimize them for unreliable energy sources, like wind and solar.

The procedures include “Grid Enhancing Technologies” like dynamic line ratings, advanced power flow control devices, advanced conductors, and transmission switching. In addition, “right-sizing”—or modifying existing transmission facilities to increase transfer capability during restoration—is another new procedure.

However, the states pointed out that the FERC has never been given the authority to revamp state energy grids, and it could far exceed the agency’s purview, compromising states’ authority to regulate their grids.

The agency’s new rules could also shift the financial burden of transmission line construction onto electric consumers instead of the developers of unreliable energy projects, the states suggested.

“Biden’s attempt to seize unprecedented control over energy production and distribution is a recipe for disaster,” stated Paxton in a Friday press release. “I am proud to lead this coalition to stop his unlawful ‘energy transition’ scheme that would drive up energy costs and reduce reliability of the resources our Nation needs most to flourish.”

The request clarifies that the states “do not oppose renewables.” Rather, they oppose a rule that “dictates outcomes benefitting intermittent renewables and the policy preferences of some states, utilities, and customers over others.”

It shifts transmission costs for those remote renewables to consumers under the guise that those consumers will ‘benefit’ from those resources, without considering whether less-remote resources of any type might be less expensive, more reliable, and environmentally beneficial.

Moreover, the states took issue with the process of the rule coming into effect, claiming that it “violated the notice and comment requirements of the APA [Administrative Procedure Act] because the parties did not have an opportunity to do so.”

Texas is joined in its request by Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah.

The news comes several months after Paxton’s office challenged the federal government on its energy policy in a separate legal battle over the halting of applications for liquid natural gas exports.

Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, involved in the LNG ban lawsuit, accused the administration in a March 21 press release of not heeding the interests of ordinary Americans.

“From our wide-open southern border to this latest move to kneecap our economy, it’s clear that our state, our commerce, and our families are in the crosshairs of the current administration,” stated Buckingham.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca H. Cacciatore is a journalist for Texas Scorecard. He is an American Moment inaugural fellow and former welder.