Sierra Club Defends Vital Demand Response Program in Amicus Brief to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C –(ENEWSPF)–July 17, 2015.  The Sierra Club and a coalition of environmental groups filed an amicus brief yesterday in support of a regional demand response program overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which will soon be the subject of arguments before the Supreme Court. The demand response program is a key building block of America’s clean energy economy and essential to ongoing efforts to spread energy efficiency practices that save customers money and cut pollution from dirty fossil fuel plants.

“Polluters are again taking to the courts to attack initiatives that save consumers money and save lives. The fact is that the Federal Power Act clearly gives FERC the authority to oversee wholesale electric markets, putting demand response on solid legal ground,” said Tony Mendoza, a Staff Attorney at The Sierra Club.“It’s not just legal – demand response, a type of energy efficiency, gives massive benefits to the American public, including cheaper energy, cleaner air and water, and greater investment in clean energy technologies. Congress has directed that all barriers to demand response be taken down in wholesale electric markets, and the Supreme Court should allow FERC to not only continue the particular program at issue but expand these vital programs throughout the country.”

Demand response allows grid operators to coordinate energy use periods, which can reduce strain on the grid, increase reliability, and idle the dirtiest coal and natural gas power plants traditionally used during periods of high electricity demand. The program also allows for a smarter grid and makes it easier to integrate clean energy technologies like wind and solar.

“Supporting demand response is common sense. It’s an easy, cheap way to empower electricity consumers and grid operators to save money, while simultaneously encouraging clean energy investments and pollution reduction,” said Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “The law speaks clearly to FERC’s authority to implement and oversee this program and the Court should rule in its favor.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit