Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
independent agency within the Department of Energy (DOE) responsible for regulating the transmission and wholesale sale of energy resources (such as natural gas and electricity). The five-member commission has the authority to set rates and charges for the transportation and sale of natural gas, the transmission and sale of electricity, the licensing of hydroelectric power, and the transportation of oil by pipeline. In addition, FERC issues licenses and permits for the construction of hydroelectric projects, for the maintenance of facilities at international borders, and for the construction of gas pipelines and facilities. Besides issuing its own rules and regulations and reviewing those of the DOE (which is bound by the decision of FERC), FERC holds public hearings presided over by an administrative law judge in certain cases involving proposed rule or rate changes.