President Obama and Prime Minister Harper launched the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue (CED) in February 2009 to encourage the development of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change in both countries. The CED is charged with expanding clean energy research and development, developing and deploying clean energy technologies, and building a more efficient electric grid based on clean and renewable energy generation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) leads the CED for the United States, and Canada's effort is led by Environment Canada, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
On September 18, 2014, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Greg Rickford signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that builds from the work of the Clean Energy Dialogue. In the MOU, the two agencies agreed to complete activities that would lead to "enhancing understanding of cross-border permitting regimes for electric transmission facilities". In order to complete that requirement of the MOU, the Regulatory Side-by-Side Governing Permitting of Cross-Border Electricity Transmission Facilities between the United States and Canada, which is available below for downloading, has been developed. The Regulatory Side-by-Side Governing Permitting of Cross-Border Electricity Transmission Facilities document presents a series of side-by-side tables that describe the U.S. and Canadian regulatory and statutory requirements necessary to site, permit, and construct transmission facilities at the U.S. - Canada border. It is intended to function as a reference document that can be used by government officials, potential developers, and other stakeholders as a means to understand the permitting requirements in both countries.