On June 26, the House Energy Resources Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Corpus Eastland), met to review its interim charge regarding encouraging additional energy production in Texas. All three Railroad Commissioners and Phil Wilson, the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation testified at the hearing. The committee also heard testimony from industry and environmental groups. Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission noted that Texas… For member’s only details, click here.
The very next day, on June 27, the House Energy Resources and House Natural Resources (Chaired by Ritter-R-Nederland) held a joint hearing to discuss their first interim charge. The use of water in hydraulic fracturing took center stage as members heard from several expert panels. Committee members discussed the amount of water used by the fracking process (currently less than 1% of Texas water use, but projected to triple in the near future) and the possibility of recycling or using non-potable water… For member’s only details, click here.
On June 28, the House Natural Resources Committee met separately to discuss its second interim charge. Several power generation companies, including five Power Across Texas members (Luminant, NRG Energy, Exelon, LCRA and CPS Energy) provided testimony on their efforts to minimize water use, including various cooling methods they use. Industry representatives reported that… For member’s only details, click here.
Also on June 28, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) held an open meeting and voted to increase the System Wide Offer Cap to $4,500 beginning August 1, 2012 as a means to address resource adequacy and boost generation.
In the Spotlight: Committee Chairman, John Carona
As Chairman of the powerful Business & Commerce committee, Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) knows his way around complex energy issues.
A graduate of UT Austin and Senator since 1990, Carona has demonstrated a long-standing interest in energy efficiency. In fact, during the 2011 legislation session, he authored the successful SB 1125, which changed the goals of the state energy-efficiency program for transmission companies. His committee meets today to discuss several interim charges, including one of interest to Power Across Texas (see below).
Happening Now: Encore Performance
The Senate Business Commerce, chaired by Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) meets today (July 10) at 10:00 AM in Room E1.016 of the Texas Capitol Extension taking invited and public testimony the following interim charge of interest to Power Across Texas:
- “Review current and pending ERCOT protocols as they apply to all generation technology, and identify those protocols that may provide operational, administrative, or competitive advantages to any specific generation by fuel type. Consider the impact any revisions to the protocols may have on grid reliability and electricity rates. Make recommendations for revisions or statutory changes to limit distortions in the Texas electrical market.” [Interim Charge # 7]
Power Across Texas will continue its coverage of legislative hearings in the coming weeks as part of its ongoing commitment to deliver on its mission of acting as a forum for high-quality information, tools, research and analysis to balance the debate over the best way to ensure a clean, robust and reliable energy supply in Texas.