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Relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas to restrict participation in the retail electric markey for significant violations.
SB 777, if passed, would modify the Utilities Code (Section 39.356) by granting the Public Utility Commission the power to restrict participation in the retail electric market. Specifically, the bill would state that if a party has had its retail electric certificate revoked or suspended under this section it will be prohibited, after notice of a hearing, from participating in the retail electric market in Texas.
SB 777 is an egregious bill in that it would give too much authority to the Public Utility Commission. We feel that the authority given to the PUC under the current regime is sufficient. This bill would make it possible to prevent employees of a given retail electric provider from participation in the electrical market for potentially tenuous reasons, violations which the individual should “reasonably” have known about, or amending of certificates on the part of the PUC. Though due process components are included in the bill we feel that these do not effectively counteract its negative effects. Beyond this, the SB 777 represents unnecessary expansion of PUC power. For this reason, and due to its restriction on individual participation in the market, we oppose SB 777.