Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas to review transmission interconnections that enable imports of exports from the ERCOT power grid.
SB 933, if passed, would modify the Utilities Code related to the authority of the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUC) regarding transmission lines (Section 37.051). Specifically, the bill would authorize the PUC to assess the viability of creating new DC ties to other electrical grids. Any party wishing to connect to a grid outside of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas would have to obtain certification from the PUC. In addition the PUC would be required to determine whether the tie is consistent with public interest before granting the certificate.
Management of the ERCOT system is a legitimate function of the state and before interstate connections are made it would be good policy to ensure that the connection would in fact serve the public interest. Given the potential ramifications of ties to other grids, namely the intervention of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, this precaution seems quite prudent. Texas has a keen interest in preventing additional federal regulatory burdens to be placed on the electricity industry in the state. This legislation supports the intended balance between federal and state powers as required under the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. By protecting against unwarranted federal restrictions on industries in Texas, this legislation supports free markets and individual liberty. Therefore, we support SB 933.