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Relating to certain extraordinary costs incurred by certain gas utilities relating to Winter Storm Uri and a study of measures to mitigate similar future costs; providing authority to issue bonds and impose fees and assessments.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB1520, Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted : a negative impact of ($168,233,296) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB 1520 provides a method for financing customer rate relief (CRR) bonds authorized by the Railroad Commission of Texas. This securitization financing can be used to enable gas utilities to recover costs incurred by extreme events instead of billing the consumer, by issuing CRR bonds and using the proceeds from the sale of the bonds to finance or refinance railroad commission-approved regulatory assets, including extraordinary costs, and related financing costs. The Texas Public Finance Authority would be in charge of financing RRC approved relief bonds and would be subject to various rules outlined in the bill. Customer Rate Relief Bonds are non-bypassable and Tax Exempt.
This bill would require the RRC to conduct a study on catastrophic weather events.
The purpose of customer rate relief bonds is to reduce the cost that customers would incur due to the large costs that gas utilities incurred and may incur to secure gas supply and provide service during natural and man-made disasters, system failures, and other catastrophic events.
Texas Action opposes HB 1520 which would grow the size and cost of government, including adding new state employees and significant annual debt service for bonds issued under the provisions of the bill.