Introduced in the 105th Congress
• H.R. 296, sponsored by John Shadegg (R-Ariz.). Would privatize the federal Power Marketing Administrations, splitting them into regional corporations to market and maintain generation and transmission services. Stock would be sold to recover outstanding federal debt; holding companies could invest in the corporations.
• H.R. 338, sponsored by Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.). Would repeal Section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978, but would force utilities to honor QF contracts entered prior to Jan. 7, 1997.
• S. 237, sponsored by Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.). In a draft dated Jan. 16, this bill promised to mandate retail access by Jan. 1, 2003. The bill would repeal PURPA and PUHCA, and would leave responsibility to states to set stranded costs (states could order divestiture of generating assets), but the FERC would step in if a state didn't act. For multi-state holding companies, states could create regional regulatory boards to recover stranded costs, among other duties. The draft bill also requires retail electric suppliers to submit renewable-energy credits annually to the FERC and would set up a nationwide trading program for renewable credits. Within two years, the FERC would set up transmission regions and designate independent system operators, along with Regional Transmission Oversight Boards. The draft bill also promises that FERC shall prohibit utilities or affiliates from controlling market power. The Tennessee Valley Authority could enter the retail market outside the "fence," once it met the state provisions of the bill. PUHCA and PURPA would be repealed.
Introduced in the 104th Congress*
• H.R. 3790, sponsored by Dan Schaefer (R-Colo.). Would promote electric-industry competition by Dec. 15, 2000 and the use of renewable resources. States would have six months to elect retail choice and the FERC would act if the states took no action. PURPA and PUHCA would be repealed once choice is allowed, with grandfathering for some PURPA contracts. States would decide if stranded-cost recovery was appropriate. Transmission and distribution facilities would be assigned federal or state jurisdiction via a FERC test. (See related story, page 44.)
• H.R. 3172, sponsored by Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.). Would set up a commission to develop strategies to mitigate the environmental impacts associated with electric restructuring. The commission would be funded with $2 million over two years.
• H.R. 3782 and H.R. 2929, both sponsored by Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). Would modernize PUHCA, the Federal Power Act, PURPA and promote competition. Competition would arise through divestiture or by state approval of retail wheeling. Consumers, the environment and renewables would be protected.
• H.R. 4297, sponsored by Thomas D. DeLay (R-Texas). Would give consumers the right to choose electric power providers by Jan. 1, 1998. Would address universal service, conservation and economic concerns. Also would repeal PUHCA and PURPA's Section 210 once competition was in place. Would ban exit fees and allow recovery of stranded costs only to the extent covered by private contracts between supplier and customer.
• H.R. 4316, sponsored by Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.). Would stop federal efforts to carry out customer choice until the Clean Air Act was amended to reduce pollution associated with emissions from coal-burning power plants in the Midwest.
• S. 708, sponsored by Don Nickles (R-Okla.). Would repeal Section 210 of PURPA.
* These bills died at the end of the session, but were expected to be re-introduced this year, with changes.
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