House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Dan Schaefer (R-Colo.), recently reintroduced his comprehensive electric restructuring bill, which largely mirrors legislation Schaefer had introduced in the 104th Congress.
The new bill, "Electric Consumers' Power to Choose Act of 1997" (H.R. 655), was presented Feb. 10 and differs from the original only in that it would not preempt the state restructurings already taking place. (See related story, page 20.)
The bill would allow all retail consumers of electricity to choose among competitive electric suppliers no later than Dec. 15, 2000. States would have discretion to implement retail choice prior to that date. States electing to allow choice sooner would have almost complete freedom(emwith minimum federal standards(emto set the terms and conditions. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will implement retail choice in states choosing not to do so.
The mandatory purchase provisions of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act are eliminated once all customers have choice under the bill, but existing contracts would remain in effect. The Public Utilities Holding Company Act also would be repeated once all customers have choice.
A national renewable energy credit trading system would be established, which requires generators of electricity to generate 2 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. That amount would increase to 4 percent by 2010.
Senator Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.) in January introduced an electric competition bill allowing choice by 2003.