Minnesota has lots of drafts, but no final plan.
So you think your state has been busy? In Minnesota, the 1997 legislative session saw more than a dozen new bills introduced on electric, gas and energy issues.
At the start of the session many expected that electric deregulation would play a major part in the legislative program. However, Gov. Carlson reports now that legislators will defer work on the issue until the 1998 session. Several electric industry deregulation bills were introduced at the end of the session, but when last we checked no hearings had been held.
Electric Retail Choice
Omnibus Energy Bill (Chapter 191) (em
s Requires task force to study deregulation and make recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 15, 1998. (Only item passed so far on electric deregulation.)
s Utility customers with loads of 2 megawatts per hour or larger will enjoy reduced rates. (State public utilities commission must approve rates.)
s Utility property tax exemption for hydroelectric or hydromechanical power on a federally owned site.
s Calls for study of personal property tax on electric and gas utilities in the state.
s All electric generators must report annually mercury emission levels to the state.
Minnesota Energy Consumers Bill (H.F. 2149/S.F. 1950) (em Residential and small-business customers would get choice of electric suppliers, plus a 7.5-percent rate cut, by Jan. 1, 1999. All customers would have choice by Jan. 1, 2000.
Minnesota Responsible Electric Competition Act (H.F. 2238) (em Would prepare state to comply with a federally mandated deadline for electric retail competition. Would set standards for service reliability, safety, consumer protection and environmental safeguards.