Summary: H.R.1828 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1828. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (05/17/1999)

Comprehensive Electricity Competition Act - Title I: Retail Electric Service - Amends the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to set a specified date by which each electric energy distribution facility is required to offer consumers open access to its facilities for electric energy sales (retail competition requirement).

(Sec. 101) Authorizes a State regulatory authority to direct a distribution utility not to implement the retail competition requirement if it finds that implementation would have a negative impact upon a class of customers that cannot be reasonably mitigated. Authorizes a nonregulated distribution utility on its own to make the same determination.

Requires a State regulatory authority or non- regulated distribution utility that: (1) conducts a public proceeding before a distribution utility implements retail competition to consider recovery of retail stranded costs if the utility has taken reasonable steps to mitigate such costs (including assistance for former electric utility workers unemployed as a result of retail competition implementation); and (2) permits a charge to recover retail stranded costs to consider reducing such charge on a consumer who uses electric energy produced on-site when the charge results from the use of certain new on-site generation sources.

Authorizes any person to bring an action in State court against either a State regulatory authority, distribution utility, or a nonregulated distribution utility for noncompliance with this Act.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes a State regulatory authority to enjoin a distribution utility (and affiliate) located in the United States over which it does not have ratemaking authority from selling electric energy to electric consumers of a distribution facility covered by the notice of retail competition, unless a notice of retail competition has been filed with respect to the other distribution utility (reciprocity requirements). Grants the same authority to a nonregulated distribution utility.

(Sec. 103) Permits a group of customers to acquire retail electric energy on an aggregate basis if it is served by distribution utilities for which a State regulatory authority or nonregulated distribution utility has filed a notice of retail competition.

Title II: Consumer Protection - Prescribes guidelines for consumer information disclosure by an electric utility and attendant enforcement by State and Federal agencies.

(Sec. 202) Requires each State regulatory authority or nonregulated distribution utility filing a notice of retail competition to conduct a proceeding to determine whether to apply specified principles for providing electric service to low-income residential consumers.

(Sec. 203) Amends the Federal Trade Commission Act to direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to promulgate rules for: (1) verification of a retail electric customer's selection of a retail electric supplier ("slamming"); and (2) obtaining retail electric customer consent for the purchase of goods and services ("cramming"). Permits complementary State proceedings and remedies.

(Sec. 204) Authorizes the Secretary of Energy (The Secretary) to compile a database to provide residential electric consumers with information to compare offers of various retail electric suppliers. Directs the Secretary to develop a model code for: (1) regulation of retail electric suppliers for the protection of electric consumers; and (2) safety standards for electric facility workers.

Title III: Facilitating State and Regional Regulation - Amends the Federal Power Act (FPA) to declare it does not preempt or otherwise affect any authority under State or local municipal law to: (1) require unbundled transmission and local distribution services for electric energy delivery directly to an ultimate consumer; or (2) impose a delivery charge on such consumer's receipt of electric energy. Retains the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over unbundled transmission in interstate commerce.

(Sec. 301) Authorizes FERC to: (1) require public utilities and transmitting utilities to provide open access transmission services; (2) permit recovery of stranded costs arising from any requirement to provide open access transmission services; and (3) require the transmission of electric energy to an ultimate consumer if a notice of retail competition is in effect with respect to such consumer, or if a distribution utility offers such consumer open access to its delivery facilities.

Prescribes guidelines for FERC's exercise of jurisdiction over rates, terms, and conditions for transmission services provided by a non-public transmitting utility.

Permits the Secretary of Agriculture to participate or intervene in any FERC proceeding that directly affects an electric utility whose loans are made or guaranteed under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (REA).

(Sec. 302) Grants the consent of Congress to an interstate compact to establish a regional transmission planning agency subject to specified FERC determinations.

(Sec. 303) Cites circumstances under which: (1) a State regulatory authority and specified nonregulated distribution utilities may receive backup authority from FERC to impose a charge upon an ultimate consumer's receipt of electric energy; (2) FERC may order the establishment of an entity to independently operate and control interconnected transmission facilities and generators, and may order a transmitting utility to relinquish operating control over its transmission facilities to such entity; and (4) designated Federal utilities may participate in a regional transmission system operation.

Title IV: Public Benefits - Amends PURPA to establish a Joint Board which shall establish a Public Benefits Fund upon petition of States and tribal governments wishing to participate in a Federal program providing: (1) affordable electricity service to low-income customers; (2) implementation of energy conservation, efficiency, and management measures; (3) consumer education; and (4) development of emerging electricity generation technologies. Prescribes implementation guidelines, including mandatory payment of a public benefits charge to a transmitting utility by each owner of an electric generating facility whose capacity exceeds one megawatt.

(Sec. 402) Sets a deadline by which a retail electric supplier shall submit Renewable Energy Credits to the Secretary equal to the required annual percentage of total electric energy sold by such supplier to electric consumers in the calendar year (determined by the Secretary). Prescribes implementation guidelines.

(Sec. 403) Requires each retail electric supplier to make net metering service available upon request to a retail electric consumer served or solicited by such supplier.

Authorizes State imposition of: (1) additional requirements; and (2) a cap limiting the amount of net metering available in the State. Retains State authority to require a retail electric supplier to make net metering service available to a retail electric consumer.

(Sec. 404) Amends PURPA to repeal the requirement that an electric utility enter into a new contract or obligation to purchase electric energy from cogeneration and small power production facilities.

(Sec. 405) Mandates that a distribution utility allow interconnection with a facility if the facility owner is located in such utility's service territory and complies with a final Federal ruling governing such interconnection.

(Sec. 406) Amends the REA to authorize grants for the purpose of increasing energy efficiency, lowering or stabilizing electric rates to end users, or providing or modernizing electric facilities for certain local governmental or Indian tribal units. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 407) Amends the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to direct the Secretary to establish an Indian tribal assistance program to meet electricity needs. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 408) Amends the Department of Energy Organization Act (DOE Organization Act) to authorize the Secretary to establish an Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs.

(Sec. 409) Authorizes appropriations to DOE for financial assistance to the State of Alaska to ensure the availability of adequate electrical power to the greater Ketchikan area, including the construction of an intertie.

Title V: Regulation of Mergers and Corporate Structure - Repeals the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.

Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1999- Prescribes procedural guidelines for both FERC and State access to records of a holding company (including subsidiaries, associates and affiliates) of a public utility or natural gas company.

(Sec. 501) Precludes such State access to any person that is a holding company solely by reason of ownership of one or more qualifying facilities under PURPA.

Instructs FERC to promulgate a final rule to exempt specified holding companies from such access requirements. Requires FERC to exempt any person or transaction from such access requirements if it finds that regulation of such person or transaction is irrelevant to the jurisdictional rates of a public utility or natural gas company.

Retains the jurisdiction of FERC and State commissions to determine whether a public utility company or natural gas company may recover in rates any costs of affiliate transactions.

Declares this Act inapplicable to: (1) the Government of the United States; (2) a State or local government; and (3) a foreign governmental authority not operating in the United States.

Grants FERC certain FPA enforcement powers.

Transfers from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to FERC all books and records that relate primarily to the functions vested in FERC by this Act.

Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the FPA to repeal its conflict of jurisdiction guidelines.

(Sec. 502) Conditions electric company mergers and acquisitions upon prior FERC authorization. Subjects generation facilities to FERC jurisdiction (excluding entities with existing loans made or guaranteed under the REA of 1936).

(Sec. 503) Requires FERC to order a public utility to submit a remedial action plan to remedy market power if: (1) FERC determines that there are markets in which a utility that owns or controls generation facilities has market power in electric energy sales for resale in interstate commerce; or (2), pursuant to State request for such an order, FERC determines that a generation facility-owning or -controlling electric utility has market power in retail electric energy sales in that State. Prescribes procedural guidelines.

Title VI: Electric Reliability - Amends the FPA to provide for the establishment and enforcement of mandatory reliability standards to ensure the reliable operation of the bulk-power system. Grants FERC jurisdiction over: (1) the electric reliability organization; (2) all Affiliated Regional Reliability Entities (entities to which authority has been delegated to enforce compliance with reliability standards); (3) all system operators, and all users of the bulk-power system for purposes of approving and enforcing compliance with standards in the United States. Provides that, prior to the establishment of the Electric Reliability Organization (Organization), any person (including the North American Electric Reliability Council and its member Regional Reliability Councils) may file a proposed reliability standard, guidance, or practice which, subject to FERC approval, shall be mandatory and enforceable.

(Sec. 601) Prescribes procedural guidelines for FERC approval of: (1) applications competing for status as the Electric Reliability Council; and (2) Organization standards. Requires all users of the bulk-power system to comply with such standards.

Mandates that: (1) the Organization take all appropriate steps to gain recognition in Canada and Mexico; and (2) the United States use its best efforts to enter into international agreements with the governments of Canada and Mexico to effectuate compliance with Organization standards, and to provide for the effectiveness of the Organization's mission.

Requires every system operator to be a member of the electric reliability organization, and of any Affiliated Regional Reliability Entity operating under an agreement applicable to the region in which the system operator operates or is responsible for the operation of a bulk-power system facility.

Mandates compliance with the legal obligations of: (1) the Federal power systems; (2) the TVA; (3) the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers; and (4) Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements.

Empowers the Organization to take disciplinary and enforcement action. Directs the Organization to assess periodically the reliability and adequacy of the inter-connected bulk-power system in North America, and to report its findings and recommendations annually to FERC and to the Secretary. Provides for the assessment and recovery of implementation and enforcement costs incurred by the Organization and each Affiliated Regional Reliability Entity, respectively.

(Sec. 602) Amends the DOE Organization Act to direct the Secretary to establish an Electricity Outage Investigation Board to investigate and report to the Secretary on a major bulk-power system failure in the United States to determine its causes, and to recommend actions to minimize the possibility of such future failures.

(Sec. 603) Amends PURPA to authorize the Secretary to call and chair a meeting of State representatives to discuss provision of additional transmission capacity and related regional concerns.

Title VII: Environmental Protection - Instructs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in specified circumstances, to establish and administer an oxide of nitrogen (NOx) allowance cap and trade program in all States in which an NOx emission source is located. Prescribes program implementation guidelines.

Title VIII: Federal Power Systems - Subtitle A: Tennessee Valley Authority - Amends the FPA to encompass within its jurisdiction the transmission facilities and transmission of electric energy and necessary associated services of: (1) the Tennessee Valley Authority; (2) the Bonneville Power Administration; (3) the Western Area Power Administration; and (4) the Southwestern Power Administration.

(Sec. 803) Amends the Tennessee Valley Authority Act to: (1) subject the TVA to Federal antitrust laws; (2) authorize TVA wholesale sales of electric power to any person; (3) proscribe specified TVA retail sales; and (4) mandate renegotiation of long-term TVA power contracts with distributors.

(Sec. 806) Amends the FPA to instruct FERC to promulgate certain regulations governing TVA's recovery of stranded costs resulting from wholesale or retail competition.

Amends the TVA Authority Act to mandate that amounts recovered as stranded cost recovery charges be used to pay down TVA debt; but prohibits payments for additions to TVA generating capacity.

Subtitle B: Bonneville Power Administration - Amends the FPA to prescribe procedural guidelines under which FERC shall provide for the imposition of surcharges for transmission services over the Bonneville Transmission System in order for the Bonneville Administrator to meet certain statutory cost recovery requirements.

Subtitle C: Western Area Power Administration and Southwestern Area Power Administration - Prescribes procedural guidelines under which FERC shall provide for the imposition of surcharges for transmission services over the Transmission System of the Western Area Power Administration, and Southwestern Area Power Administration, respectively, in order for such Administrations to meet certain statutory cost recovery requirements.

Title IX: Other Regulatory Provisions - Amends Federal bankruptcy law to: (1) grant priority status to obligations to comply with, and claims resulting from compliance with, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations or orders governing the decontamination and decommissioning of licensed nuclear power reactors; and (2) prohibit discharge of such obligations and claims under State or Federal bankruptcy law.

(Sec. 902) Amends the DOE Organization Act to instruct the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration to collect and publish information regarding the impact of wholesale and retail competition upon the electric power industry.

(Sec. 904) Eliminates the mandate for antitrust review by the NRC with respect to license applications to construct or operate a commercial utilization or production facility.

(Sec. 906) Amends the DOE Organization Act to direct the Secretary to issue a report comparing the impact of wholesale and retail competition on the efficiency of new and existing electric generating facilities.