HBA-KDB S.B. 1825 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1825 By: Sibley Energy Resources 5/18/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Texas does not have a statewide energy plan. Such a plan might protect the public interest through the strategic planning of energy development, production, delivery, commercialization, and utilization. Senate Bill 1825 creates the Texas Energy Policy Council to establish and implement a statewide energy plan. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 1825 amends the Utilities Code to create the Texas Energy Policy Council (council) to develop and recommend a statewide energy policy plan (plan) to the legislature. The bill sets forth the composition of the council and provides that council members receive no compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The bill requires the council to meet at least quarterly while developing an initial plan and authorizes the council to meet annually after submitting the plan to the legislature. The bill requires the council to develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the council and to speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the council. The bill provides that the State Energy Conservation Office (office) is designated as the state agency responsible for administering the council. The bill requires staff from the office to be designated, as necessary, to assist the council in carrying out its duties. The bill sets forth provisions regarding the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the council. The bill requires the council to submit to the legislature its initial plan by December 1, 2002, and to report to the legislature by December 1 of each even-numbered year the status of the plan's implementation and to make any recommendations for legislative action as necessary to implement or revise the plan. The bill requires the council to consider certain fuel sources and new, innovative technologies associated with these fuels in creating and recommending a plan, to seek policies to ensure that fuel resources available to the state are used in a balanced and efficient manner, and to consider the economic viability and environmental impact of new fuels and technologies when making its recommendations. To reduce the energy demand of customers in this state, the bill requires the council to consider energy efficient technologies in creating and recommending its plan. The bill requires such technologies to be considered for residential, commercial, industrial, and state and local government energy users and any other application the council determines appropriate. The bill requires the council to give such technologies priority when creating its plan. The bill requires the council to consider transmission and transportation constraints, and make recommendations in the plan to alleviate or prevent such constraints for oil and natural gas, coal and lignite, and electricity. The bill requires the council to consider and recommend strategies for the exploration and capture of oil and natural gas, coal and lignite, and any other resources the council determines appropriate for energy production in this state. The bill requires the council to recommend strategies that protect and preserve the environment of the state while allowing for access to safe, economical, and reliable sources of energy. The council is required to consider air quality, water quality, and waste disposal. The bill repeals provisions that specify that natural gas is the preferential fuel in this state. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.