- House lawmakers have removed controversial language from a broad energy bill released this week, including limits on FERC's hydropower enforcement powers and a proposal to exempt many utilities from smaller generation buys under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act.
- The House Subcommittee on Energy and Power have scheduled a markup for the bill Wednesday morning.
- Berkshire Hathaway Energy had lobbied for the PURPA changes, arguing that small generators in the western states' new Energy Imbalance Market did not need the mandates to remain competitive.
The House has released its broad energy bill and a subcommittee markup is scheduled for today, but SNL Energy notes that the four-title legislation appears to still be a work in progress.
While the bill would not alter RTO markets, the outlet reports that a section which previously proposed the to mandate integrated system planning in the jurisdictions is now just blank.
Other controversial language was removed as well, including Berkshire Hathaway's proposal to alter PURPA purchasing requirements for many utilities. Language had previously been included which was designed to clarify that generators 20 MW or smaller have access to markets and would not need the PURPA requirement.
And a push to place significant limits on FERC's regulation of hydro power was also cut. The measure would have limited how staff could communicate and opened up access to commissioners for the companies under investigation.
“This week’s subcommittee vote will mark an important milestone as we work to build the Architecture of Abundance,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said in a statement. “Wednesday’s markup is the next step in ensuring we not only get this legislation done but get it done right. The sooner we say yes to energy, the sooner we can take full advantage of America’s energy abundance.”
The bill, aimed at modernizing the nation's grid, contains four titles: Infrastructure; Workforce; Energy Security and Diplomacy; and Efficiency and Accountability.