From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2011
Contact: Janice McCoy
(512) 463-0124

Fraser Passes Energy Policy Act

Austin — Senate Bill 15 by State Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, was adopted by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources on Thursday, April 7, 2011. Under SB 15, the Texas Legislature would create the Texas Energy Planning Council to create a statewide energy policy plan.

"Energy is a valuable and vital commodity in our state's economy," said Fraser. "It is imperative that we have a strategic plan to develop, produce, and deliver all forms of energy so that our economy can continue to grow."

The 12-member Texas Energy Planning Council will be charged with encouraging cooperation and coordination between public and private entities regarding energy usage, planning, research and development and commercialization. The plan must include policies that promote a diverse portfolio of clean, reliable, and competitively priced energy sources while also considering the impact of those policies on the environment.

"I expect the Texas Energy Planning Council will develop policies that ensure fuel resources are utilized in a balanced and efficient manner," Fraser stated. "The recommendations from the Council will be a key part of future decisions as future Texas Legislatures consider various legislation."

The legislation would also require the Public Utility Commission to prepare a report on electric energy generation. The report would evaluate measures that would maintain electric grid reliability, ensure reasonable electric rates, reduce air pollution, and reduce the use for water by electric generators. It must identify the 10 percent of electric generation capacity that will be most impacted by compliance with environmental regulations.

"I believe this report on electric energy generation will give policy makers the right information as we move forward," said Fraser. "This report will identify combinations of market factors, plant operating characteristics and environmental regulations that might show that closing an electric generation plant is more economically feasible than complying with new regulations.

SB 15 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Senator Fraser represents a 21-county region in the geographic center of the state. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. He also sits on the following standing Senate Committees: Economic Development, Nominations, State Affairs, and International Relations and Trade.