AUSTIN – Last week, Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and 19 other Texas Senators sent a letter to the letter to Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUC) Chair Peter Lake, and Commissioners Will McAdams and Lori Cobos regarding House Bill 4492. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sent the following letter to Chairman Lake and Commissioners McAdams and Cobos in support of the senators’ position:
I have reviewed the August 2, 2021, letter Chairman Chris Paddie wrote to you where he makes the claim that House Bill 4492 from the 87th Regular Legislative Session “does not contemplate or authorize any ‘netting’ between companies.” That may have been his view, but it was never presented or shared in the Texas Senate. The Senate would not have passed a bill giving taxpayer dollars to companies that profited during the storm.
If you review the Senate floor debate, you can plainly and clearly hear Senator Kelly Hancock, the Senate sponsor of the bill, state the $2.1 billion cap includes netting.
House Bill 4492 had no reason to exist other than to provide relief for ERCOT market participants who were adversely affected by exorbitant ancillary service prices and help alleviate charges that would be passed on to customers.
Chairman Paddie’s interpretation is in stark contrast to the intent and plain reading of the bill. If it was his intent to give taxpayer dollars to companies that profited during the storm instead of to those who were actually exposed to extraordinary costs and damages, I can confidently say that was not the understanding or intent of the Texas Senate when it passed HB 4492.
Chairman Paddie, who inexplicably and without notice removed the $2.1 billion cap all-together from the conference committee report, only to replace it the next day once discovered by the Senate, has once again tried to alter the purpose of this bill from what the Senate passed.
I urge you to follow the plain meaning of HB 4492 as the Texas Senate considered and passed it and calculate cost exposure on a net basis. Thank you for all you do for Texas.
To view this letter online, click here.