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Canary Media: Clean energy dodges a bullet in the Texas legislature

Posted by Jeff St. John on May 31, 2023

Canary Media reports on the outcome of the recently concluded Texas legislative session, quoting Matthew Boms on how the legislature avoided passing bills that would have derailed the state's clean energy industry's efforts.

The best thing that Doug Lewin, president of Texas-based energy consultancy Stoic Energy, can say about the just-concluded Texas legislative session is that it could have been much, much worse. 

Lawmakers failed to pass bills that would have helped stabilize and clean up the Texas grid, but at least they also, at the last minute, avoided passing bills that would have crushed the state’s clean energy industry.

But the most expensive and counterproductive policies, among the many threatening to undermine clean energy and drive up consumer costs, failed to be passed into law, Lewin said.

But four days before the end of the legislative session, many of these policies were reinserted as Senate amendments to HB 1500, a bill that had to be passed to reauthorize the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and state grid operator ERCOT.

Those amendments threatened to increase the cost of electricity for Texas consumers by as much as $10 billion per year, according to IdeaSmiths, an analysis firm co-founded by University of Texas at Austin research scientist Joshua Rhodes. That would mean an increase of 50 percent over today’s costs, which have already risen significantly since the February 2021 grid disaster.

Over the final days of the session, a reconciliation committee working to align the Senate and House versions of HB 1500 managed to get rid of many of the most potentially harmful amendments. 

The big victory was avoiding these disasters for renewable energy. That was a big focus for us during this session,” said Matthew Boms, executive director of the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, the state chapter of the Advanced Energy United trade group representing big energy consumers. If it wasn’t for a few Republican champions in the House, you’d be reporting on the disaster that wasn’t averted.”

Read the full article here.

Topics: United In The News, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Texas, Matthew Boms