Regional
4:54 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Lawmakers Rip Texas PUC Over Electricity Market Vote

Tension between lawmakers and the Public Utility Commission is rising after state energy regulators signaled support of a plan that could restructure the Texas electricity market.

The three-member PUC board on Monday received bipartisan criticism and occasional scorn over a 2-1 vote in October to back mandated levels of electric capacity. The move is a possible step toward so-called "capacity payments" in which generators are paid for extra capacity and not just for electricity sold.

Supporters say that would encourage generators to build more plants and help meet the electricity demands of a rapidly growing Texas population.

Republican Sen. Troy Fraser led a rebuke of the vote during a Senate subcommittee meeting. He says the PUC is overstepping its authority and argued the current market structure is working just fine.

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