LIST: Texas lawmakers tell us what they are doing to fix the state’s electric system

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TEXAS – State lawmakers are pouring through more than 200 proposed bills in Austin that would bring change to Texas’ electricity market. While almost all of the proposed laws focus on requiring power generators to maintain their plants to avoid another massive outage like we saw in the winter freeze, one bill would make wholesale and variable rate electric plans (like the plans sold by Griddy) illegal in Texas.

We asked all of the state representatives and state senators from the greater Houston area the same three questions to find out which lawmakers are working to resolve the issues with Texas’ electric market. Twenty-four lawmakers didn’t answer our questions. You’ll see who didn’t reply at the bottom of this article.

To find out which lawmakers represent you, click here. Then find that lawmaker in the list below and click on their name to send them an email letting them know what you want them to do to improve Texas’ electric system.

KPRC 2 Investigates: How much are you paying for electricity deregulation? (click2houston.com)


Texas House of Representatives, District 15: State Rep. Steve Toth

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

  • No answer provided.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

HB 3716 by Toth: Prevents ERCOT from repairing our grid with equipment manufactured by foreign countries. Protects our Texas grid from outages caused by faulty or counterfeit equipment.

HB 3593 by Toth: Requires a wind-powered generation facility to maintain the capability to generate at least 75% of the facility’s nameplate capability

HB 10 coauthored by Toth: Reforms the Public Utility Commission, ERCOT, and Public Utility Counsel.

HB 11 coauthored by Toth: Relating to the preparedness for extreme weather emergencies of facilities that provide electricity service; providing an administrative penalty.

HB 17 coauthored by Toth: Relating to the regulation of utility services and infrastructure based on the energy source to be used or delivered (prevents restrictions/fees to the installation of natural gas hookups).

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

  • No answer provided.

Texas House of Representatives, District 24: State Rep. Greg Bonnen

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

  • No answer provided.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

Bills that have passed the House of Representatives:

HB 10 Relating to the governance of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and an independent organization certified to manage a power region.

HB 11 Relating to the preparedness for extreme weather emergencies of facilities that provide electricity service; providing an administrative penalty.

HB 12 Relating to a study on a statewide disaster alert system and implementation of that system and to notice to elected officials of a widespread power, water, or natural gas outage or emergency.

HB 13 Relating to the establishment of the Texas Energy Disaster Reliability Council.

HB 16 Relating to the sale of wholesale indexed products by retail electric providers

HB 17 Relating to a restriction on the regulation of utility services and infrastructure based on the energy source to be used or delivered.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

“The Texas House passed landmark legislation to reform the ERCOT grid, protect consumers, and ensure these tragedies never happen again. I was proud to support these needed reforms to ERCOT. We have eclipsed the midway point in session, and the Texas House will continue to work on critical reforms.”


Texas House of Representatives, District 25: State Rep. Cody Vasut

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

“Our office is currently evaluating Senate Bill 3. It contains some provisions, particularly those banning the purchase of wholesale-indexed electricity products, that I oppose and did oppose on the floor of the House when I voted against House Bill 16. It also contains many positive changes to our regulatory framework to help ensure a situation like what we experienced during Winter Storm Uri does not happen again.”

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

I have authored the following reforms to help address the issues my constituents experienced during and after Winter Storm Uri:*

HB 2785 - Relating to access to public information maintained by independent organizations established under Section 39.151, Utilities Code

HB 2786 - Relating to load shedding participation for certain customers during a rolling blackout.

HB 3090 - Relating to the required procurement of an alternative power supply for certain power generation facilities.

HB 4126 - Relating to clarifying that natural gas and electricity are necessities during a declared disaster under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

HB 4502 - Relating to cost recovery for costs arising from the interconnection of certain electric generation facilities with the ERCOT transmission system.I have further co-authored the following measures:

HB 10 - Relating to the governance of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and an independent organization certified to manage a power region.

HB 11 - Relating to preparedness for extreme weather emergencies of facilities that provide electricity service.

HB 12 - Relating to a study on a statewide disaster alert system and implementation of that system and to notice to elected officials of a widespread power, water, or natural gas outage or emergency.

I also voted in favor of HB 13 and HB 17.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

“In addition to authoring, co-authoring, and voting for the bills referenced above, I have kept a close eye on the testimony before the State Affairs Committee and have served legislative requests for information under Section 552.008 of the Government Code on the PUC and ERCOT to gather information on the causes of the failures we experienced during Winter Storm Uri to aid me in evaluating legislation.”


Texas House of Representatives, District 29: State Rep. Ed Thompson

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

Today, the Texas House passed a series of individual bills that closely approximate Senate Bill 3, which is an omnibus piece of legislation. House Bills 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 17 are now headed to the Senate. Should Senate Bill 3 come to the House Floor for a vote, I would almost certainly vote for the legislation.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

“I authored House Bill 2325, which will require all nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Texas to have backup generation. During the winter storm, we saw how desperately needed this piece of legislation is. Too many of our vulnerable Texans were put in harm’s way because the facilities they reside in are not required to protect them. In addition, I have co-authored House Bills 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 17.”

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

“I have worked closely with my colleagues in the House—particularly the members of the Houston-area delegation—to ensure that meaningful pieces of legislation reached the floor early in the process. Each of the House Bills passed today will take effect immediately if they receive a two-thirds vote in both chambers. By moving these pieces of legislation quickly, we are following through on our promises to our constituents to make meaningful changes now.”


Texas House of Representatives, District 126: State Rep. Sam Harless

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

“At the outset, it sounds like a good concept for addressing a number of the issues affecting the Texas electrical grid during the February freeze. It has yet to be assigned to a committee in the House and we don’t yet know what amendments may be awaiting its arrival. It is a complex bill, the analysis of which alone is 15 pages long, so it is premature to announce a position before we see the bill in a committee in its entirety.”

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

“While I haven’t written or co-sponsored bills pertaining to the electrical grid, but I have co-authored several bills, including HB 10, HB11, HB 12, HB 13, HB 16, and HB 17 which individually address a number of these same issues.”

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

“Even as you demand these answers, I’m currently sitting on the House floor listening to the amendments for many of the bills I listed above. I’ve sat through about 40 hours of hearings in State Affairs over a three-day period and had many hours’ worth of meetings with energy companies and Public Utility Commission executives to get a better sense of where the failures were. I’ve had my staff researching any number of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports, Seasonal Assessment of Resource Availability reports, and North American Electric Reliability Corporation reports to determine what we should have known about winterization and the status of our critical resources. I was also among the first to write letters, not once but twice, to both ERCOT and the PUC calling for the resignations of their chairs because of their failures and sent a copy of the press release to the Chronicle and the Quorum Report. During hearings in State Affairs I specifically questioned the former CEO of ERCOT, Bill Magness, and former PUC Chair DeAnn Walker about their failure to live up to the winterization requirements of the report required from SB 1133. In the meantime, I’ve kept my constituents abreast of the process through social media to let them know we are far from done.

As for the pricing issue specifically, HB 16 protects consumers from massive pricing fluctuations in wholesale electricity indexed products that came from services such as those provided by Griddy, who is now in bankruptcy as a result of the volatility of our current electricity market structure.”


Texas House of Representatives, District 127: State Rep. Dan Huberty

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

Rep. Huberty is supportive of SB3.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

HB 2000 and HJR 2 were filed by Rep. Huberty this session to create the State Utility Reliability Fund (SURF) and the State Utility Reliability Revenue Fund (SURRF), which is intended to serve as a utility infrastructure bank in order to enhance the financing capabilities of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) under a constitutionally crafted program and revenue bond program.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

Just today, the Texas House passed six bills on third reading relating to electricity reform, including HB 10, HB 11, HB12, HB13, HB16 and HB17. Rep. Huberty voted in support of these and they will now head to the Senate.


Texas House of Representatives, District 128: State Rep. Briscoe Cain

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

Representative Briscoe Cain plans on voting for Senate Bill 3.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

Representative Cain has co-authored House Bill 10, House Bill 11, House Bill 13, and House Bill 17.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

Representative Cain also filed legislation to require anyone on the ERCOT Board to live in Texas, and he has filed legislation that would prevent municipalities from banning the use of natural gas. He will also continue to support legislation that ensures Texans do not face another disaster like we did in February


Texas House of Representatives, District 134: State Rep. Ann Johnson

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

I plan to vote for Senate Bill 3, subject to how it comes through the amendment process, to ensure Texans are never faced with the devastating consequences of inaction again.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

I am proud to be Joint Authoring HB 1965, relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas to ensure the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has adequate reserve power to prevent blackout conditions.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

I was happy to vote in favor of House Bill 16 that protects consumers from sky-high electric bills and ensures that any future pricing volatility seen in Texas’ electricity market during disasters are not passed on to the consumer through high electricity bills. I will be proud to support bills that ensure we are protecting Texans during crises such as this.


Texas House of Representatives, District 135: State Rep. Jon Rosenthal

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

  • Not yet certain.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

HB 3177 - allows for utility services that transmit or distribute power within the ERCOT region to purchase power at a wholesale price outside of the ERCOT region.

HB 3178 - establishes a capacity market, ensuring that ERCOT must have an emergency reserve power generation capacity.

HB 3179 - prohibits an independent organization in the ERCOT region from purchasing more electricity daily from the facility’s capacity except during a peak demand even declared by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

HB 3180 - requires that board members of ERCOT and the PUC reside in Texas.

HB 3181 - requires that providers of generation in the ERCOT region implement measures to weatherize facilities to be able to withstand temperatures between 0 and 120 degrees.

HB 3182 - requires weatherization for facilities that provide electric service as well as gas pipeline facilities.

HB 3183 - requires the Railroad Commission to enforce measures to weatherize pipelines and wellheads.

HB 3184 - requires ERCOT to adopt an adaptive model data analytics software to forecast power generation

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

State Representative Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) filed the STEP UP (Securing Texas Energy, Power, and Utilities Package) Initiative Monday, regarding the security of Texas’ energy, power, and utilities after February’s winter freeze caused millions of Texans to go without these needs. Representative Rosenthal stated, “It’s time we do our jobs as legislators and step up for the people of Texas. For over a decade, we have known our energy infrastructure is vulnerable to weather events. Texas has waited far too long to address this known issue. Too many Texans suffered from this recent winter freeze and the aftermath has been catastrophic. As a subject matter expert from the energy industry, I’m proud to file these eight bills I call the STEP UP Initiative. This will ensure Texas is prepared on all fronts; from weatherization of infrastructure to making sure members on the Public Utilities Commission and Electric Reliability Council of Texas reside in Texas. These are pragmatic solutions based on proven best practices and I’m ready to work in ensuring they are applied.”


Texas House of Representatives, District 139: State Rep. Jarvis Johnson

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

“I cannot tell you yet how I will be voting on Senate Bill 3 because it has not yet gone through the committee process in the House, where changes may be made. As practice, I don’t make decisions on bills until the final version is in front of me.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

“In response to the winter storm, I filed HB 2506, HB 3076, and HB 3335. They address the reserve power issue, re-establish a program to help senior citizens pay their electricity bills and define excessive electricity prices as a type of price gauging. Also attached is a letter I sent to the Joint Hearing held by the State Affairs and Energy Resources committees regarding the Winter storm explaining actions I took, and experiences from District 139.”

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

“I can tell you today the House passed to engrossment HB 10, 11, 12, 13, & HB 16 and I voted yes on all of them. These are the first of the priority bills for the House that relate to improving the electricity grid in Texas. Information on these bills can be viewed at https://capitol.texas.gov/Home.aspx


Texas House of Representatives, District 145: State Rep. Ana Christina Morales

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

It is difficult to comment on bills that haven’t been through our chambers process, as the language can change significantly by the time it finished the House. There are some provisions of SB 3 that would benefit Texans, including weatherization and banning variable-rate plans, many of them are addressed in standalone that are making their way through the House. One of them is HB11 that directs the Public Utility Commission to mandate weatherization for extreme weather and the establishment of policies for reestablishing service following interruptions passing the House 3/30/21 on second reading.

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

I have filed HB 2639 relating to a study by the Public Utility Commission of Texas on the interconnection of electric transmission service facilities with the United Mexican States. This bill instructs the PUC to study the benefits of upgrading interconnections between Texas and Mexico and the potential benefits of the sale of power bilaterally with Mexico. This step would ensure that during times of peak load, the state of Texas and ERCOT could purchase energy from Mexico and enable greater buying and selling of power between Texas and Mexico.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

House leadership has organized a list of bills regarding pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market. We are following these bills as they move through the legislative process and look forward to supporting legislation that protects Texans. One of the aspects of winter storm Uri that most significantly impacted my community was the surge in power bills for those on variable rate plans. HB 16 prohibits retail electric providers from marketing and selling wholesale indexed products or variable rate plans to residential customers.


Texas House of Representatives, District 146: State Rep. Shawn Thierry

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

“SB 3 includes many of the reforms, including preparation for extreme weather conditions, creation of emergency alert systems, and prohibition of indexed retail electric plans, that I have already voted in favor of in the Texas House of Representatives. Thus, I anticipate working with my colleagues in support of SB 3.”

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

After discussions with constituents, stakeholders, and industry participants, I drafted a legislative package of ten bills aimed at improving oversight of the electric grid by ERCOT, improving electricity reliability, and improving the governance of the Public Utility Commission.

The legislation that I’ve filed directly addresses so many of the areas in need of reform. I believe the Texas Legislature should prioritize improving our electric grid’s reliability, upgrading emergency response systems, addressing climate issues and extreme weather trends, while refining quality control standards and ensuring fiscal transparency. My legislative energy reform bills are as follows:

HB 2816 sets sufficient energy reserve standards to prevent mass blackouts during extreme weather periods.

HB 2472 requires PUC to obtain reserve power to prevent blackouts. It ensures that Texas has enough backup electricity to keep the lights on.

HB 2818 allows transmission companies to contract with an energy storage facility to save electricity like a battery and distribute the power to customers in the event of a power outage.

HB 3487 increases the depth and readiness of the PUC Board with an additional four members. One Commissioner shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House and one Commissioner shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. Creates the elected offices of Residential Energy Commissioner and Residential Water Commissioner by statewide general election

HB 3062 overhauls the board of ERCOT to allow residential consumers to have a vote and greater say in decisions.

HB 3634 creates new building codes to insulate pipes to prevent freezing.

HB 2586 requires an annual external audit of ERCOT expenditures including asset compliance. The findings will be reported to the Texas Legislature & available to the public on the PUC website.

HB 3470 authorizes administrative penalties for generators, transmitters, and retailers for violations of reliability protocol standards.

HB 2017 allows PUC to accurately anticipate the effects of climate change and adopt rules and procedures to ensure electric reliability during extreme weather.

HB 2526 Enhancing Grid Resilience and Emergency Response Act of 2021 examines technologies and methods which may improve resilience, and upgrade grid infrastructure to handle increased power demand.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

“In order to protect the millions of Texas families to suffered for days without electricity during below-freezing temperatures, I authored several bills aimed at improving reliability of the Texas electricity market. One of my bills, HB 2586, requires an annual, external audit of ERCOT and has already been passed by the State Affairs Committee. I also filed legislation entitled the Enhancing Grid Resilience and Emergency Response Act of 2021 that will examine technologies and methods which may improve resilience, and upgrade grid infrastructure to handle increased power demand.”


Texas House of Representatives, District 150: State Rep. Valoree Swanson

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

“I am reviewing all grid legislation, including Senate Bill 3, as they work through the process, and I will always vote to protect our grid and my constituents’ safety.”

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

“I coauthored and voted for House Bills 10, 11, 12, 13, and 17. All these bills work in tandem to upgrade grid security and increase transparency, communication, and accountability to Texans to prevent the outage crisis from occurring again. I also voted for HB 16, which prevents wildly fluctuating electric bills. As of today, the House has passed all these bills.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

My staff, my family, and I all lost my power for days during the storm, along with thousands of my constituents. It is unacceptable and embarrassing that it happened in Texas. As quickly as we were gathering information, my staff and I were communicating it to our constituents to try to help them make decisions to get safe and warm. I was personally in constant communication with executives at CenterPoint Energy, doing everything I could to help get the lights and heat back on. I have been investigating the issues for over a month now, conferring with members and subject matter experts to formulate solutions.

“Additionally, even though I am not on either the State Affairs or Energy Resources Committees, I stayed in Austin to sit in on the House hearings, preparing for important bills to prevent the outages from happening again.”


Texas Senate, District 15: State Sen. John Whitmire

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

For

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

SB 1606 (Hall, et al.) - Relating to protecting the population of Texas, its environment, and its most vulnerable communities, promoting the resilience of the electric grid and certain municipalities. Senator Hall has worked tirelessly since joining the Texas Senate in 2015 to secure our electric grid from both natural disasters and man-made threats. I was co-author of SB 83 in 2015 and am happy to join Senator Hall again this session as a joint author of SB 1606. If Winter Storm Uri taught us anything it is that we need an all-of-the-above approach the securing our grid and ensuring it’s reliability.

As Dean of the Texas Senate and senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, I have been directly engaged in budget decisions about how we fund the Public Utility Commission (PUC), the Office of Public Utility Counsel (OPUC), the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to ensure there are adequate resources for the agencies overseeing the electric grid, the natural gas supply chain, and clean water supply in Texas.

The Senate Committee on Business & Commerce - of which I’ve been a member for more than 10 years - has worked diligently over that time to ensure electric reliability during the hot summer months. This session, we have undertaken efforts to not repeat the mistakes of the past and take meaningful action to also ensure the reliability and resiliency of our electric grid during times of extreme cold.

SB 3 - which passed the Texas Senate unanimously this week - mandates the weatherization of the entire electric generation system from the wellheads at natural gas supply facilities, electric generation facilities, and transmission infrastructure that delivers electricity to Texans’ homes. After more than 24 hours of testimony in the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, we heard repeatedly about the failures of communication between the industry participants and the leadership of the agencies that oversee them during Winter Storm Uri. In response, SB 3 formalizes the Texas Energy Reliability Council (TERC) and requires the PUC, Railroad Commission, and TCEQ to directly communicate during times of peak demand on the grid. Furthermore, SB 3 will require TERC to map out the entirety of Texas’ natural gas supply chain and designate the parts most critical to ensure the reliability of our grid in times of peak demand.

The Senate Committee on Business & Commerce considered SB 2 just yesterday (3/30/21) which makes proposals to reform the governing board of Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to ensure ERCOT is accountable to the Legislature and the citizens of Texas, and not only the industry they oversee.

SB 2154 - which passed the Senate unanimously last week - made necessary changes to the structure of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) that will increase public accountability and ensure we do not go without a functioning commission, which has been the case since the resignations of former Chairman Walker, Commissioner Botkin, and finally of Chairman D’Andrea.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

The Senate passed SB 2142 which directed the PUC to correct ERCOT billing errors as determined by the Independent Market Monitor which oversees pricing and billing practices in the Texas electric market. While the Texas House did not take up this legislation, it remains very clear that the Texas Senate is taking an all-of-the-above approach to pricing in the electric market, particularly those ERCOT billing errors in the final hours of the grid crisis caused by Winter Storm Uri.

I also look forward to supporting the numerous pieces of legislation the provide for the securitization of costs related to Winter Storm Uri. From customer-owned electric co-operatives to non-ERCOT utilities in the corners of our state, and natural gas retailers. The human, financial, and economic impact of Winter Storm Uri has not been fully accounted for, but will no doubt be felt for many years to come. Texas has a responsibility to protect ratepayers from exorbitant electric and gas utility costs passed on to them by the industries impacted. Securitizing these costs will help spread the impact over 20 to 30 years, rather than ratepayers having to pay double or even triple their current utility costs.


Texas Senate, District 6: State Sen. Carol Alvarado

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

I voted in support of Senate Bill 3. See S.J. of Tex., 87th Reg. Sess. 450 (2021),

Which bills have you written, sponsored, or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

I authored Senate Bill 835, requiring all board members and the Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to be Texas residents. See Tex. S.B. 835, 87th Reg. Sess., (2021). I co-authored Senate Bill 1606, relating to protecting the population of Texas, its environment, and its most vulnerable communities, promoting the resilience of the electric grid and certain municipalities by Senator Hall. See Tex. S.B. 1606, 87th Reg, Sess. (2021). At the time of writing, no relevant House legislation has been received by the Senate, so I have been unable to sponsor or co-sponsor any House legislation relating to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas by the time of your publishing deadline.

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

I voted in support of Senate Bill 2142 by Senator Hughes to direct the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to correct billing errors that occurred during the Winter Storm. See S.J. of Tex., 87th Reg. Sess., 269 (2021) https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=SB2142. I participated in three legislative hearings relating to ERCOT, PUC, Winter Storm Uri, and the Texas power grid failure: See Hearing before the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 87th Reg. Sess., (Feb. 25, 2021), https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/minutes/pdf/C5102021022509001.P DF. See Hearing before the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 87th Reg. Sess. (Mar. 4, 2021). DF. See Hearing before the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence, 87th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Mar. 11, 2021), Senator Carol Alvarado Response to KPRC Media Request March 31, 2021 Page 2 of 2 https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/minutes/pdf/C5502021031113001.P DF. I wrote two letters relating to problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market: Letter to Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Chairman DeAnn Walker requesting the Public Utilities Commission not approve the appointment of any ERCOT board member who is not a Texas resident. See Letter from State Senator Carol Alvarado to Chairman DeAnn Walker, Public Utilities Commission of Texas (Feb. 16, 2021).

Letter to ERCOT CEO Bill Magness requesting information on expenditures for travel, conferences, and executive compensation. See Letter from State Senator Carol Alvarado to Mr. Bill Magness, Chief Executive Officer, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Feb. 23, 2021) http://www.ercot.com/content/wcm/lists/227199/Alvarado_RFI_for_ERC OT_Expenditures_02.23.2021.pdf

I signed a bipartisan letter to the PUC urging them to correct the multibillion-dollar billing error that occurred during Winter Storm Uri. See Letter from Senator Carol Alvarado et al. to Mr. Arthur D’Andrea, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission of Texas (Mar. 9, 2021), https://twitter.com/CarolforTexas/status/1369688357543018501.

I participated in two town halls: Town Hall hosted by Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia on March 3 regarding assistance available for constituents impacted by Winter Storm Uri. https://twitter.com/RepSylviaGarcia/status/1367248964471373829?s=20. Town Hall hosted by ABC 13 Houston on Winter Storm Uri and legislative solutions to fix pricing and reliability issues of Texas power grid and electricity market. https://twitter.com/CarolforTexas/status/1364425745745940484?s=20.

Texas Senate, District 17: State Sen. Joan Huffman

How did you or are you planning to vote on Senate Bill 3? (For or against)

“Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate unanimously on March 29, 2021. I was happy to join all my senate colleagues to vote in favor of this comprehensive reform plan to address issues arising from Winter Storm Uri.”

Which bills have you written sponsored or co-sponsored pertaining to electricity and fixing the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas?

“I have been actively involved in each bill that the Senate has passed thus far. Most of the related bills have been referred to the Senate Jurisprudence Committee. As Chair of that committee, I assisted in the development of major reform bills, including SB 3 and SB 2154. Furthermore, I am a co-sponsor of SB 2154 which relates to the membership of the Public Utility Commission. As more bills continue to be developed and sent to the Jurisprudence Committee, I will continue to be engaged in these issues.”

What have you done this Legislative session to fix the problems of pricing and reliability in Texas’ electricity market?

“As Chair of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee, I worked extensively on the pricing debacle that followed Winter Storm Uri. In fact, the Jurisprudence Committee passed legislation out of its committee in record time to specifically address these issues. I will continue to fight for transparency and reliability in this market.”


The following lawmakers did not respond to our three questions:

Texas House of Representatives, District 3: State Rep. Cecil Bell
Texas House of Representatives, District 26: State Rep. Jacey Jetton
Texas House of Representatives, District 27: State Rep. Ron Reynolds
Texas House of Representatives, District 28: State Rep. Gary Gates
Texas House of Representatives, District 129: State Rep. Dennis Paul
Texas House of Representatives, District 130: State Rep. Tom Oliverson
Texas House of Representatives, District 131: State Rep. Alma Allen
Texas House of Representatives, District 132: State Rep. Mike Schofield
Texas House of Representatives, District 133: State Rep. Jim Murphy
Texas House of Representatives, District 137: State Rep. Gene Wu
Texas House of Representatives, District 138: State Rep. Lacey Hull
Texas House of Representatives, District 140: State Rep. Armando Walle
Texas House of Representatives, District 141: State Rep. Senfronia Thompson
Texas House of Representatives, District 142: State Rep. Harold Dutton
Texas House of Representatives, District 143: State Rep. Ana Hernandez
Texas House of Representatives, District 144: State Rep. Mary Ann Perez
Texas House of Representatives, District 147: State Rep. Garnet Coleman
Texas House of Representatives, District 148: State Rep. Penny Morales Shaw
Texas House of Representatives, District 149: State Rep. Hubert Vo
Texas Senate, District 4: State Sen. Brandon Creighton
Texas Senate, District 7: State Sen. Paul Bettencourt
Texas Senate, District 11: State Sen. Larry Taylor
Texas Senate, District 13: State Sen. Borris Miles

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.