MINUTES JUNE 11TH ENERGY COMMITTEE MEETING AND ENERGY LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Chair National Fuel Gas
Johnny Evers, The Business Council
Paul DeCotis, NYSERDA
Steve Sullivan, NYISO
Tom McCarthy, DMJM & Harris
Chris Cernik, Couch White (IECC)
James King, Mirant
Chris Wentlent, AES-NY, LLC
John Reese, Reliant Energy
Mitchell Khosrova, Devorsets
Frank Bifera, Hiscock & Barclay
Mark Seel, Langan Engineers
Brian Fitzgerald, LeBouf Lamb
Noelle Kinsch, LeBouf Lamb
Anne Van Buren, Energy Association
Mike Rynasko, Energy Association
Bob Bergin, RG & E
Kristine Schettini, PG & E
Greg Moreland, Ford Motor Company
Kevin Lanahan, Niagara Mohawk
Andrew Timmis, NORESCO
John Glusko, CH Energy
Patrick Curran, Energy Association
Thomas DeJesu, KeySpan
Gavin Donohue, IPPNY
Eric Durr, IPPNY
Carolyn Brown, IPPNY
Jack Vandervort, Vandervort Group
Tom Maccauley, Glenville Energy
Chris McGrath, NY Capital Consultants (SCS Astoria)
George Pond, Hiscock & Barclay
John Casellini, CSX
Christine Benedict, NYSERDA
Jon Pierce, Sawchuck, Brown
Frank Rapley, NRG Energy
Lisa DuBois, General Mills
Cindy Chadwick, NYSEG
Jason LaFlam, Wilson Elsner
Ron Beruta, Johnson Controls
Scott Wigger, Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne
Scott Irwin, NYPA
Susan Crossett, Niagara Mohawk
Michael Rose, National Fuel Gas, Energy Committee Chairman.
Assemblyman Paul Tonko, Assembly Energy Committee Chairman addressed the Committee. He discussed some of the priorities that he is working on during the remaining time in this session.
Article X is a big issue this session. He stated that his house has championed this issue and had hearings on it. The issue needs to be addressed this year but time is running out and it may be taken up later in the year rather than during the regular session. "Power for Jobs" - this issue has also been taken up by the Assembly. Under their proposal all participants get three years of power. The funding source would be GRT as well as voluntary contributions from NYPA. The ESCO option is also included. Stated that it should have been a budget issue.
There are several issues in the post-Enron debate that need to be remembered including the need for additional power and a level playing field. We need a good vocal and objective approach.
Mr. Tonko took questions from the Committee.
Mr. Paul DeCotis from NYSERDA addressed the committee in regards to the State Energy Plan that was released by the State Energy Planning Board earlier on the same day. The SEP was adopted at the June 11th meeting but will not be available for at least one week.
The major topics discussed at the Energy meeting, as they related to NYSERDA's presentation, were; energy infrastructure maintenance, innovative growth in the markets, energy diversity, environmental issues, and consumer issues.
Some of the more specific issues included the reauthorization of Article X (the siting law for electricity generation) and Article 6 of the Energy Law (which governs the SEP process), security issues, bio-fuels, distributive generation, the proposed reduction of greenhouse gases, the proposed increases in renewable energy sources, and regional electricity markets. NYSERDA' s representative stated that the actual SEP document will be available by approximately June 19-20th. It will also be posted on the NYSERDA web site. (NOTE: The SEP has since been released in final form and is available on the NYSERDA Web site).
Update was given by Mr. Ken Pokalsky of The Business Council. Mr. Pokalsky is the Director of Manufacturing Programs for The Council. It is hoped that the Legislature will adopt a three-way agreement to extend the program for at least three years while holding harmless the utilities who provide the power. Several bills that have been introduced were discussed. (NOTE: An extension of "Power for Jobs" was approved by the Legislature. See the attached legislative wrap-up).
The Committee discussed a number of legislative issues including:
of service (A.9747-C/S.6182-C)
- Net metering (A.11280/S.6825-A), (A.10740/S.6592)
- Light pollution (A.9757-B)
- Petroleum retail divorcement (A.6942-D/S.5618-A)
- Pilot light (A.1270-B/S.579-A)
- -Privileged information/FOIL Bill (A.9841/S.6077)
- -Prompt Payment (A.11526)
- -Plant/Facility Security (A.9549-A/S.6931)
- -Other Legislative issues
- The Committee
adjourned at 3pm.
The next meeting of The Business Councils Energy Committee will be in the fall to discuss the 2003 Legislative Agenda.
Energy Bills Acted Upon At End of Session
The following is a list of bills that pertain to energy issues that had some action during the last few weeks of the legislative session. Of note is that there are several bills relating to the re-authorization of the Article X siting law for electricity generation. None of them have been agreed to by both houses of the Legislature.
- A. 11755 (Tonko) is the Assembly's version; no Senate companion. It would lower the threshold to 30 MWs, add more intervener funding and create a number of additional studies to the process. Passed the Assembly on June 25.
- S. 7597 (Wright). Senate Article X extender; no Assembly companion. A clear extender of Article X for 5 years. Extends from January 1, 2003 until July 1, 2011, the expiration of article 6 of the energy law providing for state energy planning; extends from January 1, 2003 until July 1, 2007, the expiration of article 10 of the public service law providing for the siting of major electric generating facilities and related provisions of law. Senate Third Reading Cal. 1608; recommitted to Rules on June 20.
- S.7296 (Duane) / A.10363 (Tonko). A proposal to lower the threshold to 15 MWs, expands the siting board, increases intervener funds, sponsored by NYPIRG. In Senate and Assembly Energy Committees.
- S.6230-B (Wright) / A.9826-A (Tonko). Sponsored by IPPNY and supported by The Business Council, AFL-CIO, The Energy Association. Streamlines the siting process. Third Reading Cal. 752, Recommitted to Rules on June 20 in the Senate; Assembly Energy Committee.
- S.7596 (Wright). Governor's Article X bill, program bill #120. No Assembly companion. Creates a state advocate, allocates some intervener funding for legal fees, has repowering fast tracking. Senate Rules.
Hours of Service for Utility Drivers
S. 6182-E (Morahan) / A. 9747-E (Gromack). Creates exemption for utility truck drivers under emergency conditions. Passed the Senate on June 18 and the Assembly on June 19. The Business Council had issued a memo in support.
The Governor's nuclear whistler blower bill - Governor's Program bill #132R.
S. 7815 (Velella) similar but not "same as" to A.11839 (Nolan). The Senate does not have the floor of $1 million to the State Disaster Preparedness Commission in its version. It would greatly impact nuclear facilities by adding additional conditions regarding whistleblower protections. The legislation provides for increasing the time period under which a claim for relief can to be made for retaliatory personal action from 1 to 2 years; increases damages awarded; civil penalties increased to $100,000; and State Disaster Preparedness Commission fee paid by each company is increased from a floor of $550,000 to $1,000,000 annually, half of which is allocated to localities. Introduced and referred to Senate Rules on June 24; Introduced and referred to Assembly Labor on June 21. On June 29, S.7835 (Velella), relating to prohibiting retaliatory personnel actions against employees of nuclear-powered electric generating facilities was also introduced. It was referred to Rules.
Below Cost Sales
S.4522-B (Nozzolio) / A.1626-C (Tonko). "Motor Fuel Marketing Practices Act" also know as below cost sales. Establishes a retail sales system under which the sale of petroleum fuels are regulated along with a correlating penalty system. Three year sunset. Passed Senate on June 20; passed Assembly on June 25.
S.5618-A (LaValle) / A.6942-D. Places geographic limitations on the operation of retail service stations of a franchisor of certain refiners or producers without prior consent of such franchised dealers. Also known as retail divorcement. Three year sunset. Passed the Senate on June 20, amended on third reading to concur with Senate amendments and re-passed Assembly on June 25. The Business Council had issued a memo in opposition. The Business Council will be urging a gubernatorial veto.
Power for Jobs
Governors Program Bill #106. S.6425-A (Wright) / A.11806 (Tonko). Extends all year 2 and 3 power allocations for three years, or until December 31, 2005. The Business Council supports this legislation and issued a memo in support. Passed Senate on June 20; Passed Assembly on June 26.
S.6931 (Padavan) / A.9549-A (Gianaris) Relating to requiring the office of public security to create and implement security measures for power generating and transmitting facilities. Passed the Assembly on June 17; in Senate Energy.
S.579-A (DeFrancisco) / A.1270-B (Tonko). Provides that gas and electric corporations must respond to customer requests concerning safety and reliability as part of its gas and electric service also referred to as the "pilot light bill." Passed the Assembly on May 20; in Senate Rules. The Business Council issued a memo in opposition.
A.9757-B (Grannis). No Senate companion. Enacts the healthy and safe outdoor lighting act in order to regulate "light pollution" and establish amendments to the Environmental Conservation law to regulate dark spaces. Third reading Assembly Cal. 848. The Business Council issued a memo against this bill.
In 2001, S.3396-B/A.5352-B was delivered to the governor on 12/31/01 and on 02/08/02 was pocket vetoed - veto message #69. In response a bill was introduced, S.6262 (Balboni) which made technical corrections to a chapter of the laws of 2001. It had its enacting clause stricken at the request of its sponsor prior to action on 2-5-2.
S.6077 (Wright) / A.9841 (Tonko). Exempts certain agency information relating to electric, natural gas, steam or telecommunications systems or infrastructure from public access. Passed the Senate on June 17; in Assembly Government Operations Committee. The Business Council issued a memo in support.
Net Metering - Farm Waste
Governor Program Bill #110. S.6592-C (Wright) / A. 10740-A (Tonko). Relates to farm waste electric generating systems; amends certain definitions to include customers of an electric corporation who own or operate farm waste electric generating equipment and defines such term; makes related provisions. Passed Senate on June 20; passed Assembly on June 26.
Net Metering - Wind
S.6825-B (Wright) / A. 11280-A (Englebright). Provides for inclusion of wind and hybrid-wind-solar electric generating equipment within provisions relating to net metering for solar or wind generating systems. Senate Rules Committee; Passed Assembly on June 26.
Energy consumer protection act of 2002
S.6778-B (Wright) / A. 8978-B (Tonko). Amends the Public Service Law by enacting the "energy consumer protection act of 2002" to extend the provisions of the home energy fair practices act; establishes certain references to gas corporations, electric corporations, steam corporations, utility companies, or utility corporations shall include any entity that sells or resells gas, electricity or steam to residential customers. Passed Senate on June 18; Passed Assembly on June 20.
Prompt Payment on Private Construction
Last year The Business Council fought similar legislation due to its impact on the right to contract for construction by private companies. Last year's bill was vetoed by the Governor (Veto message # 56 of 2001). This year similar legislation was introduced - S. 7724-A (Velella) / A. 11526-B (P Rivera) - that would again impact Business Council members who are engaged in the construction of private projects over the threshold of $250,000. The legislation will greatly alter the way privately contracted construction is performed by mandating time periods for review and payment of contracts, remedy provisions, and adding general impediments to the right to privately contract. The legislation passed the Senate on June 20 and the Assembly on June 25. The Business Council had issued a memo in opposition and will be prompting a gubernatorial veto.