Marked Agenda
Commissioners' Work Session
Thursday, January 14, 1999
9:30 a.m.
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin


This is Marked Agenda of the joint work session convened jointly on January 14, 1999, by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commissioners (TNRCC) and their respective staff.

  1. Discussion of issues associated with the PUCT and TNRCC’s joint draft report entitled Electric Restructuring and Air Quality: A Preliminary Analysis of Reductions and Costs of Nitrogen Oxide Controls from Electric Utility Boilers in Texas. The issues were presented by Dan Jones, Office of Policy Development, PUCT and David Schanbacher, Executive Office, TNRCC. The TNRCC is in the process of developing several initiatives that are designed to address the issue of excessive ground-level ozone concentrations in various regions of the State. The TNRCC will begin implementing these initiatives over the next several years. At the same time, the electric industry is facing the potential of significant restructuring that may result in retail competition in the generating sector. Through the joint draft report, the TNRCC and PUCT staff, as the environmental regulators and economic regulators, respectively, proposed, in an integrated framework, a preliminary analysis of reductions and costs of nitrogen oxide controls from electric utility boilers. This report summarizes the issues involving air emissions reductions programs and electric restructuring concepts. The intent is to provide the report in final form, once approved by both Commissions, to the members of the 76th Legislature for their consideration in deliberations concerning air quality and electric restructuring issues. The discussions presented two questions for the joint Commissioners’ consideration relative to the draft report:

    The Commissioners’ directed staff to clarify the meaning of the term “stranded costs” as that term is used in the context of expenses incurred (or not recovered) by electric utilities to retrofit or close generation plants as necessary to comply with the TNRCC air quality rules and programs. In addition, the Commissioners directed staff to refine the percentage of stranded cost recovery for expenses incurred under the CARE program recommendations, and to change the end date for commitment of Care costs to 2003. Staff will make these changes, redraft the preliminary analysis and return to individually brief the Commissioners. Once finalized the report will be delivered to members of the 76th Legislature.