A nearly daily round-up of news for your consideration:
- As Public Utility Commission of Texas Chairwoman Donna Nelson’s term nears an end, EnergyWire speculates on her options and how Gov. Greg Abbott may fill the role in the future. “While Abbott promotes a conservative platform like [former Gov. Rick] Perry, it remains to be seen how priorities could shift at the PUC as regulators deal with everything from federal environmental rules to a growing Texas population to renewable and distributed energy.”
- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is “amenable to taking on certain data warehouse and management functions of Smart Meter Texas, but said that it should not be charged with any customer-facing aspects,” Energy Choice Matters reports on comments the agency made to the PUC, adding that “the joint TDUs favor making ERCOT responsible for “all” elements of SMT. Retail providers “prefer” ERCOT ownership of all SMT functions.”
- “House Republicans have unveiled a package of bills aimed at bringing the country’s energy infrastructure, reliability and other energy matters into the modern era,” The Hill writes. Among many issues addressed: streamlining the natural gas pipeline permitting process, freeing power utilities to violate environmental regulations if necessary to maintain reliability, and prompting utilities and the Department of Energy to better prepare and respond to threats to the nation’s power grid.