FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2021
AUSTIN, TX - The Texas Senate on Monday passed legislation authored by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) that requires emergency preparedness plans from facilities within the Texas electric and natural gas supply chain.
“Texas families and businesses deserve to rest assured that the top-to-bottom failures we saw along our electric supply chain during the February storm will never happen again," said Hancock, Chairman of the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee. "That begins with better planning and increased oversight."
SB 1750 directs the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and Railroad Commission (RRC), working in coordination with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), to establish rules requiring the facilities in their respective jurisdictions to create a severe weather emergency preparedness plan. These plans must address severe cold weather, equipment weatherization needs and design limits, and staffing during severe weather events.
Preparedness plans must also include an in-depth look at electric curtailment priorities and critical load identification, ensuring no facility that plays a role in the continuous production of electricity and natural gas is shut off during a directed emergency outage.
Under the bill, the PUC and RRC will review the emergency preparedness plans and notify the facilities of any deficiencies that must be corrected. Failure to submit a plan or correct a deficiency is subject to a hefty penalty of up to $25,000 per violation per day for PUC-regulated facilities and $200,000 per violation per day for pipelines.
To read the full text of the bill or follow its progress in the Texas House of Representatives, visit capitol.texas.gov.