Texas - CCAGW and NTU Oppose HB 3995 and SB 1938 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Texas - CCAGW and NTU Oppose HB 3995 and SB 1938

April 18, 2019

Texas State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78768

On behalf of our organizations and the hundreds of thousands of Texans we represent, we write to express our opposition to bicameral bills before the Texas Legislature relating to certificates of convenience and necessity for the construction of facilities for the transmission of electricity.  These bills, HB 3995 and SB 1938, would stifle competition for energy transmission and would require any non-incumbent energy company to seek permission from the state before it could offer services in Texas.  This is a bad deal for taxpayers.

HB 3995 and SB 1938 would not only apply to any future energy transmission contracts, they would also overturn an already competitively awarded transmission contract if they are passed by a supermajority of the legislature.  Rather than receiving the lower prices that would be provided by the winning bidder, consumers would be stuck with the current transmission company, which lost the bid.  This is plain and obvious corporate welfare.  

These bills would allow the Texas government to capriciously deny entry to any new energy company to protect existing electric utilities. Because incumbent energy producers have an enormous amount of political power, we are concerned that the bills before the legislature are not in the best interest of the taxpayers. 

More energy competition in Texas will lead to larger cost savings for ratepayers. It could also create more jobs as new companies enter the Texas energy market. HB 3995 and SB 1938 would put an end to this by protecting the large incumbent utilities at Texans’ expense. 

These bills should not be hurried through the legislative process in a bid to overturn a competitively awarded contract.  Again, we urge you to oppose HB 3995 and SB 1938.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

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