Texas - Oppose HB 3995 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Texas - Oppose HB 3995

April 3, 2019

Texas House of Representatives
State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78768

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the 148,943 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste in Texas, I urge you to oppose HB 3995, which would hurt competition in the energy market.

Texas has twice the energy production of any other state, and electric prices are among the nation’s lowest. Instead of lowering rates even further, HB 3995 would stifle competition for energy transmission and require any non-incumbent energy company to seek permission from the state before offering services in Texas. This legislation would not only apply to any future transmission contracts, it would also overturn competitively-awarded transmission contracts if it takes effect immediately. 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.

HB 3995 is a plain and obvious example of corporate welfare, designed to protect incumbent energy companies at the expense of consumers.   More energy competition means larger cost savings for ratepayers and more jobs, as new companies enter the Texas energy market. A study published by the consulting firm Brattle Group shows utilities could save up to $8 billion nationwide on energy transmission projects over five years by simply opening up transmission projects to competition. The study found that costs grew by an average of 34 percent when large utilities won bids for projects, and were reduced by an average of 40 percent when an independent company won a bid.

This bill should not be hurried through the legislative process in the waning months of the 86th session. Again, I urge you to oppose HB 3995.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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