Railroad Commission Adopts Gas Rate Rules

Ignoring opposition from legislators and city officials, the Texas Railroad Commission on Tuesday adopted rule changes sought by CenterPoint Energy that would make it easier for natural gas utilities to raise rates on Texas consumers.

The rules would restrict the ability of cities to challenge proposed natural gas rate increases in the interests of their businesses and residents. The new rules will take effect Sept. 1, 2015, unless the legislature passes a law to block them.

In the last legislative session, two bills similar to the new rules were considered by the House State Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), but the bills never made it out of committee.

At the commission’s meeting on Tuesday, Rep. Jim Keffer (R- Eastland), Chair of the House Committee on Energy Resources, testified in opposition to the rule changes.  Click here to view a video of Chairman Keffer’s testimony.  (Note:  The testimony of a number of city officials follows that of Chairman Keffer on the video.)  

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