Public Utility Commission
Pecuniary interests making person ineligible for appointment as commissioner, Utilities Code section 12.152(b) divestiture provision does not cure a conflict under section 12.053(b)(1)(B)
Assessment on public utilities, Commission has no authority to adjust rate
Post-employment restrictions applicable to employee of Commission|Post-employment restrictions applicable to employee of Public Utility Commission
Public Utility Commission, authority of to apply for, receive, and expend federal grant funds|Federal grant funds, authority of to apply for, receive, and expend
Restructured wholesale electricity market within Electric Reliability Council of Texas, request for information concerning under Public Information Act|Sanctions against third party for filing with the Office of the Attorney General groundless and frivolous claims of confidentiality to impede public disclosure of information; Act does not provide for
The Utilities Code gives “complete authority” to the Public Utility Commission to adopt and enforce rules relating to reliability and accounting for the production and delivery of electricity among market participants. Specifically, subsection 39.151(d) of the Utilities Code authorizes the Public Utility Commission to oversee and investigate the independent organization (ERCOT) as necessary to ensure ERCOT’s accountability and to ensure that it adequately performs its functions and duties. Within the regulatory timelines, ERCOT can also revise pricing on the wholesale electricity market if certain events occur.
Under the plain language of subsection 39.151(d), the Public Utility Commission has complete authority to act to ensure that ERCOT has accurately accounted for electricity production and delivery among market participants in the region. Such authority likely could be interpreted to allow the Public Utility Commission to order ERCOT to correct prices for wholesale electricity and ancillary services during a specific timeframe.
A court would likely find that such corrective action by the Public Utility Commission under subsection 39.151(d) does not raise constitutional concerns, namely under article 1, sections 16 and 17 of the Texas Constitution, provided that such regulatory action furthers a compelling public interest.
Water Code subsection 12.013(a) authorizes the Public Utility Commission to fix reasonable rates for the furnishing of raw or treated water for any purpose under Water Code chapter 11 or 12. Water Code section 51.305 pertains to specific expenses a water control and improvement district may allocate to certain users. The two provisions do not conflict. Under the plain terms of subsection 51.305(d), when an authorized party disputes a water control and improvement district’s allocation assessments and other payments necessary to cover the maintenance and operating expenses of its water delivery system, a petition filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the sole remedy. Otherwise, the matter is before the Public Utility Commission.
As this office does not resolve factual questions in attorney general opinions, we cannot determine the nature of the underlying dispute and thus cannot answer your question about which entity may have exclusive jurisdiction to hear it.