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Senate Bill 3 – Overhauling and Increasing Oversight of the Texas Utility Market

March 29, 2021

Senate Bill 3 – Overhauling and Increasing Oversight of the Texas Utility Market

Last month’s winter storm resulted in extended blackouts, loss of life, damaged property, and a serious breakdown of public services. Today, the Texas Senate unanimously supported Senate Bill 3, an overhaul and increased oversight of the Texas Utility Market.

Many failures led to last month’s power outages, and this legislation addresses those failures by ensuring a resilient grid, mandating weatherization of generators, facilities, and pipelines, increases oversight and penalties, all while maintaining a competitive energy market for Texas ratepayers.

The systematic changes in Senate Bill 3 ensure the state is better prepared, and you are better protected in the future – whether a polar vortex or prolonged 100+ degree days in the summer.

The bill provides the Texas Energy Reliability Council additional oversight ensuring that the state’s natural gas and electric reliability needs are met. I also added a provision to establish a statewide power outage alert within the Texas Department of Emergency Management so you will be notified and kept informed in the event of potential outages. This is included in SB 3, but also in separate legislation to ensure Texans have a valuable, potentially life-saving communication tool. Today was a bold first step, but the work continues so that Texas remains the most competitive state in the nation.