S. 1276 (105th): Federal Power Act Amendments of 1997

Oct 08, 1997 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)
Died (Referred to Committee)
Jeff Bingaman
Senator from New Mexico
Read Text »
Last Updated
Oct 08, 1997
15 pages
Related Bills
S. 1273 (106th) was a re-introduction of this bill in a later Congress.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Jun 24, 1999


This bill was introduced on October 8, 1997, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced Oct 08, 1997
Referred to Committee Oct 08, 1997
Full Title

A bill to amend the Federal Power Act, to facilitate the transition to more competitive and efficient electric power markets, and for other purposes.


No summaries available.


Senate Energy and Natural Resources

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Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

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GovTrack’s Bill Summary

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Federal Power Act Amendments of 1997 - Amends the Federal Power Act to include within the purview of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulation of electric energy transmission in interstate commerce the unbundled transmission of electric energy sold at retail (but not bundled electric energy retail sales, or unbundled local distribution service that is subject to State regulation).
Section 2 -
Requires FERC, after consulting with appropriate State regulatory authorities, to determine by rule or order which electric energy transmission and delivery facilities are used for transmission in interstate commerce, subject to FERC jurisdiction, and which are used for local distribution subject to State jurisdiction.
Redefines the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce to include electric energy that will be consumed in a foreign country.
Includes among public utilities subject to FERC jurisdiction over electric energy transmission any electric utility or Federal power marketing agency (including the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)), municipal utilities, and rural electric cooperatives not otherwise subject to FERC. Redefines a transmitting utility to include any public utility, qualifying cogeneration facility, qualifying small power production facility, or Federal power marketing agency that owns or operates electric power transmission facilities used for electric energy sales.
Section 3 -
Authorizes any person generating electric energy for sale (currently only for resale) to apply to FERC for an order requiring a transmitting utility to provide transmission services (currently only wholesale transmission services) to the applicant. Repeals the prohibition against mandatory retail wheeling and sham wholesale transactions. Limits FERC authority to order retail wheeling to sales permitted or required by State law.
Section 4 -
Declares that neither the silence of the Congress nor any Act of the Congress shall be construed to preclude a State or State commission, acting under State law, from requiring an electric utility subject to its jurisdiction to provide unbundled local distribution service to any electric consumer within such State. Requires any electric utility permitted or required by a State to provide unbundled local distribution service to any electric consumer within such State, to do so on a not unduly discriminatory basis.
Preempts any State law, regulation, or order that results in unbundled local distribution service that is unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory, or preferential.
Authorizes a State or State commission to bar an electric utility from selling electric energy to an ultimate consumer using local distribution facilities if such utility or any of its affiliates owns or controls local distribution facilities and is not itself providing unbundled local distribution service.
Declares that nothing in this Act shall prohibit a State or State regulatory authority from assessing a nondiscriminatory charge on unbundled local distribution service, the retail sale of electric energy, or the generation of electric energy for consumption by the generator within the State.
Section 5 -
Expresses the sense of the Congress that:
(1) every electric energy consumer should have access to electric energy at reasonable and affordable rates; and
(2) FERC and the States should ensure that competition in the electric energy business does not result in the loss of service to rural, residential, or low-income consumers.
Requires any State or State commission that requires an electric utility subject to its jurisdiction to provide unbundled local distribution service to:
(1) consider adopting measures to implement such policy; and
(2) report to FERC on any measures so adopted.
Section 6 -
Instructs FERC to establish and enforce national electric reliability standards to ensure the reliability of the electric transmission system. Authorizes FERC to: (1) designate national and regional councils to promote such reliability; (2) incorporate into its own standards the operational standards adopted by such councils; and (3) enforce compliance with such standards on the part of any public or transmitting utility.
Section 7 -
Prescribes procedural guidelines under which FERC may order a transmitting utility to broaden or improve its facilities for the interstate transmission of electric energy.
Section 8 -
Authorizes FERC to order the formation of a regional transmission system, and to order any transmitting utility operating within such region to participate in it. Requires FERC to appoint a regional oversight board to oversee such system operation, and such board to appoint an independent system operator to operate the system.
Section 9 -
Establishes civil penalties for violations of this Act.
Section 10 -
Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to prohibit any State or State authority from barring a State regulated electric utility from recovering the cost of electric energy the utility is required to purchase from a qualifying cogeneration facility or qualifying small power production facility.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

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