< Back to H.R. 1101 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2001

This bill was introduced on March 20, 2001, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Mar 20, 2001 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 1101 IH

107th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1101

To repeal the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, to enact the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1999, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 20, 2001

Mr. PICKERING (for himself, Mr. TOWNS, Mr. TAUZIN, Mr. STEARNS, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. WICKER, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. MURTHA, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. SCARBOROUGH, Mr. BOYD, Mr. TERRY, Mr. THORNBERRY, Mr. MCCRERY, Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania, Mr. NORWOOD, and Mr. YOUNG of Alaska) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


A BILL

To repeal the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, to enact the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1999, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2001’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--

      (1) the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 was intended to facilitate the work of Federal and State regulators by placing certain constraints on the activities of holding company systems;

      (2) developments since 1935, including changes in other regulation and in the electric and gas industries, have called into question the continued relevance of the model of regulation established by that Act;

      (3) there is a continuing need for limited Federal and State regulation in order to ensure the rate protection of utility customers; and

      (4) limited Federal regulation is necessary to supplement the work of State commissions for the continued rate protection of electric and gas utility customers.

    (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to eliminate unnecessary regulation, yet continue to provide for consumer protection by facilitating existing rate regulatory authority through improved Federal and State commission access to books and records of all companies in a holding company system, to the extent that such information is relevant to rates paid by utility customers, while affording companies the flexibility required to compete in the energy markets; and

      (2) to address protection of electric and gas utility customers by providing for Federal and State access to books and records of all companies in a holding company system that are relevant to utility rates.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) The term ‘affiliate’ of a company means any company 5 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of which are owned, controlled, or held with power to vote, directly or indirectly, by such company.

      (2) The term ‘associate company’ of a company means any company in the same holding company system with such company.

      (3) the term ‘Commission’ means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

      (4) The term ‘company’ means a corporation, partnership, association, joint stock company, business trust, or any organized group of persons, whether incorporated or not, or a receiver, trustee, or other liquidating agent of any of the foregoing.

      (5) The term ‘electric utility company’ means any company that owns or operates facilities used for the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy for sale.

      (6) The terms ‘exempt wholesale generator’ and ‘foreign utility company’ have the same meanings as in sections 32 and 33, respectively, of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, as those sections existed on the day before the effective date of this Act.

      (7) The term ‘gas utility company’ means any company that owns or operates facilities used for distribution at retail (other than the distribution only in enclosed portable containers or distribution to tenants or employees of the company operating such facilities for their own use and not for resale) of natural or manufactured gas for heat, light, or power.

      (8) The term ‘holding company’ means--

        (A) any company that directly or indirectly owns, controls, or holds, with power to vote, 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of a public utility company or of a holding company of any public utility company; and

        (B) any person, determined by the Commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, to exercise directly or indirectly (either alone or pursuant to an arrangement or understanding with one or more persons) such a controlling influence over the management or policies of any public utility company or holding company as to make it necessary or appropriate for the rate protection of utility customers with respect to rates that such person be subject to the obligations, duties, and liabilities imposed by this Act upon holding companies.

      (9) The term ‘holding company system’ means a holding company, together with its subsidiary companies.

      (10) The term ‘jurisdictional rates’ means rates established by the Commission for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce, the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce, the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, and the sale in interstate commerce of natural gas for resale for ultimate public consumption for domestic, commercial, industrial, or any other use.

      (11) The term ‘natural gas company’ means a person engaged in the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce or the sale of such gas in interstate commerce for resale.

      (12) The term ‘person’ means an individual or company.

      (13) The term ‘public utility’ means any person who owns or operates facilities used for transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce or sales of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce.

      (14) The term ‘public utility company’ means an electric utility company or a gas utility company.

      (15) The term ‘State commission’ means any commission, board, agency, or officer, by whatever name designated, of a State, municipality, or other political subdivision of a State that, under the laws of such State, has jurisdiction to regulate public utility companies.

      (16) The term ‘subsidiary company’ of a holding company means--

        (A) any company, 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of which are directly or indirectly owned, controlled, or held with power to vote, by such holding company; and

        (B) any person, the management or policies of which the Commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines to be subject to a controlling influence, directly or indirectly, by such holding company (either alone or pursuant to an arrangement or understanding with one or more other persons) so as to make it necessary for the rate protection of utility customers with respect to rates that such person be subject to the obligations, duties, and liabilities imposed by this Act upon subsidiary companies of holding companies.

      (17) The term ‘voting security’ means any security presently entitling the owner or holder thereof to vote in the direction or management of the affairs of a company.

SEC. 4. REPEAL OF THE PUBLIC UTILITY HOLDING COMPANY ACT OF 1935.

    The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (15 U.S.C. 79a et seq.) is repealed, effective 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. FEDERAL ACCESS TO BOOKS AND RECORDS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Each holding company and each associate company thereof shall maintain, and shall make available to the Commission, such books, accounts, memoranda, and other records as the Commission deems to be relevant to costs incurred by a public utility or natural gas company that is an associate company of such holding company and necessary or appropriate for the protection of utility customers with respect to jurisdictional rates for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce, the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce, the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, and the sale in interstate commerce of natural gas for resale for ultimate public consumption for domestic, commercial, industrial, or any other use.

    (b) AFFILIATE COMPANIES- Each affiliate of a holding company or of any subsidiary company of a holding company shall maintain, and make available to the Commission, such books, accounts, memoranda, and other records with respect to any transaction with another affiliate, as the Commission deems to be relevant to costs incurred by a public utility or natural gas company that is an associate company of such holding company and necessary or appropriate for the protection of utility customers with respect to jurisdictional rates.

    (c) HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEMS- The Commission may examine the books, accounts, memoranda, and other records of any company in a holding company system, or any affiliate thereof, as the Commission deems to be relevant to costs incurred by a public utility or natural gas company within such holding company system and necessary or appropriate for the protection of utility customers with respect to jurisdictional rates.

    (d) CONFIDENTIALITY- No member, officer, or employee of the Commission shall divulge any fact or information that may come to his or her knowledge during the course of examination of books, accounts, memoranda, or other records as provided in this section, except as may be directed by the Commission or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

SEC. 6. STATE ACCESS TO BOOKS AND RECORDS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Upon the written request of a State commission having jurisdiction to regulate a public utility company in a holding company system, and subject to such terms and conditions as may be necessary and appropriate to safeguard against unwarranted disclosure to the public of any trade secrets or sensitive commercial information, a holding company or its associate company or affiliate thereof, wherever located, shall produce for inspection books, accounts, memoranda, and other records that--

      (1) have been identified in reasonable detail in a proceeding before the State commission;

      (2) the State commission deems are relevant to costs incurred by such public utility company; and

      (3) are necessary for the effective discharge of the responsibilities of the State commission with respect to such proceeding.

    (b) EFFECT ON STATE LAW- Nothing in this section shall preempt applicable State law concerning the provision of books, records, or any other information, or in any way limit the rights of any State to obtain books, records, or any other information under Federal law, contract, or otherwise.

    (c) COURT JURISDICTION- Any United States district court located in the State in which the State commission referred to in subsection (a) is located shall have jurisdiction to enforce compliance with this section.

SEC. 7. EXEMPTION AUTHORITY.

    (a) RULEMAKING- Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate a final rule to exempt from the requirements of section 5 any person that is a holding company, solely with respect to one or more--

      (1) qualifying facilities under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978;

      (2) exempt wholesale generators; or

      (3) foreign utility companies.

    (b) OTHER AUTHORITY- If, upon application or upon its own motion, the Commission finds that the books, records, accounts, memoranda, and other records of any person are not relevant to the jurisdictional rates of a public utility company, or if the Commission finds that any class of transactions is not relevant to the jurisdictional rates of a public utility company, the Commission shall exempt such person or transaction from the requirements of section 5.

SEC. 8. AFFILIATE TRANSACTIONS.

    Nothing in this Act shall preclude the Commission or a State commission from exercising its jurisdiction under otherwise applicable law to determine whether a public utility company may recover in rates any costs of an activity performed by an associate company, or any costs of goods or services acquired by such public utility company from an associate company.

SEC. 9. APPLICABILITY.

    No provision of this Act shall apply to, or be deemed to include--

      (1) the United States;

      (2) a State or any political subdivision of a State;

      (3) any foreign governmental authority not operating in the United States;

      (4) any agency, authority, or instrumentality of any entity referred to in paragraph (1), (2), or (3); or

      (5) any officer, agent, or employee of any entity referred to in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) acting as such in the course of his or her official duty.

SEC. 10. EFFECT ON OTHER REGULATIONS.

    Nothing in this Act precludes the Commission or a State commission from exercising its jurisdiction under otherwise applicable law to protect utility customers.

SEC. 11. ENFORCEMENT.

    The Commission shall have the same powers as set forth in sections 306 through 317 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 825d-825p) to enforce the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 12. SAVINGS PROVISIONS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Nothing in this Act prohibits a person from engaging in or continuing to engage in activities or transactions in which it is legally engaged or authorized to engage on the effective date of this Act, if that person continues to comply with the terms of any such authorization, whether by rule or by order.

    (b) EFFECT ON OTHER COMMISSION AUTHORITY- Nothing in this Act limits the authority of the Commission under the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.) (including section 301 of that Act) or the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.) (including section 8 of that Act).

SEC. 13. IMPLEMENTATION.

    Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall--

      (1) promulgate such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to implement this Act; and

      (2) submit to the Congress detailed recommendations on technical and conforming amendments to Federal law necessary to carry out this Act and the amendments made by this Act.

SEC. 14. TRANSFER OF RESOURCES.

    All books and records that relate primarily to the functions transferred to the Commission under this Act shall be transferred from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Commission.

SEC. 15. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act shall take effect 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 16. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such funds as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

SEC. 17. CONFORMING AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL POWER ACT.

    Section 318 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 825q) is repealed.