H.R. 1533: Energy Regulatory Public Protection Act

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Apr 12, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

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113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1533

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 12, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To establish an Office of Public Advocate within the Department of Justice to provide services and guidance to citizens in dealing with concerns involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Energy Regulatory Public Protection Act .

2.

Findings

The Congress finds that:

(1)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is not adequately informing property owners and local officials on the certificate application approval process.

(2)

The current certificate application approval process at the Commission does not include adequate State and local participation.

(3)

The current certificate application approval process at the Commission does not provide adequate protections for local environmental resources.

(4)

An office of public advocate is necessary to properly represent the interests of property owners and other affected parties during the certificate application approval process, and to properly inform property owners and other parties of their rights during the process, and to provide proper guidance to State and local officials during the process.

3.

Establishment and duties

(a)

Establishment and duties

There is hereby established within the Department of Justice an office to be known as the Office of Public Advocate. The office shall represent the interests of members of the general public affected by regulatory matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, other Commission-related matters before (1) other Federal regulatory agencies, or (2) any court of competent jurisdiction.

(b)

Specific duties

The specific duties of the office are as follows:

(1)

To receive and assess comments from all interested parties with respect to project applications before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. For purposes of this Act, the term interested parties includes but shall not be limited to, individuals, municipalities, counties, States, or any other for-profit or non-profit entity affected by any proposed project for which an application has been filed with the Commission.

(2)

To submit all such relevant and pertinent comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, together with its findings and recommendations, regarding the outcome, terms, and conditions of an application for approval.

(3)

To review and assess applicant compliance with orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and seek full compliance of such orders through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or a court competent jurisdiction, where the applicant fails to comply and such noncompliance is harmful to the health, safety, and welfare of affected parties.

(4)

Within its sole discretion, undertake appeal of any Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order it deems appropriate where the order is harmful to the health, safety, or welfare of affected parties.

(5)

Submit an annual report to the Attorney General, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Congress regarding its actions and activities in the prior year, together with any recommendations for regulatory or statutory changes to more effectively achieve the goals, purposes, and functions of the office and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.