Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
June 15, 2024
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for SB456 - Committee on Utilities

Short Title

Establishing a rebuttable presumption against retirement of fossil fuel-fired electric generating units, requiring the state corporation commission to report on such retirements and extending the timelines for the commission to make a determination regarding rate-making treatment for generating or transmission facilities.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 15, 2024

The Chairperson opened the hearing on SB 456.

Nick Myers gave an overview of the bill and stood for questions.(Attachment 1)

Eric Stafford testified in support of the bill and stated that it would protect ratepayers by ensuring fossil-fuel related facilities, coal or natural gas, are not prematurely closed that could hurt the ability for the state to supply enough generation for the customers within the service territories of those utilities. He stood for questions from the committee. (Attachment 2)

Paul Snider testified in support of the bill and stated that the bill would ensure that the capacity customers have paid for over the years was not going to be prematurely retired principally for ESG reasons.  He stood for questions from the committee. (Attachment 3)

Reagan McCloud testified in support of the bill and stated that reliability was the top priority for the Co-ops, and that bill 456 was a crucial step toward protecting reliability and not taking it for granted. He stood for questions from the committee. (Attachment 4)

David Nickel provided written only testimony in support of the bill (Attachment 5).

Rabbi Moti Rieber testified in opposition to the bill and stated that one of the major contributors to human-caused climate disruption is the production of electricity by coal plants, which also have major health impacts.  This decision puts the legislature in the middle of decisions that should be made by utilities and regulators.  He stood for questions from the committee. (Attachment 6)

Zack Pistora testified in opposition to the bill and stated that the bill was unnecessary because regulators, utilities and regional power pools already consider a robust set of criteria included in this bill before closing plants. He stood for questions from the committee. (Attachment 7)

Jeff McClanahan provided neutral testimony regarding the bill and stated that it was already very difficult for a utility to retire a coal unit early, and that this is a policy decision.  He stood for questions from the committee. (Attachment 8)

Darrin Ives provided neutral testimony regarding the bill and stated that Evergy was in no hurry to accelerate the retirement of their base load reserves and questioned if this bill was needed based on the current environment except to support the processes already ongoing.  He stood for questions from the committee. (Attachment 9)

Ben Postlethwait provided neutral written only testimony regarding the bill (Attachment 10).

The Chairman invited anyone in the audience to speak on the bill.

Randy Eminger, Executive Director of the Energy Policy Network, spoke in support of the bill and stood for questions.

There being no further conferees, the Chairman closed the hearing on SB 456.

Meeting adjourned at 2:22.