Special Subcommittee on Energy

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 1st Meeting

of the 2003 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> June 20, 2003

 

The<MeetNo2> first meeting of the Special Subcommittee on Energy was held on<Day> Friday,<MeetMDY2> June 20, 2003, at<MeetTime> 10:00 a.m., in<Room> Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Robert Stivers and Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chairs, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Robert Stivers, Co-Chair; Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Charlie Borders, David Boswell, Ernie Harris, Paul Herron Jr, Alice Kerr, Vernie McGaha, and Joey Pendleton; Representatives Rocky Adkins, Eddie Ballard, Carolyn Belcher, James Bruce, Buddy Buckingham, Dwight Butler, Bob DeWeese, J. R. Gray, Thomas Kerr, Lonnie Napier, Fred Nesler, Charles Walton, and Brent Yonts.

 

Guests:† Kip Bowmar and Rebecca Brangers, Kentucky Association for Community Action; Glenna Reed, Rosanne Barkley, and Patti Glover, Division of Family Support; Tom Dorman, Public Service Commission; Eric Gregory, East Kentucky Power; Bob Russell and Greg Pauley, American Electric Power; John Davies, Division of Energy; and Bryan Little, PJM Interconnection.

 

LRC Staff:† D.Todd Littlefield, Tanya Monsanto, and Sheri Mahan.

 

Senator Stivers and Representative Pullin welcomed the new members and stated briefly their thoughts regarding the direction and purpose of the Special Subcommittee on Energy.

 

Mr. Kip Bowmar of the Kentucky Association for Community Action and Ms. Glenna Reed of the Division of Family Support gave an abbreviated overview of the changes in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant application. Senator Boswell moved that the application be approved.† Second by Senator Herron.† The† LIHEAP Block Grant Application was approved by roll call vote (17 yes, 0 No, 0 Pass).

 

Next, Mr. Tom Dorman, Executive Director of the Public Service Commission, explained the Commissionís reorganization plan for Executive Order 2003-513.† He stated that the Division of Administrative Services would be eliminated and all those functions would now fall within the office of the Executive Director.† He stated that the Division of the General Counsel will be divided into two separate branches, an Electricity and Telecommunications branch, and a Gas, Water, and Sewer branch.† This is to foster greater specialization and concentration of expertise in these areas.† Finally, the Division of Research will be eliminated and its employees will be reassigned to Filings and Financial Analysis.†

 

Representative Napier and Representative Gray asked Mr. Dorman if the Commission is monitoring the Alltel labor situation and the events surrounding the strike.† Mr. Dorman replied that the Commission is staying informed of the situation.† The Public Service Commission is usually concerned only with quality-of-service issues, however, the Alltel acquisition approval contained some labor stipulations.

 

Senator Boswell moved that the reorganization plan be approved by rollcall vote.† Second by Representative Yonts.† Motion to approve the reorganization plan for Executive Order 2003-513 carried (22 yes, 0 no, 0 passed).

 

Mr.† Dorman then stated that the Commission is currently monitoring natural gas prices and that the committee should expect significant price increases in the coming winter months. Senator Stivers asked Mr. Dorman to keep the committee updated on the situation and to inform the committee as to how they could be of assistance to the Commission in the future.

 

†Finally, the committee discussed potential agenda items for upcoming meetings. Possible items mentioned by committee members included merchant power plants, current status of the coal industry, electricity deregulation, coal gasification, coalbed methane production and ownership, clean coal technologies, petroleum coke usage, natural gas prices, and alternative fuels.

 

Senator Stivers and Representative Pullin thanked those who testified and stated that the committee would be informed by staff regarding the next meeting.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.e stateH