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House | June 10, 2015 | Committee Room | Public Utilities

Full MP3 Audio File

At this time I call call this Public Utilities meeting to order for June the 10th, 2015 I'd like to recognize the Sergeant-of-arms, Warren Hawkins, [xx] Herris and David [xx] thanks, also we have some great pages with us today, if you will please stand up and ignores everybody, Chris [xx], [xx] great to have you with us and then [xx] Levi McCracken, Delan Melvin. and [xx] thank you for being with us for today, we have one bill on the agenda. Representative McGrady [xx] it is the senate bill 716, [xx] committee substitute to a motion that bring the [xx] substitute before us, motion by Representative [xx] Gardner [xx] all in favor say aye, all opposed ayes have it, Representative McGray. Thank you Mr. Chairman, colleagues. The mounting energy act of 2015 has been introduced to facilitate the conversion of a [xx] power plant in South Balkham, adjoining my county, my district natural gas. Normally you wouldn't about changing the law to allow this to happen but this is sort of a special circumstance because this is one of the cold fire plans that was deemed to be a high priority for a clean up and therefore it was one of the plans that is still generating wet ash and therefore was required to move to dry ash and also had an [xx] removal of the ash from the pond, the duke energy after looking in the issue and with some from Senator [xx] I guess. We decided that the better way to go here actually was to rather than go from whereas to dry ash to move from coal to natural gas and to my knowledge everybody supports what is going on here, it's a win in all respects. We're going to be generating more power and not [xx] to an [xx] the air quality impacts are [xx] better and so we introduced legistlation to allow this to move forward. It does only two things, it first sets up an process for the perfect utility's commission to consider the application to make this conversion, and two it changes those provisions in the Coal Ash Management Act that we passed a year ago to allow them more time since they don't need to move to dry ash more time to remove the ash from the basins that are there. So that's what the bill does the only change between the Senate Bill and what's before you is, the Senate Bill had no provisions for notice or any public hearing, and I felt like that was probably a bad precedent, so we've added back in, provision for public notice and a public hearing that will be held in the Bankim County area and to my knowledge again, the Utilities Commissions staff have worked with us on this, Duke Energy has worked on this, a range of environmental organizations and I believe they're all supportive and particularly supportive or comfortable with the provisions that we've added with respect to public notice and public hearing, and I've actually told the senator that this were being included and the fact that I'm standing up here tells you that he has no problem with what is being put forward. So I would ask you to give the bill a favorable recommendation and I'm certainly available to take any questions. Thank you Representative McGrady. Representative Warren? Just be recognized for

a motion at appropriate time. OK, Representative Bumgardner, any other question from committee member? Representative Hall. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative McGrady thank you I'm sure everyone extremely happy that we're changing from coal to natural gas. The only part that I had a question about was the extra time. I didn't understand exactly what the correlation was between change in the coal to natural gas, and why that would require more time for the removal of the dry ash, or there's some relationship there? Well the plant was deemed to be a high priority in part because it was generating continuing to generate white ash. It is no longer going to be generate it's going to continue to generate white ash, but then it's going to totally stop. The need here is to allow duke to focus on getting the new plant up and not spend in an ordinate amount of time worrying about moving more ash. Now some background and this is the same plant where were also using a large percentage of the ash in a beneficial way related to the Ashville air pod. So they're going to be continuing their efforts to close the coal ash pond or the area where they got It's dry that they're moving at the same time that this is moving forward, but what this basically does is moves this plant out of the core out of the high priority status because we're making this transfer. I hope that's responsive Representative Blackwell. Thank you Mr. Chairman and I've got no problems with the bill. I don't want to do anything to slow it down or derail it, but I am curious about one aspect of it, and that is the expedited process that the Commision is this a case where normally the commission has longer to do the same thing and we're simply directing them to do it in less time so that there will not be any possible delay or is something being done differently in connection with the expedited process that would not normally apply in other what I'll call similar processes? Thank you the former the idea here is consistent with the question Representative Hall had. The idea is to not allow this thing to slow down and to make sure that we continue the clean up on the Colash[sp?] side. The senate bill had no public notice or any provisions there, and so by knocking all of that out frankly you we're expediting the process, but it would just take a lot longer if it went through the normal process and we're instead of prioritising this sought of we are prioritising and this application for this commission representative Haven. Thank you Mr. Chair I just wanted to give a little credit to senator Apodaca and representative McGrady for moving us to a they clean the edges so I shutdown the [xx] plan and move to [xx] I will support the bill and thank you for your work in this. Thank you. Representative Miles this is a quick question for representative McGrady. Representative Miles quick. Representative McGrady listen to introduction fast I was thinking why was the registration needed in order to cause this move but I do commit from covered natural gas at this point but it is not as starning and qualify to mean that section 2 C here pretty much indicates they are moving to natural gas and the reason for the registration is because the statute requirement based on the actually closure of being high priority is my understanding right for the need for legislation. That is right, and in fact, the other piece here again is court fired plants that are generating wet ash and unless we change the law, we are going to be asking them to move to dry ash with almost at the same time table that they are trying to move to natural gas. And so in this case they will move from dry

ash to wet ash to natural gas they will move from wet ash to natural gas. Follow up.  Just one last follow up, in regards to the move to go from coal to natural gas. Just wanted to know why that they didn't decide to go from coal to solar. I don't know the answer to that question but I suspect the natural gas piece Mr. Chairman, I'd like to answer that? To the I suspect the natural gas piece relates in part to the natural gas pipeline that is coming down in the eastern part of the state and one of the realities is there's going to be more natural gas available on the west than we had up to this point. The natural gas option is been on the table for a while but they just didn't have a secure. They weren't confident that they would the natural gas to run the plant when they needed to run it Just one last follow up Follow up Thank you Representative McGrady for that response. This is happening, to do so would it be in whenever the suns sets and what actually happens to power after dark I doubt it Representative Warren, motion Thank you sir, I'd like to this is PCS, right I'd like to make a favorable motion for a PCS for 716 Unfavorment Ladies and gentlemen you heard the motion from chairman Morm, favor of the motion to PCS unfavorable as to original. All those in favor signify raising your hand and saying aye "aye" All opposed. The house carried Thank you We're adjourned.