SENATE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

 

February 8, 2005                                                                                                     Hearing Room B

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                      Tapes 18 - 19

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Rick Metsger, Chair

                                                Sen. Bruce Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson

           

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Theresa Van Winkle, Committee Administrator

James Goulding, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:                    

                                                SB 158 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 81 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 84 – Public Hearing                                                         

                                                SB 171 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 18, A

003

Chair Metsger

Calls the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.  Opens public hearing on SB 158.

SB 158 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Peter Threlkel

Corporation Division Director, Office of the Secretary of State.  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 158 (EXHIBIT A). 

035

Threlkel

Discusses positive feedback from various groups on the proposed legislation.

060

Chair Metsger

Inquires how long he has held his current position.

063

Threlkel

Relates he has been there three years.

065

Chair Metsger

Wonders about non profits groups that are covered.  Asks if United Way and Providence Health System are covered.

070

Threlkel

Answers they are covered.

073

Chair Metsger

Asks if they could differentiate the types of groups that would not be burdened by the fee.

075

Threlkel

Replies there are three classifications for non-profit groups.

085

Chair Metsger

Asks if this has been anticipated in the Governor’s budget

087

Threlkel

Responds that it is not.

090

Chair Metsger

Inquires if the bill has been through the Ways and Means process.

093

Threlkel

States that a hearing is not scheduled until late February.

095

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Questions if a non-profit organization could waive the fee if it is something they cannot afford.

097

Threlkel

Offers that on a case by case basis it is something that can be done.

100

Sen. Atkinson

Disagrees with some of the reasoning for the bill.  Inquires why they aren’t including small businesses in this measure. 

115

Threlkel

States it is something they had considered.  Replies they have heard from a number of small businesses, and that there was a lot of opposition to a fee increase.  Explains that they decided to address non-profit businesses first.

140

Sen. Atkinson

Feels that to be fair they need to also lower fees for small businesses.  Suggests an amendment to add small businesses into the bill.

145

Threlkel

Offers that is a possibility.

147

Sen. Atkinson

States that he will get an amendment drafted.

150

Sen. B. Starr

References 2003 session bill HB 3656 essentially changed the fee from an administrative fund to a tax increase to support the general fund.

165

Threlkel

Concurs that is correct.

167

Sen. B. Starr

Observes the Secretary of State has received a lot of negative reactions from non profit groups over the fee increase and that is why this bill is being proposed.

170

Threlkel

Agrees that is the case.

175

Chair Metsger

Closes public hearing on SB 158.  Opens a public hearing on SB 81.

SB 81 – PUBLIC HEARING

180

Lee Beyer

Chair, Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  Submits and presents his written testimony in favor of SB 81 (EXHIBIT B).

210

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Asks for a specific example where this issue would occur.

225

Beyer

Explains that a large industrial user could cut back usage during a peak time.

230

Sen. B. Starr

Asks if this could apply to both residential and commercial users.

233

Beyer

Agrees it could.

235

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Wonders how feasible that aspect of the program would be.

237

Beyer

Notes there is potential for it being successful.

245

Chair Metsger

Closes public hearing on SB 81.  Opens public hearing on SB 84.

SB 84 – PUBLIC HEARING

250

Beyer

Gives testimony in favor of SB 84.  Explains the purpose of the bill and its intended effect.

280

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Offers that he is working to save users money.

285

Beyer

Replies that it provides options and perhaps saves some money.  Offers that this will help to diversify the system.  Feels they are small changes, but moving in the right direction.

295

Chair Metsger

Asks if there are possible negative ramifications.

300

Beyer

Responds that there are none that he knows of.

310

Sara Chieffo

Legislative Assistant, Senator Shields.  Presents testimony on behalf of Senator Frank Shields.  Discusses a net metering proposal being drafted by Sen. Shields and how it differs from SB 84.  Defers to industry experts seated with her.

335

Jeff Bissonnette

Fair and Clean Energy Coalition.  Discusses the original 1999 net metering bill and the need to amend it to compensate for the technology currently available.

365

Jon Miller

Executive Director, Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association.  States they do not oppose SB 84, but wish to have a broader discussion on the matter.  Feels there is a problem with the megawatt limitations imposed.

400

Chair Metsger

Points out an issue he has in the bill as written.  Asks if they would like to define the bill more specifically in regards to increasing the limit.

410

Jon Miller

Feels they would like to see the PUC being able to raise the maximum limit but would like to see the minimum level set higher.

420

Chair Metsger

Asks about the effects on small users.

423

Jon Miller

Replies there would be no effect.

425

Bissonnette

Advises that it would be up to the individual to decide what form of power generation they want to use or if they want to connect to the power grid.

TAPE 19, A

005

Bissonnette

Continues discussing improvements in technology and the need to make statute changes to keep up.

025

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Asks if a privately owned utility would be reluctant to endorse net metering as opposed to a publicly owned utility.

030

Jon Miller

Answers that decreasing the revenue of a utility by using an alternative source would not be an issue.  Points out there might be other issues.

037

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Inquires what those other issues might be.

040

Jon Miller

Discusses a scenario where an individual installs an overpowered energy source that exceeds their needs.  Notes net metering is only to offset individual energy use, not to create independent power users.

045

Chair Metsger

Thanks him for his testimony.

050

Shawn Miller

Pacific Corporation.  Testifies in favor of SB 84.  Recognizes the benefits of encouraging energy conservation.  Talks about a Southern Oregon Pepsi Cola plant that worked with the PUC to increase its net metering limit.

070

Teresa Miller

Portland General Electric (PGE).  Supports the bill and asks that they move it forward.

080

Chair Metsger

Discusses the importance of considering possible changes to the bill before moving it forward.  Closes Public Hearing on SB 84.  Opens a public hearing on SB 171.

SB 171 – PUBLIC HEARING

095

Lee Beyer

Testifies in favor of SB 171, presenting written testimony (EXHIBIT C).

110

Chair Metsger

Closes public hearing on SB 171.  Adjourns the meeting at 1:44 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 158, Written testimony, Peter Threlkel, 8 pp                
  2. SB 81, Written testimony, Lee Beyer, 1 p
  3. SB 171, Written testimony, Lee Beyer, 1 p