Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., in his new role as chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Securities and Investment, will be holding a hearing next week to explore the effect of a law passed in 1935 on today's sky high energy prices.
To help him in the search, Enzi has invited Wayne Brunetti, the CEO and President of Xcell Energy, the company that acquired Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power. Brunetti is set to express his thoughts on the Public Utility Holding Act of 1935 and improvements that could be made at the hearing, which is scheduled for March 29 at 10 a.m. in Room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Enzi said Cheyenne residents are being hit hard by high energy prices.
"Are people paying more for their electricity, more to heat their homes during this cold winter because of a 1930s era law that discourages much needed investment in utility infrastructure? We'll be exploring this question and possible ways to improve the grim situation being endured by many Americans who are faced with utility rate increases that are extreme," said Enzi. "We are feeling the ill effects caused by lack of a national energy policy and we must consider all the options available to us and act soon to improve the situation."
One option may be to rescind the Public Utility Holding Act of 1935 and bolster oversight of public utility holding companies by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state agencies.
Hearing participants will discuss S. 206, The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2001. The bill was introduced in January and is designed to eliminate unnecessary regulation, which would decrease costs, yet the bill also seeks to maintain consumer protections.
In addition to Brunetti, scheduled hearing witnesses include Isaac C. Hunt, Jr., Commissioner of the Securities Exchange Commission, Cynthia A. Marlette, Deputy General Counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, James E. Rogers CEO Cinergy Corp. and Charles Acquard, Executive Director of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA).