Section 1 of the act defines a "gas distribution utility" (GDU) as a gas public utility with more than 90,000 retail customers. The bill requires each GDU to file a clean heat plan (plan) with the public utilities commission (PUC). A plan must demonstrate how the GDU will use clean heat resources to meet clean heat targets (targets) established by the act. The targets are a 4% reduction below 2015 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels by 2025 and 22% below 2015 GHG emission levels by 2030.
The PUC will initiate a rule-making proceeding by October 1, 2021, to update demand-side management rules. The PUC will establish a cost cap for each GDU's compliance with its plan. The cost cap is 2.5% of annual gas bills for all of a GDU's full-service customers. The PUC is directed to approve a plan if the PUC finds that doing so is in the public interest.
A municipal GDU must file a plan with the air quality control commission (AQCC) that demonstrates a 4% GHG emission reduction by 2025 and a 22% GHG emission reduction by 2030, both as compared with 2015 levels. Small GDUs may file a plan, which is subject to the cost cap and must contain its own targets.
Section 2 requires the AQCC to initiate a rule-making proceeding by September 1, 2022, to establish protocols for recovered methane that utilities must use in forecasting their emission reductions.
Section 3 directs the oil and gas conservation commission (commission) to conduct a study to evaluate the resources that would be needed to ensure the safe and effective regulation of injection wells used for sequestration of GHG.
Section 4 makes the following appropriations:
- $92,482 and 1.0 FTE is appropriated from the public utilities commission fixed utility fund to the department of regulatory agencies for use by the PUC;
- $199,111 and 1.6 FTE is appropriated from the general fund to the department of public health and environment;
- From reappropriated funds received from the department of public health and environment, $37,000 is appropriated to the office of the governor for use by the office of information technology and $21,268 and 0.1 FTE is appropriated to the department of law; and
- $49,362 and 0.5 FTE is appropriated from the oil and gas conservation and environmental response fund to the department of natural resources for use by the commission.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)