Apr 24 2001


U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) is the author of energy legislation passed today by the Senate Banking Committee. The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2001 (PUHCA) was introduced by Senator Shelby earlier this year. The legislation is designed to aid energy consumers by encouraging market competition and eliminating redundant and burdensome regulation.

The legislation repeals the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 and transfers its consumer protection functions from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the state public service commissions. Senator Shelby has introduced this legislation in the last few Congresses and the legislation has been given bipartisan support and passage in the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

"I have introduced this legislation in order to streamline the current regulatory framework," said Shelby. "My bill eliminates burdensome and redundant regulations, without compromising consumer and investor protections. The original PUHCA legislation has served its purpose. Now, 65 years later, the time has come for Congress to bring our energy policy into the current century."

"To meet increasing energy demands, we need to remove the barriers to market competition," added Shelby. "Unnecessary regulations are preventing billions of dollars from being invested in critical energy projects throughout the United States. The bottom line is that we need energy policies that match the realities of the 21st Century."

Senator Shelby's legislation has been recommended by the SEC, in a comprehensive report on PUHCA dated June 1995 and in testimony before the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congresses.