Kansas’ Senators introduce bill to provide stable energy rates, reliable power

Kansas’ U.S. Senators have teamed up to introduce a bill that would provide stable energy rates and reliable power to all Kansans.
Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 1:50 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas’ U.S. Senators have teamed up to introduce a bill that would provide stable energy rates and reliable power to all Kansans, as well as others in the Southwestern power pool.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced on Friday, April 28, that he and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) introduced legislation that would provide stable energy rates and a reliable grid to states in the Southwestern Power Administration - including Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

“It is critical that Kansans have access to reliable electricity at stable rates, especially during extreme and dangerous weather,” Moran said. “This legislation will provide funding stability that will allow energy providers to make needed infrastructure improvements and prevent Kansans from suffering mass power outages.”

Moran indicated that the Southwestern Power Administration Fund Establishment Act would give the SWPA the jurisdiction to operate on a self-funding, revolving U.S. Department of Treasury fund to help provide long-term stability. This would allow the SWPA more stable funds in order to lower customer rates which can be volatile due to market demand and weather.

“At a time of economic uncertainty and skyrocketing inflation, I am proud to work with Senator Moran on legislation that will drive down energy rates for consumers,” Marshall said. “Kansans depend on reliable and affordable power, especially our Ag producers, who are already facing worsening drought conditions across the state. This bill will help provide certainty by delivering stable and affordable power to consumers while improving our power grid infrastructure.”

Furthermore, the Senator said the legislation would provide the SWPA more clarity to help plan long-term infrastructure improvements and power replacement. It will also allow it to avoid drastic and unnecessary spikes in power rates charged to wholesale customers in an extreme or multi-year regional drought situation.

Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. and its member co-ops have strongly supported the Southwestern Power Fund Establishment Act for its ability to provide appropriated dollars that will improve grid reliability while helping to stabilize rates,” said Lee Tafanelli, CEO of Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. “We thank our home state Sens. Moran and Marshall for bringing forward legislation that will have a positive impact on our rural electric cooperatives and their consumer-members.”

Moran noted that the legislation is supported by the Kansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., Kansas Municipal Utilities, Southwestern Power Resources Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and American Public Power Association.

“Federal hydropower is a reliably renewable generation resource,” said Nicki Fuller, Executive Director of the Southwestern Power Resources Association. “This legislation recognizes the value of protecting that resource throughout the six-state region, making sure that these important assets are maintained. This legislation would go a long way toward ensuring grid reliability and affordably throughout the region for millions of homes, farms and small businesses. I thank Sens. Moran and Marshall for introducing this important bill that represents good business sense.”

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.