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State Senators Question Electricity Pricing

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Dark clouds provide a backdrop for power lines. (credit: David McNew/Newsmakers)

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AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas Senate’s Natural Resources Committee has called the Public Utility Commission to talk about the pricing of electricity.

Committee Chairman Troy Fraser called commissioner to testify Monday amid reports it could change the wholesale electricity market.

Commissioners have long debated how to make sure Texas has enough electricity. Demand is growing, but generators say prices are too low to make investments in new equipment worthwhile.

Some experts suggest raising prices, while others want Texas to pay generators to keep standby capacity available when demand peaks, or equipment shuts down unexpectedly.

Fraser helped design the current market that only pays when electricity is bought. He’s been critical of paying generators to keep reserves.

Some utilities also oppose a capacity market, saying it could cost consumers $4 billion a year.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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