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Texas Senate passes bill to recoup $5.1B in energy charges

FILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, file photo shows power lines in Houston. When an unusually heavy winter storm blanketed much of Texas with snow, knocking out electricity to millions of homes and leaving many struggling to find clean water, one sector of the population was particularly vulnerable: inmates in Houston at the state's largest county jail. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

FILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, file photo shows power lines in Houston. When an unusually heavy winter storm blanketed much of Texas with snow, knocking out electricity to millions of homes and leaving many struggling to find clean water, one sector of the population was particularly vulnerable: inmates in Houston at the state's largest county jail. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

FILE – This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, file photo shows power lines in Houston. When an unusually heavy winter storm blanketed much of Texas with snow, electricity was knocked out for millions of homes and leaving many struggling to find clean water. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:24 AM PT – Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Texas Senate passed a bill that could quickly authorize the reversal of more than $5 billion in potentially erroneous overcharges. The legislation, passed Monday, orders the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to correct the prices of wholesale power and services sold during last month’s winter storm.

The storm increased normal power fees by nearly 10 times to about $47 billion. So far, the costs have prompted three power companies to seek bankruptcy. It has also sparked a battle between lawmakers and the state’s power regulator over the handling of the crisis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) labeled the bill an “emergency legislative item” while reconvening a Senate session that was technically adjourned Thursday.

Under the proposed provisions, ERCOT would have to make any changes to its pricing by March 20. The bill now heads to the Texas House.

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