Wednesday, February 14, 2007

11:00 a.m. or upon adjournment

Senate Chamber






Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Nominations was held on Wednesday, February 14, 2007, in the Senate Chamber at Austin, Texas.







Senator Mike Jackson

Senator Kevin Eltife

Senator Glenn Hegar

Senator Jane Nelson

Senator Robert Nichols

Senator Eliot Shapleigh

Senator Kirk Watson






The chair called the meeting to order at 2:35 p.m.  There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted: 


The following member arrived after the roll was called:  Senator Shapleigh.


Senator Nelson moved adoption of the minutes from the previous hearing held on January 31, 2007; without objection, it was so ordered. 


Chairman Jackson welcomed the members and announced that 34 nominees were on the agenda for the meeting.  The chair called Julie Parsley to the table and gave a brief history of her previous appointments to the Public Utility Commission.


Chairman Jackson recognized Senator Watson to introduce Julie Parsley.  Senator Watson briefly detailed the resume of Julie Parsley, including her educational and employment history and her involvement in professional organizations.  


Chairman Jackson recognized Julie Parsley to share her comments with the committee.


Parsley expressed that it has been an honor to serve on the Public Utility Commission for the last four years.  Of all of the commission's accomplishments, Parsley was most proud of the fact that the members of the commission are able to get along and work well together. 


Chairman Jackson recognized Senator Nelson to ask a question.  Nelson inquired about whether or not the PUC should have a more direct role in the generation application process?


Parsley explained that the PUC does not currently have a direct role in that process. 


Nelson asked about the projected needs for additional electric generation.  In response, Parsley distributed copies of the reserve margin.  Parsley briefly explained the reserve margin chart to the members.


Senator Nelson asked Parsley if she sees a need to further diversify the state's generation production methods.  In response, Parsley explained the ways in which the commission is currently working to diversify those methods.


The chair recognized Senator Eltife to comment.  Senator Eltife expressed his gratitude to Parsley for the work that she has done.  Eltife complimented Parsley's customer-oriented approach and her ability to effectively deliver messages. 


Chairman Jackson recognized Senator Nichols to comment.  Senator Nichols explained that he had been very impressed with Parsley's knowledge at a previous meeting that week.


Chairman Jackson expressed his concerns to Parsley regarding the reserve margin chart.  Parsley responded that the chart may seem alarming, but that they have a viable, efficient market. 


Chairman Jackson asked Parsley if electric generators also have to go through PUC for permitting.  Parsley responded that electric generators only have to go through TCEQ for permitting.


Chairman Jackson questioned Parsley about the average amount of time to secure a permit through TCEQ.  Parsley responded that there is an 18 month deadline that can be extended.  Jackson and Parsley discussed the process of permitting, securing, and constructing electric generators and plants.


Chairman Jackson again expressed his concern regarding the reserve margin.  Parsley explained that she is relatively confident that there will be no danger for the next two summers.  Parsley said that she believes there will be enough generators for a good amount of time.


Chairman Jackson recognized Senator Nelson to inquire about SB 7, the electric restructuring bill.  Nelson asked Parsley if she sees a need for a renewed emphasis on consumer education.  Parsley explained that PUC could have a big role in educating consumers and alleviating their fears and concerns.


Chairman Jackson introduced Barry Smitherman and Paul Hudson, the two other members of the PUC.


Senator Watson moved that the committee vote to approve the nomination of Julie Parsley.  At 2:59 p.m., by a vote of 7 ayes and 0 ayes, the committee voted to recommend Julie Parsley to the full Senate for confirmation.


Senator Nelson moved that the committee vote on the non-appearing nominees to the following entities: 425th Judicial District Court, 426th Judicial District Court, Eighth Administrative Judicial Region, Seventh Administrative Judicial Region, Third Administrative Judicial Region, Commission on State Emergency Communications, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Court of Appeals District, District Attorney for the 97th Judicial District, Fifth Administrative Judicial Region, On-Site Wastewater Treatment Research Council, School Land Board, State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Small Business Industrial Development Corporation, Texas State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.  At 3:00 p.m., by a vote of 7 ayes and 0 nays, the nominees were sent to the full Senate for confirmation.


There being no further business, at 3:00 p.m. Senator Jackson moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair.  Without objection, it was so ordered. 







Senator Mike Jackson, Chair




Katherine Chapman, Clerk