7. Codification of the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy
: n : 12/16/2008 : MCS / tj LRS2008-4812
SYNOPSIS: This bill would
create the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy as
currently constituted pursuant to Act 2007-150, HJR 152, 2007 Regular
The bill would provide for the
hiring of a staff and the creation of the Legislative Energy Policy
Office to supervise and administer the duties of the committee
pursuant to this bill.
to the development of an integrated and comprehensive state policy on
energy for Alabama; to create the Permanent Joint Legislative
Committee on Energy Policy for the purpose of developing an ongoing
state energy study and energy plan; to provide for the membership of
the committee and the initial committee membership as organized
pursuant to Act 2007-150, HJR 152, 2007 Regular Session; to provide
specific duties of the committee relating to the formulation of the
ongoing state energy plan; to provide for the hiring of a staff and
the creation of the Legislative Energy Policy Office to supervise and
administer the duties of the committee; to provide for the formation,
duties, and reporting of advisory subcommittees; to provide for
legislative assistance for the committee and reimbursement of
committee and subcommittee meeting expenses; and to provide for
specific goals and objectives of the committee and for the reporting
IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
1. The Legislature makes the following findings and statements:
The reduction of the dependence on foreign oil is necessary to
preserve and protect our national security.
Reliable, plentiful, and affordable energy and the effective
distribution of energy are vital to the support and growth of all
sectors of Alabama's economy.
The future energy needs of the state also present unique
opportunities to diversify the state's energy supply and provide new
opportunities for agriculturally based products and Alabama based
clean energy technologies.
Energy derived from agriculturally and forest based products offers
the potential to expand rural and economic development in Alabama.
Increasing the efficiency of existing technology combined with the
development of new technologies, including coal gasification, coal
liquification, advanced coal-based generation, and nuclear power,
should be encouraged as ways of producing more energy with reduced
An integrated and comprehensive state policy on energy is absolutely
necessary to identify, address, and provide for the future energy
needs of the state.
2. The Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy is
created for the purpose of developing the Alabama Energy Plan to
recommend to the Governor and the Legislature courses of action to
address the state's long-term and short-term energy challenges.
3. (a) The committee shall be composed of the following members:
The Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.
The Chair of the House Commerce Committee.
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation, and
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Five members of the Houses of Representatives appointed by the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be
appointees from the House of Representatives to the Energy Council.
Two members of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, both
of whom shall be appointees from the Senate to the Energy Council.
Two members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore of
the Senate, both of whom shall be appointees from the Senate to the
To the extent possible, members of the committee shall reflect the
racial, ethnic, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic
diversity of the state.
The committee shall meet at the call of the chair or a majority of
the members thereof; provided, that the committee shall meet at least
once each four months.
The committee may meet, act, and conduct its business at any place
within this state during the sessions of the Legislature or any
recess thereof, and in the interim period between sessions.
Terms of service on the committee shall coincide with the elected
terms of the serving members. The initial members appointed pursuant
to Act 2007-150, HJR 152, 2007 Regular Session, shall continue to
serve as appointed pursuant to the act provided the member is
qualified under subsection (a).
Beginning in January 2009, to serve in 2009 and 2010 and each 2 years
thereafter, the committee shall elect from among its members a chair
and a vice chair.
4. (a) With the assistance of the director and staff of the
Legislative Energy Policy Office, the committee shall make a
continuous study of the energy supply for the state and make
recommendations for legislation and initiatives that will create the
necessary institutional and regulatory changes to accomplish the
overall goals and objectives of the Alabama Energy Plan in a manner
that benefits the economy and protects the environment.
The Alabama Energy Plan shall be designed to achieve the following
goals and objectives:
The expansion of diverse sources of fuels to be used to meet
Alabama's current and future energy needs through each of the
Encouraging a diverse fuel mix among electric supply generation that
promotes reliability and minimizes negative impacts that would result
from electric power shortages.
Promoting the production and use of bioenergy and clean alternative
energy, including coal gasification and liquification, advanced
coal-based generation, and nuclear power.
Promoting the production and use of bioenergy from agriculturally and
forest based products.
Broadening the diversity and decreasing the negative environmental
impact of fuels that meet Alabama's transportation needs.
Expanding electric generation infrastructure utilizing clean
distributed energy resources, including, but not limited to, natural
gas, propane, fuel cells, micro-turbines, combined heat and power and
wind energy to the extent that these technologies provide cost
effective and reliable energy sources.
The development of conservation programs through each of the
Identifying and promoting proven fuel and oil conservation
technologies that improve fuel efficiencies in private fleets and
Identifying and promoting business and residential energy use
Increasing the usage of energy efficient products and clean energy
sources through the state procurement process.
Incorporating energy efficiency and conservation into the design and
operation of state buildings.
Encouraging producers of clean energy technologies and producers of
energy efficient products to locate their business operations in
Alabama, through each of the following methods:
Expanding the market for renewable and alternative energy
technologies in Alabama.
Increasing the number of producers and developers of clean energy
technologies located in Alabama.
Adopting incentives for new and existing facilities in Alabama that
produce energy from alternative and renewable resources.
The Alabama Energy Plan shall include the following for each goal and
An identification of actions already in process.
A prioritized list of recommended non-legislative action items.
Recommended legislative proposals.
An identification of areas on which further evaluation or research is
The committee shall submit its recommendations by the fifth
legislative day of the 2010 Regular Session and each regular session
thereafter. The committee may make additional recommendations and
submit studies and reports to the Legislature at any time.
The committee is authorized to receive federal and private grants,
gifts, appropriations, and other public and private funds related to
energy policies and initiatives.
The committee may employ a director and provide for a Legislative
Energy Policy Office. The director shall serve at the pleasure of the
committee and shall be responsible directly to the committee for the
general supervision and execution of the work of the committee. The
committee shall fix the compensation of the director and staff.
Compensation for the director and staff shall be paid from funds
appropriated to the committee for that purpose. The committee shall
further designate the duties of the director and staff.
The committee may maintain an office facility in a location in
Montgomery, Alabama, for the use of the director and staff of the
Legislative Energy Policy Office and may acquire furniture,
equipment, and supplies needed for the operation of the office.
The committee may employ personnel to staff the Legislative Energy
Policy Office and may enter contracts for services needed by the
committee. Personnel and contracted service providers and consultants
may include, but not be limited to, technical advisors on such issues
as alternative energy technology, renewable energy technology,
engineering, environmental technology, and energy conservation, as
well as administrative, supervisory, and professional personnel as
necessary to carry out the goals, objectives, and duties of the
committee and the office.
5. (a) The chair and vice chair of the committee shall jointly create
and appoint members to advisory subcommittees, as provided in
subsection (b), which shall include members of the committee,
representatives from governmental agencies, and members of the public
with interest and expertise in the objectives of the committee. The
Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries,
or his or her designee, shall be a member of each advisory
subcommittee created. Each advisory subcommittee shall be cochaired
by one legislative member of the advisory committee and one private
sector member or governmental entity member having significant
knowledge, experience, and expertise in the subject or subjects the
subcommittee is responsible for studying. The Alabama Department of
Economic and Community Affairs may make recommendations to the chair
and vice chair of the committee for the appointment of members to
each advisory subcommittee.
The advisory subcommittees of the committee shall be as follows:
Biofuels and Alternative Fuels Subcommittee.
Efficiency and Conservation Subcommittee.
Environmental Issues Subcommittee.
Infrastructure and Expansion Subcommittee.
Renewal Power and Electric Generation Subcommittee.
Research and Development Subcommittee.
Technology and Communications Subcommittee.
6. The Secretary of the Senate, the Clerk of the House of
Representatives, and the advisory subcommittees created herein shall
provide any assistance as may be necessary at the committee's
request. Each legislative member of the committee and each
legislative member of a subcommittee shall be entitled to his or her
regular legislative compensation, his or her per diem, and travel
expenses for each day he or she attends a meeting of the committee or
a subcommittee which shall be paid out of any funds appropriated for
the use of the Legislature upon warrants drawn by the state
Comptroller, upon requisitions signed by the committee's chair;
provided however, that legislative members shall not receive
additional legislative compensation or per diem when the Legislature
is in session or if a member is being paid any other payments on the
same dates for attendance on other state business. Each
non-legislative member of the committee and subcommittees may be
reimbursed for expenses of attending meetings of the committee and
subcommittees in accordance with the policies of the respective group
or organization the member represents.
7. Annual expenses and compensation of the committee from state funds
shall not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per fiscal year.
8. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third
month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its
otherwise becoming law.