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US Chamber Endorses Olson Bill to Ensure Electric Grid Reliability

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) today welcomed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's endorsement of his bipartisan legislation, which would allow America's power companies to comply with federal orders to maintain grid reliability during a power emergency without facing lawsuits or penalties for violating potentially conflicting environmental laws. Original co-sponsors of H.R. 4273: Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Lee Terry (R-NE), Gene Green (D-TX), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX).

Under current law, a company or individual can be held liable for violating environmental laws even when they are complying with a federal emergency order to generate power to avoid blackouts. In recent years, these conflicting federal laws have resulted in lawsuits and heavy fines for electricity providers complying with orders.

"The Chamber of Commerce understands the importance of keeping the power on in our communities and not penalizing power producers for complying with federal orders," Rep. Pete Olsonsaid. "I'm pleased that our bill received their endorsement. This legislation has bipartisan support because it simply ensures a common sense solution to protect grid reliability when it is most needed."

Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Executive V.P. Government Affairs said, "H.R. 4273 would fairly protect generation operators from liability for bypassing Federal, State, or local environmental laws or regulations that conflict with a concurrent Federal directive to operate consistent with the public interest to maintain health and safety. This legislation enjoys bipartisan support and the bill's focus enjoys the support of all four sitting commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission."

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