wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > HB 2173 > Original Bill

HB 2173 - Natural gas utilities/OPMA


Section 1

The climate commitment act requires natural gas utilities to obtain greenhouse gas allowances to offset a portion of emissions. Because the allowance auctions must be carefully regulated to guard against market interference, utilities are strictly prohibited from disclosing any information about how they plan to participate in a specific auction. Investor-owned natural gas utilities, which are governed by a private board of directors, are able to keep this information confidential. In contrast, publicly owned natural gas utilities are overseen by the elected city council and are therefore governed by the open public meetings act, which requires that deliberations be conducted in public. Managers of publicly owned natural gas utilities face a conflict between the mandates of the climate commitment act to keep greenhouse gas allowance auction bidding information confidential, and the open public meetings act which requires public decision making. This act allows the governing body of a public owned natural gas utility to meet in executive session to consider the information necessary to comply with the climate commitment act's protection of all information necessary to participate in the greenhouse gas allowance market.

Section 2

(1) Nothing contained in this chapter may be construed to prevent a governing body from holding an executive session during a regular or special meeting:

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