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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Utility regulation. Allows the Indiana utility regulatory commission (IURC) to add to the value of an energy utility's property for ratemaking purposes the value of certain qualified property constructed by the utility to comply with state or federal mandates. Allows an energy utility to recover through a retail rate adjustment mechanism governmentally mandated costs incurred in providing retail energy service. Allows a public utility providing electric or gas service to implement rates proposed by the utility in a petition for a change in its basic rates if the IURC fails to issue an order on the petition within nine months. Requires the utility to refund to customers any difference between the rate implemented and the higher of the rate: (1) finally approved; or (2) previously in effect. Provides that a merger, consolidation, reorganization, or stock transaction involving a utility company may not occur without IURC approval if the transaction will cause 50% or more of the company's voting stock to be held by different interests. Allows the IURC to impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 if a public utility providing specified services or a rural electric membership corporation (REMC) violates any utility law or fails to comply with: (1) a standard of service established by IURC rule; or (2) a rate or service requirement of an IURC order. Allows the IURC to impose an additional penalty of up to $10,000 if the violation or failure demonstrates a disregard by the public utility or REMC of its duty to remedy the violation or failure. Specifies that a suit to recover a penalty imposed by the IURC shall be brought by the attorney general. Expands the eligibility of public utilities that may submit voluntary environmental compliance plans to the IURC to include public utilities subject to any state or federal environmental laws, in addition to public utilities subject to the federal Clean Air Act. Repeals references to the federal Clean Air Act in the provisions concerning environmental compliance plans.