Executive Director Adam Seidel’s Testimony in House Energy Committee on February 28, 2019 Regarding House File 1683

Thank you Madam Chair and members. My name is Adam Seidel, Executive Director of the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum. MnCEF promotes and educates on opportunities to modernize our Minnesotan energy economy under strong American principals like free and competitive markets, American innovation, national security, and property rights. MnCEF believes House File 1683 is a good opportunity to discuss these important principles. I’d also like to thank Representatives Long, as well as Representative Garofalo for his co-authorship of this bill. I am truly excited to see conservative principles on display in bipartisan legislation.

One consistent American principle is the innovation created by cooperation in the free market. From the telecommunications where we now have supercomputers in our pocket, to agriculture, where American farmers feed the world, Americans joining together to form new ventures and new ideas has led to greater prosperity for our state and our nation. The third party sharing provisions of House File 1683 are consistent with these principles. Giving individual customers of all sizes the power to share their data – or not share their data – with those they see fit has the potential to unleash tremendous creative potential.

Under the top-down, government regulated monopoly utility model, consumers large and small are largely at the mercy of their incumbent utility provider. We know these utilities collect a tremendous amount of data on these customers. But under current practice, customers don’t have a right to know how their personal data is being used to build they prices they pay. All that info is in a mysterious black box over at the Public Utilities Commission. House File 1683 creates a customer service for ratepayers where, at the least, they have the right to know what data about them is being collected and understand how it’s being used to calculate their electric bill. From a price transparency perspective, I am reminded of Representative Baker’s successful effort to inform consumers at the gas pump how much per gallon they are paying in gas taxes.

I appreciate this opportunity to speak to you today about these important principles. Thank you and I will stick around for any questions.

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