Sec. 16a-23t. Information on wholesale and retail prices of home heating oil.
(a) For purposes of this section, "commissioner" means the Commissioner of Energy
and Environmental Protection.
(b) The commissioner shall collect, monitor and distribute information concerning home heating oil in a manner that will provide transparency of market prices to the public. Not later than one hundred twenty days after October 31, 2005, the commissioner shall provide an opportunity for public comment to determine the manner in which this policy mission will be implemented.
(c) In implementing the provisions of this section, the commissioner shall consult with other relevant agencies of the state. Any ongoing assistance provided by an agency that may result in a material budgetary impact upon the assisting agency shall be provided pursuant to a memorandum of understanding, which shall be negotiated between the commissioner and the subject agency.
(d) In implementing the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner shall collect, or cause to be collected, information on the wholesale and retail prices of home heating oil and shall establish indices of those prices so as to provide transparent market prices to the public. The indices developed pursuant to this subsection shall be transmitted to the public in a manner that provides the greatest possible public access to understandable and current information on a cost-effective basis. On and after December 1, 2005, and not later than April 30, 2006, the indices developed pursuant to this section shall be updated on a weekly basis and posted on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Internet web site.
(e) (1) The commissioner shall monitor and analyze the information collected pursuant to subsection (d) of this section for evidence of market activities that impair the free and fair operation of the home heating oil market. The commissioner shall refer such evidence, together with any other information or recommendations, to such agencies as the commissioner determines may have jurisdiction to provide remedies, including, but not limited to, state, federal or local administrative, regulatory or law enforcement agencies.
(2) The commissioner, in the performance of the commissioner's duties, may summon and examine, under oath, such witnesses, and may direct the production of, and examine or cause to be produced and examined, such books, records, vouchers, memoranda, documents, letters, contracts or other papers in relation to the affairs of any home heating oil seller or distributor at the wholesale or retail level operating in the state as the commissioner may find advisable.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of the general statutes, any information, analysis or work product developed by the commissioner pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not be a public record, as defined in section 4d-33, except as provided in this section. Any such information referred by the commissioner pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection shall become a public record not more than sixty days after the date of a referral unless such law enforcement agency protects such information from disclosure pursuant to law. Any information that the commissioner determines not to refer pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection shall become a public record not more than thirty days after such determination is made.
(4) The commissioner shall notify the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy of every referral of information to other agencies pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, provided the scope of information provided shall be limited pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection. The commissioner, in such notification, shall include recommendations for addressing the conditions identified, including, but not limited to, any recommendations for legislation.
(f) The Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee, the chairperson of the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, and the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, or the commissioner's designee, shall constitute a Home Heating Oil Planning Council to address issues involving the supply, delivery and costs of home heating oil and state policies regarding the future of the state's home heating oil supply. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall convene the first meeting of the council.
(g) The Home Heating Oil Planning Council shall, on an ongoing basis, monitor and analyze the information collected pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, and such other information from other sources as it deems appropriate, for evidence of operational or infrastructure conditions that should be addressed to enhance the reliable, free and fair operation of the state's home heating oil market. Not later than January 1, 2007, and periodically thereafter as it deems appropriate, the council shall submit to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy a report on the status of the state's home heating oil market, including, but not limited to, its recommendations for addressing any negative conditions identified and recommendations for legislation.
(Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-2, S. 12; P.A. 06-196, S. 236; P.A. 11-80, S. 1, 45.)
History: Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-2 effective October 31, 2005; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (e)(2), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 11-80 amended Subsec. (f) by removing reference to chairperson of the Public Utilities Control Authority, or the chairperson's designee, effective July 1, 2011; pursuant to P.A. 11-80, "Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management" and "secretary" were changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection" and "commissioner", respectively, effective July 1, 2011.
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