Several alternatives have been pitched to prevent Oncor from trimming trees to within 10 feet 4 inches of powerlines.

Burying the powerlines underground is too expensive. Trimming the trees to 6 or 7 feet puts the utility at risk of liability, Oncor says.

But after a meeting with state Sen. John Carona Monday, there’s a new one. Oncor has a plan to test an insulated protective sheath that would require trees to be cut back just 4 feet.

Carona said Monday that Oncor had agreed to less severe pruning of 6 and 7 feet in some areas.

So far, all of this is coming from Carona’s side. Oncor hasn’t made any official announcements regarding changes in pruning practices.

Carona is chair of the Texas Senate’s Business and Commerce Committee, which considers legislation concerning the Public Utility Commision of Texas.

Oncor is regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which is funded by the state and run by commissioners the governor appoints.

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