Looks like we’ll be working hard for the next several months on the TXU coal power plant issue. Governor Perry’s attempt at “fast-tracking” the decisions to help move the projects along hit a stumbling block today when state judges agreed to delay the hearings after the state of Oklahoma and the Chickisaw Nation, who just recently joined the campaigns against the TXU bid, requested more time to prepare. All of this happened after a state district judge “ruled that Gov. Rick Perry overstepped his authority by ordering the State Office of Administrative Hearings to expedite the process by which residents can challenge state permits.”
TXU attorney’s were furious over the decision and called it “ludicrous” that groups weren’t ready to go on the said date. Um…hey folks, welcome to our legal system. Its slow but its in the interest of having a fair decision in the end. Why would TXU be upset by a speedbump like this slowing down their grand coal project? Inside the Texas Captiol has a great explanation of why.
McBlogger speaks to what regulation really means and what nationalizing TXU would do to the Texas energy market. Something I didn’t know, “…TXU, with nothing but advantages, can’t manage to outperform Austin Energy, a small municipal utility?” Ouch. So much for deregulation.
And Texas Monthly’s Executive Editor Paul Burka brings up some key points about the recent TXU hearings in the Texas State Legislature.
Behind the bluster were some damning facts about the company. Noting that TXU used a spike in gas prices to justify price increases, Fraser argued the company had scalped consumers by not lowering rates when gas prices receded. “You didn’t sell any more electricity, but you took in a billion dollars. You used that one billion dollar profit to browbeat your customers to lock in at record rates. If you do what is right by your customers, you need to drop the price.” Senator Keith Eltife jumped in with questions about Wilder’s compensation, and later provided the answer himself after a quick-thinking staff member found the information on the Internet. “He made $200 million over two years. What do you tell the customers who are struggling to pay their electric bills when your CEO made $200 million and it (his compensation) is tied to the stock price?”
An indignant Fraser added: “He has publicly said his responsibility is to his stockholders!”
Ouch. Not a good week for TXU. Especially if you’re a customer. But a great week for activists fighting to change the way our climate and energy policies are treated by corporations.