25 signatures reached
To: Texas Legislators and Texas Governor and Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC)
Texas Public Water and Energy are for Texans
1. Reserve Texas Public Water and Energy Supplies
for the People not for the Wall Street Hedge Funds
2. Damages and improvements to public electricity and water utilities' supplies and services from Feb 2021 Texas Ice storm must be restored, repaired, winterized and prepared for the next weather extreme before it occurs ( summer extreme heat in this case) and improved with back up supplies by our Texas Legislature using available funds first for both water and energy utilites and supplies, shortages in one causes shortages in the other. Legislators must use available funds first, not cover these costs initially by raising rates for utility customers. Using available public funds and grants even though they require protections and regulations keeps our utilities affordable and reliable. Do not tack fees onto our utility bills that go straight into pockets of crisis racketeers. Funding and requirements for Projects and regulations needed to protect Texans and our resources must be mandatory not voluntary and must be used for infrastructure and supplies owned by and managed for the People of Texas.
3. Texas House of Representatives and the Governor must immediately reverse the harmful, unjust, and unprecedented use of PUC Public Utility Commission Emergency Order Docket No.51617 Feb 16 2021 that was based on laws our elected lawmakers created and astronomically raised electricity pricing during the statewide FEB 2021 severe ice storm AND nullify the legislated law cited in that order with a higher price cap for crisis profiteering set at a harmful $9,000 MW Hour..used for the first time during Storm Uri. Also in order to do this the Governor or legislature must extend the one month deadline to reverse the emergency order since the members of the public Utilities commission resigned and need replacing. Delay the deadline to cancel the order and postpone the legislature resetting the cap until June in order to assess all the harms, determine reasonable costs and have a proper hearing. Language in SB 2142 for transferring that authority to reverse any emergency energy supply price cap away from elected lawmakers needs to be cut from SB2142 and then the bill passed to reverse the bad overpricing emergency energy supply price cap ordered during Storm Uri by the Public Utility Commission BEFORE THIS SESSION ENDS!!!! Ignoring or not reversing the harmful price increase and ignoring nullifying the harmful legislated laws the order cites, will establish a precedent for Wall Street crisis racket markets taking extreme amounts of money out of Texans pockets thru ALL our utility bills from now on during emergencies. That would be bad for Texans, our properties, and for business.
4. Governor Abbott must order the The Public Utility Commission PUC which he appointed to reverse its late 2020 decision to no longer hire and use expert advise of TRE to advise legislators. The Texas Reliability Entity had been used to monitor and advise about how to regulate utilities for the protection of the People and our resources and to how follow protections required by federal and state laws for utilities connected to the national electric utility grid that must remain part of the reporting to legislators making energy laws.
Never allow legislative laws to be written again that allow Texas leaders to make decisions about public water or energy supplies that result in deaths of Texans and harms to vital state water and energy resources. Energy price caps set in legislated energy laws must be reasonable and not harmful. Protections for Texans and Texas water and energy resources must be mandatory. The Texas laws cited in the Public Utility Price order for raising energy supply prices to $9,000 per MW hour proved harmful during winter storm Uri public utilities went bankrupt and there were higher death rates for Texans using utilities controlled by the state ERCOT grid than of Texans using independent public grids in the remain parts of the state experiencing the same weather extremes. Securitizing Wall Street crisis Market profits is not the role of our legislators and is against their oaths of office. An old public utility rule allows for reversals of PUC emergency pricing orders by a 1 month deadline must and it can be extended by elected state lawmakers. That cancelation rule must remain in tact as is. That rule to allow reversal is on the chopping block now by language Sen Hughes wrote in SB 2142 so remove that part of SB 2142. For the safety and protection of Texans such decisions must remain with our elected lawmakers not with governor appointees on energy boards. These protections now in Texas laws and energy rules must remain even if they get in the way of securing the Wall street crisis market in Texas which would conflict with oaths of public office.
Why is this important?
See Facebook page "Water Angel-conservation" for more information
Legislators must do the right thing now for Texans before this legislative session ends in May, or Texans will see more (like the first during winter Storm Uri) Texas Public Utility ordered supply overcharging for crisis racketeers through our electricity and water utility bills in both summer and winter weather extremes from now on. That would be bad for Texans and for business.
This Austin American Statesman article is re SB 2142 and quotes the author about the bill's transfer of emergency energy price setting and reversal authority away from legislators to Energy Reliability Council of Texas ERCOT.
Legislature needs to reverse that price increase order this session and also needs to leave the authority for reversal with our elected lawmakers not transfer that authority to governor appointees like the ones who have just resigned and the ones like the former ENRON executives who have been appointees since the creation of ERCOT and appointed by Governors Bush, Perry and Abbott.) language in SB 2142 for transferring that authority away from elected lawmakers needs to be cut.
Listen to the phone call between a Texas Public Utility Commissioner and Wall Street investors:
During the conversation the Wall Street investors are promised by the Texas Utility commissioner that he personally will do all he can to ensure our elected Texas Law-makers will enabled these investors to keep their windfall gained by overcharging the People of Texas. He assured the investors our law makers can and will set up similar payment and finance mechanisms to help utilities collect the money from rate payers by facilitating the energy utility payments to investors as they did for water utilities. In past years the legislators made the Texas Water Development Board a "bank" with loan conditions decided behind closed doors by a committee of our legislators with campaigns well endowed by Wall street investors so that more public utilities in Texas will end up bought out for cheap and controlled by investors. Our Texas leader on this phone call promised the investors would have their way and law makers will cause more crisis profiteering for them during Texas extreme heat. They planned for this summer as they spoke of removing the "Cap Gap" and again overcharge up to $9,000 per MW hour for extreme emergency pricing for energy this summer. That could be in effect for months. People can only live 3 days without water and die even faster in extreme heat. Yikes! During this phone call the "Brazos Problem" was discussed, the investors obviously are not form Texas. They pronounced Brazos like "brau-ZOS." Brazos Valley Electric Utility does not want to pass these charges to their rate payers and filed for bankruptcy. The Texas Public Utility Commissioner apologized for the Investors feeling insecure and assured them Texas law makers can fix that too. This phone helped define the new Texas law makers' word and newly proposed bill title: "Securitization" is a Wall Street term. When used this way in Texas laws it sets up unethical, questionable laws, bad for Texans and for business. It establishes our laws as for securing crisis racketeer markets. This phone call was frightening to me.
After this telephone meeting was made public, Governor Abbott dismissed this sole Public Utility Commissioner. Likely the new Utility regulator will be someone who will better keep phone calls from the public. It was also interesting to hear how the governor times his utility commissioner appointments in mid summer to avoid the legislature approval process.
Listen to the Brookings Institute March 2021 radio podcast "Dollars and Sense"
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/DollarAndSense_Transcript_The-Texas-fiasco-and-the-global-push-for-green-energy.pdf. The experts explain that the small areas of Texas (20%) not included in our large state controlled investor influenced grid did not experience as bad impacts as the part of the state with utilities on the ERCOT grid. Experts stated this might provide evidence our law makers have made extreme weather impacts worse for most Texans.
This is the energy price hike order for up to $9,000 per MW hour that must be reversed.
PUC Public Utility Commission Docket No.51617 Feb 16 2021
The Texas laws included in this price hike order contain many conflicts and violations with laws protecting the public and our resources. Also they betray our leaders' oaths of office. A few laws they conflict with and violate include: Texas Administrative Procedure Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Act ('PURA'), Public Utility Commission rules, and due process rights. These emergency pricing decisions are not reasonably supported by expert advice or evidence regarding either shortages or costs or protections for the public. Our leaders now are only considering market-based solutions. However, market security does not equal security for the public, our vital resources nor our national security.