CAUGHT ON TAPE: Gov Abbott crony promises Wall Street that Texas freeze profits safe. Texans screwed
Even as dozens of Texans died, sustained thousands of damages to their homes, starved, & lost their savings, Abbott cronies assuring Wall Street their stolen profits are safe.
Texas Governor Abbott instrumental in screwing Texans
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Audio emerged of Texas Public Utility Commission chairman Arthur D’Andrea effectively promising Wall Street that they had nothing to worry about. The fraud that pilfered the Texas population where they paid $16 billion more for electricity for two days than they had to will remain.
TexasMonthly reported the following.
While many Texans last week were worried about sky-high electric bills from February’s winter storms, the state’s sole utility commissioner was privately reassuring out-of-state investors who profited from the crisis that he was working to keep their windfall safe.
Texas Monthly has obtained a recording of a 48-minute call on March 9 in which Texas Public Utility Commission chairman Arthur D’Andrea discussed the fallout from the February power crisis with investors. During that call, which was hosted by Bank of America Securities and closed to the public and news media, D’Andrea took pains to ease investors’ concerns that electricity trades, transacted at the highest prices the market allows, might be reversed, potentially costing trading firms and publicly traded generating companies millions of dollars.
“I apologize for the uncertainty,” D’Andrea said, promising to put “the weight of the commission” behind efforts to keep billions of dollars from being returned to utilities that were forced—thanks to decisions by the PUC—to buy power at sky-high prices, even after the worst of the blackout had passed.
Associate Director for AARP Texas gets it right. He made it clear D’Andrea should be more concerned about the customers being ripped off than giving comfort to investors just hitting on their butts making money on the pain of others.
Tim Morstad, associate state director for AARP Texas, said instead of offering assurances to investors, D’Andrea should be offering them to consumers. “At the bottom of the heap are consumers, and the system isn’t reducing their pain at all,” he said. “It’s time to use the power of the commission to provide relief to consumers who were harmed during this electricity emergency.”
And here is the fraud enunciated in the taped call.
“I took that first step to tip the scale as hard as I could in favor of it being resolved … to provide some calming force,” D’Andrea said. “It’s a contentious political issue. The best I can do is put the weight of the commission in favor of not repricing.”
D’Andrea noted that ERCOT requires that all trades be finalized in thirty days, which means the last of the maximum-priced contracts will be settled this week. After that, he said, any repricing discussion is moot. D’Andrea said he doubted lawmakers could get a bill passed in time to force repricing—a prediction that seemed to come true on Tuesday, when House Speaker Dade Phelan announced that his chamber wouldn’t consider a bill rushed through the Senate that would force ERCOT to reverse billions of dollars in charges.
Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia are using this fraud to win over companies.
The economic development agencies of Arizona and New York are harvesting soundbites from the Texas Legislature’s grid-failure hearings to win Samsung’s competition for their new $17 billion chip manufacturing plant. Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia will gather clips from the hearings too, to make Texas’ electrical infrastructure look too unreliable. Can Samsung, or really any corporation, afford to risk their businesses and employees’ lives by moving to Texas?
In addition to the immediate losses of tens of billions of dollars, Texans were hammered in a Wall Street Journal analysis showing that they paid $28 billion more than consumers in regulated electricity markets. This is not news. Journalist L.M. Sixel of the Houston Chronicle has detailed the electricity cost disadvantages for Texans in several stories over the years.
We cannot allow the Republicans and those complicit to get away with this. If Texans reelect this cabal, they would have deserved their declining future. After all, Arizona, New Your,
My books, “It’s Worth It: How to Talk To Your Right-Wing Relatives, Friends, and Neighbors” & “As I See It: Class Warfare: The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom” support (1) communication techniques & (2) Progressive message delivery.
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