By Northlake Mayor David Rettig
Last month, Texas braved another crisis. Texans dug deep and dealt with the challenge with the grit and toughness that gives this state its well-deserved reputation.
But even while rugged individualism was on display, Texans also made extraordinary efforts to help each other… in ways that we should all feel proud of. Unfortunately, while Texans helped each other, others who we entrust with the power to protect us, sold us out.
While I usually put a positive outlook on any challenge we face… this will not be that kind of article. The freeze crisis put millions of Texans in harms’ way, and while a natural disaster is no ones’ fault, the acts of our regulators in response to it demand attention.
Our legislature seems to be probing every corner of the response and lack of preparation and conducting hearings on every topic you can imagine related to the crisis. That’s a good start. Long term, we definitely need restructuring and a different oversight model. But short term, we need the legislature to examine the decisions that led to billions of dollars in surge pricing for one weeks’ worth of power. That translates to thousands in costs for every Texan that will have to be paid. Utility companies are folding and the rest are looking for ways to pass those costs on to consumers.
We wouldn’t allow gas stations to charge $200 for a gallon gas, so what makes it ok for the utility regulators to charge those kind of rates for electricity?
We need to call on our state leaders to repeal the immoral decisions of the regulators and avert drastic cost hikes that are coming every Texans’ way for months or years to come. This was not capitalism at work, this was price fixing and pillaging Texan’s pocketbooks while they froze in the dark.
Don’t let terms like cost recovery, variable rates, uplift and technical language mask the truth. Every entity in the power supply chain has to recover the funds paid for the power we used. That’s only fair… if it weren’t at criminal rates.
Those bills are coming our way, and it is unconscionable for our legislature to allow it. Help us out Austin! You created these entities and celebrated their successes but you also own their failures. Time to step up and fix it before we see the bills show up.