As if Texans had not suffered enough during the recent power outages, energy suppliers and market participants of all types, ranging from small businesses to municipalities and cooperatives, are facing massive, unreasonable and unnecessary electricity bills.
Yesterday, the largest cooperative in Texas, Brazos Electric, filed for bankruptcy while one of our largest municipal owned utilities, CPS Energy, asked for a credit extension of half a billion dollars.
Meanwhile, thousands of customers are facing monthly bills that are astronomically – and unnecessarily high.
Unless immediate and direct action is taken, there will be an acceleration of bankruptcies, long-term prospects for higher bills, and the potential collapse of the Texas competitive energy market that that helps drive the state’s competitiveness while at the same increasing renewable energy.
Of critical importance are the steps to follow. The USHCC has asked Governor Abbott to immediately direct the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to order Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to conduct fair, full and transparent resettlement process, covering the period from February 15-20, for the allocation of costs and payment made during the energy crisis. This is critical to ensure no market participants or their customers are inappropriately harmed or enriched during the crisis.
Under the emergency conditions, where the market was clearly not working with lengthy blackouts being used to prop up the grid, ERCOT should have suspended the market to prevent abuses.
Just as we don’t allow for price gouging for gasoline prices during a crisis, ERCOT should not continue to support a flawed energy cost allocation process during the recent winter storm that resulted in many citizens and consumers unduly being harmed while a few energy generation entities are unfairly enriched.
The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) strongly supports the immediate adoption of the interim, urgent actions recommended by dozens of interested stakeholders, such as the Independent Market Monitor (IMM) and the Texas Energy Association for Marketers (TEAM), that seek to provide stability and avoid the unneeded, irreparable and imminent harm resulting from delay or inaction.
Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Ramiro A. Cavazos, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It appears in the Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author. USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of more than 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that combined, contribute over $800 billion to the American economy every year. It advocates on behalf of its network of more than 250 local chambers and business associations nationwide, and also partners with more than 260 major American corporations. For more information, visit ushcc.com. USHCC can be followed on Twitter @USHCC.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows Ramiro A. Cavazos.
Editor’s Note: The USHCC Virtual Legislative Summit takes place March 30-31. Click here to register.
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