June 28, 2012
Senator Kirk Watson released the following statement today regarding the Texas Public Utility Commission’s vote to increase the cap on wholesale power prices this summer:
Today, the Public Utility Commission voted to approve an increase in the cap on wholesale power prices beginning this August. Regrettably, this action does little more than create an unnecessary diversion, shifting the focus away from the true policy questions and reliability challenges that matter to Texas’ electricity consumers and ratepayers.
Today’s action affirms my ongoing concern that when it comes to energy policy in Texas, the dialogue is too often reactionary and short-sighted, and it provides little guidance for our future. Perhaps those in charge stay too busy responding to the latest crisis. Unfortunately, the recurring crises prevent us from focusing on the big picture and our common goals when it comes to electricity, our energy infrastructure, and what we will need from our system in the future.
We can all agree that reliable and affordable electricity is vital to our economy. Like water, electricity is a basic necessity that drives all other economic engines. Without it, Texas cannot attract manufacturing and other major businesses to our state. People may still move here, but there’s no guarantee that they will stay and prosper. Without making investments in the basic necessities on which our economy depends, we leave the next generation and Texas’ future without the resources and infrastructure they will need to support and grow their economy. Unfortunately, the PUC’s action today does little to support these goals, and I fear that it may simply become an excuse some use to say that we should not do more.
Simply put, Texans deserve better. Today’s action sends a stark signal that many important discussions remain. We desperately need true leadership on these issues, and I remain committed to helping move the state toward long-term plans and policies that will support and sustain economic prosperity in Texas.