Reporter Tom Fowler had this story in today’s Chronicle. While the Chron was slow to get on board covering electricity and deregulation, they were ahead on this one. The issue is one every news outlet in Texas should be all over.
We are heading to Austin for a Public Utility Commission meeting on Monday. It is a specially called meeting by Rep. Phil King. He sent out the release below. We’ll be there to ask questions for you and see if there’s any real action behind these words.
Phil King to examine recent electric market upheaval
Dramatic price spikes in the wholesale electricity market along with failures of two retail electric companies has captured the attention of state Rep. Phil King, the Weatherford Republican in charge of electric utility issues in the Texas House of Representatives.
King, who chairs the House Committee on Regulated Industries, said he will seek answers during a special hearing on June 23. He also has brought his concerns to both Public Utility Commission chairman Barry Smitherman and Bob Kahn, director of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that manages the state’s power grid.
“I have been assured in no uncertain terms that the PUC and ERCOT are taking corrective action to stop these price spikes,” King said in a statement released Tuesday.
Last week electric wholesale prices spiked to nearly unprecedented levels — from about $175 per megawatt-hour to $2,250, which is the maximum allowed by law. Also last month, Houston-based National Power and Bridgeport-based PreBuy Electric failed to meet their financial obligations and dumped thousands of customers onto high-priced default electric providers.