Landgraf Fights Electricity Rate Hikes

ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) submitted a letter to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) demanding it to rescind authorization for rate hikes on Texas electric bills amid recent power outages.

“You already left the taxpayers out in the cold with your lack of leadership and oversight of ERCOT,” Landgraf writes in the letter. “And yet, while they were still shivering in their homes, you decide to take more money out of their wallets -- food from their mouths -- in order to pay for mistakes made by your agency. I think not.”

The PUC held an emergency meeting earlier this week where officials introduced an order that directed the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to correct any past prices to reflect the current shortage of energy. The order stated that “Energy prices should reflect scarcity of the supply. If customer load is being shed, scarcity is at its maximum, and the market price for the energy needed to serve that load should also be at its highest.” Lawmakers like Landgraf are concerned that this leaves Texans vulnerable to unexpected rate hikes in their energy bills.

“We cannot allow someone to exploit a market when they were the ones responsible for the dire consequences in the first place,” Landgraf’s letter continues. “On behalf of my fellow West Texans, and as a matter of principle, I demand that the Public Utility Commission of Texas rescind its authorization to ERCOT to permit rate hikes on Texas electric bills.”