Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Statement on the Public Utility Commission Vote to Finance $2.1B Without Transparency


AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the Public Utility Commission of Texas’ vote on Docket 52322, that finances $2.1B for retail electric companies:

“Today’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) vote on Docket 52322 is bad public policy and a bad decision for Texas taxpayers. The PUC violated the spirit of House Bill 4492 and undermined the public trust. Their actions today will inevitably enrich some companies who made money during Winter Storm Uri since the settlement agreement the PUC endorsed does not provide transparency to distinguish between companies that made money and those who lost. The fact is, the public will never know because of this lack of transparency.

“After the winter storm, I called for the resignation of members of the PUC. They all resigned. I can assure you that the new commissioners’ Senate confirmation hearings would not have gone as smoothly if senators knew they intended to disregard the will of the Senate.

“The House author of House Bill 4492, Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, has been disingenuous throughout the legislative process and after. After passage of the bill, Rep. Paddie wrongly told the PUC the legislative intent of the bill did not include netting, despite on the record evidence during the passage of the bill to the contrary. Now, his motivations have been exposed as he prepares to leave the legislature and may be seeking a highly compensated position in the same electric industry that stands to benefit from his position of no netting and no transparency. Rep. Paddie has forfeited his credibility with my office and with many members of the Texas Senate.

“I, and the members of the Texas Senate, have repeatedly made clear to the PUC we always intended any company’s uplift to be a net of losses against profits. Winners do not need a bailout.

“The Senate passed House Bill 4492 because the $2.1 billion was only intended to support those entities who had net losses. It was never intended to assist those companies who profited during the winter storm.

“I again wrote to the members of the PUC this morning, in advance of their vote, making clear that the proposed settlement is in opposition to the Senate’s legislative intent of House Bill 4492.

“The PUC has voted to finance $2.1 billion in direct opposition to the stated policy expressed by the Texas Senate. Immediately after the storm, I committed myself to the public interest and called for full transparency in all aspects of Winter Storm Uri. My commitment continues.”