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Oncor sale raises red flags for 3 million ratepayers

By Bob Jackson
AARP Texas

The Texas Public Utility Commission has a new opportunity – and maybe even a moral obligation – to protect the state’s utility customers from a very dangerous deal.

On Sept. 29, a group of investors filed with the PUC to take over Oncor, the largest electricity delivery company in the state. For residential and business ratepayers, it’s imperative that the PUC reject the proposed sale barring these exceptions: The sale must be proven to offer a real benefit for ratepayers and it must maintain the current ring-fence that financially protects Oncor for future generations.
The proposed change of ownership might seem enticing at first blush. The scheme, which the PUC has six months to consider, would allow new owners to operate Oncor under a real estate investment trust. It’s a mechanism that’s never been tried at this scale and would allow a diversion of tax liability from the corporation to its shareholders.

Though Wall Street speculators may fuss, the plan deserves a hard look by state regulators. It imposes tremendous risks to ratepayers with no guarantee that the ratepayers – and not just the investors – will ever directly reap the rewards of the deal.

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Posted by on Oct 28 2015. Filed under Letters to the Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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