FRASER CRITICIZES MARKET POWER ABUSE
AUSTIN -- State Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) sharply criticized TXU on Monday after the release of a Public Utility Commission (PUC) report which details efforts made by TXU to manipulate the wholesale electric market in order to make excessive profits. An Independent Market Monitor (IMM) was hired by the PUC in September of 2006 to conduct an investigation into wholesale market activities.
"I am outraged that TXU would intentionally manipulate prices in the wholesale market to create higher profits," Fraser said. "Consumers of this state deserve to be treated fairly, and for a company that delivers an essential service to millions of Texans, this behavior is unacceptable."
The report concludes that TXU's behavior constitutes market power abuse. The increased costs to ratepayers was approximately $70 million and resulted in $19.6 million more profit for TXU during the four month study period.
"This report only further strengthens my argument for reducing market power of the electric companies who are continuing to abuse the public," Fraser said. "The bills currently before the Senate will help alleviate the stranglehold the current electricity companies have on the market."
The multi-bill package includes a measure to prohibit a utility from exercising market power in a region, as well as a provision which gives the Public Utility Commission (PUC) the ability to make adjustments to assure that residential rates are reasonable.
Fraser, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, has been actively engaged in seeking solutions to the rising cost of residential electricity. Senator Fraser held a hearing in November of 2006 where he questioned the CEOs from the three largest electric providers in the state about the status of competition in the residential marketplace.
Senator Fraser represents a 21-county region in the geographic center of the state. He is the Chairman of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. He also sits on the following standing Senate Committees: Finance, State Affairs, and International Relations and Trade.