This is Andy checking in from Vegas and Netroots Nation: sheesh, we leave Texas for a few days and the wheels start to come off the bus, don’t they? Of course, our fearless and tireless leader, Tom “Smitty” Smith is there to handle everything, as he has done for the last 2 and a half decades.
This ran in today’s Texas Energy Report, but want to give all of our Public Citizen Texas members and followers a taste if you’re not a subscriber to the Energy Report.
SMITTY: TWO CITIES TOOK OPPOSITE PATHS IN SELECTING UTILITY GM
An Op-Ed by Public Citizen’s Tom “Smitty” Smith.
The recently announced new general managers for Austin and San Antonio couldn’t be more different, and may have huge economic repercussions for both cities.
Austin has chosen Larry Weis, a “green” general manager from Turlock, California, Irrigation District. San Antonio’s CPS Energy has chosen Doyle N. Beneby Jr., from Exelon Corp. While Mr. Weis opposes nuclear power due to its costs, Mr. Beneby comes from a utility that has the largest nuclear assets in the country.
The process that each city underwent in selecting their new managers stands in stark contrast with one another. Austin announced its finalists over a month ago and invited the public to question the candidates.
CPS kept its candidates secret. In light of this lack of information, I am left to wonder what San Antonio’s fate will be given the recent track record of Exelon. Could Mr. Beneby signal the re-nuclearization of San Antonio or does he represent a future of renewable energy and green power?
Although San Antonio is still reeling from the trebling of cost of expanding the South Texas Nuclear Project, the CPS board has chosen someone from Exelon, which has tried and failed to buy NRG Energy, CPS’s partner in the nuclear expansion project, while simultaneously trying to develop another nuclear plant near Victoria.
While Exelon does have a mix of fossil fuel, hydroelectric, solar, landfill gas and wind generation sources, it only amounts to a meager 7 percent of its generation assets. The other 93 percent is nuclear.
Since the public was not privy to the public utility’s selection process, we are left to speculate what Beneby ‘s plans are. (more…)