Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Does El Paso Electric CEO Shockley Sleep at Night?

That's the question when you hear his sophistry and misinformation that he feeds to the public about El Paso Electric Company's proposed rate hikes.

If you haven't, take a moment to read Vic Kolenc's El Paso Times Story, El Paso Electric wants to increase charges for solar homes

Included in that story are the onerous rate increases for every El Pasoan who doesn't have solar energy panels. That increase is 12%. Combine that fact with Lindsey Anderson's story this morning, School districts may fight El Paso Electric rate increase, because it will cost districts millions, anyone can see the huge burden these rate increases put on everyone as a rate payer and as a school district tax payer.

When it comes to solar energy users, the rate hike is 24% for what electric utilities like to call "free loading" by "free riders" (the rooftop solar owners) - getting the advantage of the utiliy's infrastructure without contributing equally to it. Nonsense! With more people converting to solar, there is less need for added infrastructure. But, less need for utility power production and distribution, means far less money that the utility makes. 

Shockley claims that EPEC has a proven record with solar. They were forced by New Mexico law six years ago to increase renewable energy production. In time EPEC discovered that solar had economic advantages so they have invested in solar energy plants. Great. What if they invested more through incentives in photovoltaic panels for homeowners and businesses and cut the need for bigger solar plants of their own? Shockley doesn't care about solar. Shockley cares about how much money his company is making. Therefore, when it comes right down to it, he doesn't want you to produce your own electricity from solar. He wants you to buy it from EPEC however they produce it - mainly with natural gas. (Frackers love him.)

The Shockley statement (reported by Kolenc) that I found most shocking was that "the rooftop solar industry has local and national lobbyists and lawyers who will aggressively make their case to regulators." By far the biggest lobbying effort against clean energy such as photovoltaics is coming from the infamous Koch Brothers and a lobbying group known as ALEC. No matter what ALEC claims about being for a free market and local control, they are anything but. They are for control of markets by mega-corporations and especially the gas and oil industry, and they want control of public laws to limit local control even to the point of those free-riding solar panel users. Just read through the following stories online:

The Koch Attack on Solar Energy

Koch Brothers And ALEC Expand Fight On Clean Energy Users

Exposing ALEC: How Conservative-Backed State Laws Are All Connected

Texas lobbying group busted for phony anti-solar campaign

In Sunshine State, Big Energy Blocks Solar Power

Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar

All efforts by the solar industry's lobbying efforts are miniscule compared to the billions paid for lobbying by the Kochs, ALEC, the fossil-fuel industries and the electric utilities themselves. Schockley must know this.

In the end, El Paso Electric will burden not just solar users but all users - homeowners, business people, schools, etc. Rate payers and tax payers. You and me. There is an online petition opposing the rate hikes. Please visit it now.

Again, from an elpasonaturally reader:

I make tacos.
You buy my tacos for $5 each.
You no like my tacos?
Then you pay me $8.
Someone has to pay for my tacos.

Please support elpasonaturally©. Go HERE to contribute and help turn El Paso "green".


  1. They can't sustain this… It's wrong. Simply wrong. People will surely see that. Outrageous.

  2. EPE claims that it is working at making energy users more accountable for their individual use. That's why the city gov't, school districts and even churches will see a change in their rate status - removing the public subsidy that they currently receive. They will now be charged the full commercial rate.
    The problem is, when have our taxes been adjusted downward? It would be insane to think that reductions in public subsidies would translate into savings for residents. As all of the above see increases in their energy bills, you can be sure that tax increases will follow. So, in addition to the 12% rate hike for typical users or 24% for solar, we will also be forced into putting additional money into the pockets of the EPE cartel, disguised as taxes. This is what results from a city government that does not exercise its legal authority to reign in rogue behavior. EPE has been granted the privilege, not the right to act as our sole supplier of energy. El Paso city government needs to grow a set and stand up to EPE, regardless of what political contributions the company offers.
    By the way, I'm glad you liked my taco analogy. But, you forgot the last line in this posting. "Someone has to pay for my tacos"

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