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Brazos Urges Texas Governor to Veto Winter Storm Finance Legislation

Brazos Urges Texas Governor to Veto Winter Storm Finance Legislation

June 11, 2021
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Signage outside a Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc. plant in Palo Pinto, Texas. Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc. lobbied Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to veto a pair of bills that would compel electricity cooperatives to put their customers on the hook for full payment to the state’s grid operator […]

Click here to view original web page at www.wsj.com


Signage outside a Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc. plant in Palo Pinto, Texas.

Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc. lobbied Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to veto a pair of bills that would compel electricity cooperatives to put their customers on the hook for full payment to the state’s grid operator for power purchases during February’s extreme winter weather in the state.

Louis Strubeck, a lawyer representing Brazos in its bankruptcy case, said in a court hearing Friday that co-op executives met with the governor’s staff over the legislation, which would compel Brazos and other co-ops to issue debt to pay the full amount owed to the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Brazos also sent a letter to the governor urging him to veto the debt-financing legislation, Mr. Strubeck said Friday.

“We think if those bills are signed into law, they have serious consequences for Brazos,” he said at a hearing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston.

Texas lawmakers passed legislation last month that authorizes several sources of financing to cover the huge bills that some electricity cooperatives and retailers, including Brazos, ran up during the freeze. It requires cooperatives that still owe money to the state grid operator Ercot to “use all means necessary” to sell 30-year securitization bonds, using the proceeds to pay their storm bills in full.

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