(AUSTIN) – Last night, the last remaining commissioner of the Public Utility Commission resigned following Texas Monthly’s publication of the audio of a call between Chairman Arthur D’Andrea and out-of-state investors.
On the call, D’Andrea assured investors he would use the influence of the Commission to stop legislators’ calls for the repricing recommended by ERCOT’s independent market monitor. He also expressed confidence that Gov. Abbott would likely not appoint new PUC commissioners anytime soon, and boasted he had “one of the safest jobs in Texas.”
Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie), chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement in response:
“House Democrats have been calling for accountability from the PUC since the very beginning of this disaster. It was House Democrats’ questioning of the former PUC chair during legislative hearings that first exposed the Commission’s epic failure to protect Texans.
“Whether repricing is the right policy or not, it seems the former commissioner’s priority was to protect the profits of out-of-state energy traders. The secret, leaked audio makes clear that — despite the Commission’s name — the governor’s appointees were actually working for Wall Street, not for the public.
“Now, Gov. Abbott needs to do what he should have done years ago — appoint commissioners who are not afraid to use the PUC’s regulatory powers to protect Texas consumers and ensure our electric grid’s reliability.”