El Paso Electric vs. The People

It seems like all those people who are in favor of the Electric Company sale to J.P. Morgan stand to make some cash off the deal.

A lot of people can’t stop telling us how good it is for El Paso.

Here’s Cindy Ramos-Davidson, the chief executive officer of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, telling us why we should support the deal in a guest column in the El Paso Times:

As part of the agreement, IIF [a subsidairy of J.P. Morgan] has committed to:

• Retaining El Paso Electric’s headquarters for at least 10 years;

• Local workforce retention and continuity, including commitments to ensure that El Paso Electric’s white collar workforce will remain in place;

• Providing $21 million in rate credits over 36 months to customers and

• Continuing the company’s local charitable contributions. 

Upon the closing of this transaction, another $100 million will be made available to our region for economic development through a new fund sponsored by IIF. IIF also brings new and innovative resources and expertise to expand our access to renewable energy, a long-standing goal for El Paso. IIF has a record of doing so with other companies and is focused on doing the same in our community. 

I’m sure all those benefits will come from the J.P. Morgan Benevolence Fund, right?

Ha! All those benefits will be charged back to the ratepayers. They’re going to take our money and then tell us how nice they are by giving it back to us.

And don’t you think that what they mean when they say they’ll retain El Paso Electric’s headquarters in El Paso for the next ten years, means that after ten years they’ll move it?

I’m sure that what makes El Paso Electric such an attractive investment for J.P. Morgan is that El Paso Electric charges El Pasoans the highest electric rates in Texas, as well as charging customers with rooftop solar a monthly minimum.

If it’s such a good deal for J.P. Morgan, don’t you think it would be a pretty good deal for the City of El Paso?

Former El Paso Electric CEO Gary Hedrick made a pretty good point in this 3 June 2019 online story in the El Paso Times:

El Paso Elecrtric’s board has a fiduciary duty to sell the company if it makes sense for shareholders, [Gary Hedrick, El Paso Electric CEO from 2001 to 2007] said.

Too bad El Paso’s regulators, i.e., City Council, doesn’t feel like they have the same fiduciary duty to the ratepayers.

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