Saturday, July 8, 2017


By Juan Montoya
After enduring a 35 percent increase in electric rates that started four years ago, Brownsville residents may see a glimmer of hope in Monday's 5 p.m. meeting of the Brownsville Public Utility Board.

At that meeting, the board of directors will discuss and possibly take action on an agenda item placed there by members Nuerith Galonsky and Armando Magallanes to reduce electric rates for utility customers by 15 percent, and to recommend the decrease to the members of the City of Brownsville Commission at a later date.

Starting January of 2013,  electric rates have increased by 36 percent  from 2013 to 2016, water rates 20 percent  from 2013 to 2016, and waste water services 6 percent over the first two years and have stayed there indefinitely.

The PUB sold the city commission on the increases saying that they were necessary to guarantee the payments on $325 million in bond debt that the utility would incur in partnership with private energy provider Tenaska toward the completion of a $500 million 800-MW gas-powered, electric-generating power plant.

Under the deal, the city and PUB get 200 MW of the 800 MWs the plant would have produced. Many have questioned why the city agreed to pay $335 million of the $500 million cost (65 percent) in return for 25 percent of the 800 MWs. So far, neither Da Mayor Tony Martinez – who made the public announcement of the deal – nor any public or company official has explained the rationale for the split.

That plant was to have been finished this year, but the glut of electricity on the regional grid because at least three similar plants have come online since the plan was approved by the city commission has prevented its construction. Tenaska representatives say that a clause in the Memorandum Of Understanding inked by the company and the city gives them the right to delay the construction if they cannot find customers for their 600 MW share of the electricity to be produced by the non-existing plant.

The PUB and Tenaska have fought efforts to reveal the contents of the MOU saying the release of the agreement would harm them in the competitive energy market.

So far, more than $90 million in cash has been accumulated at PUB due to the rates increased in 2013.


Anonymous said...

Make it 25 % decrease and rebate all the customers from the 90 million dollars. That is the correct action to take. Sincerelt Mr Shrimp

Anonymous said...

Oliveira with his 33 years as rep shoukd have gone to PUB and told them to STOP the overcharging, instead, the son of a bitch just chugs alcohol at cobbleheads looking creepy at women. Sucks ass to McHale a cheap man

Anonymous said...

Vote out any fool that does not support lowering rates. This one will be interesting, sincerely Mr Crab

Anonymous said...

Yep PUB increased RATES by 35% on a project that never came to be.we the rate payers want a full refund and also the rate payers in brownsville never enjoyed lower rates while fuel prices have been low the last 5yrs also we do not care what other utility companies are doing the citizens of brownsville own PUB get that thru your thick skulls!

Anonymous said...

Rene Oliveira caca. Jerry McHale caga palo

Anonymous said...

Tony Gray. A job that has done nothing for community. Rene Oli eira nothing. The party is over.

Anonymous said...

It part of the port of Brownsville bridge to no where, and now the electrical plant to no where follow up. 90 million dollars plus and it will probably disappear into someone at PUB.

Anonymous said...

Pretty simple. You stole it, now give it back.

Anonymous said...

We know where 150k went...;), just ask the top 3 employees of BPUB!