AUSTIN — State Representative Patrick M. Rose (D-Dripping Springs) will provide invited testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
Rose will discuss his role in addressing abuses by the Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s (PEC) Board of Directors and senior management.
During the past year, a group of co-op members has led an effort to democratize PEC’s board elections process and to stop fraudulent spending and mismanagement by the cooperative’s leadership. As a co-op member and legislator representing the PEC’s Johnson City headquarters and a large part of its service area Rose will testify about legislation to stop the abuses at PEC and prevent them in the future at this and other electric cooperatives across Texas.
“I will put an end to the PEC management’s high salaries and lavish spending so that it can afford to keep electric rates low and share its profits with ratepayers,” Rose said. “Legislation that makes electric cooperatives across our state follow open meetings and public information laws is the only way to prevent future abuses at PEC and for the nearly three million Texans served by co-ops across our state.”
The committee is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, with jurisdiction over any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications. The 74 electric cooperatives in Texas, including PEC, are private utilities owned by their member-customers.
Co-ops are nonprofit entities responsible for providing electricity at the lowest possible cost to their members, including nearly 3 million member-consumers in Texas. Co-ops are tax-exempt and eligible for low-interest federal loans.
Also testifying at the hearing are State Senator Troy Fraser, PEC General Manager Juan Garza, and co-op members Carlos Higgins and John Watson.
On Tuesday, subpoenas were issued for former PEC General Manager Bennie Fuelberg and former President of the Board of PEC W.W. “Bud” Burnett. The hearing will be web cast live at www.oversight.house.gov.