Mr. Rose Goes to Washington
Dripping Springs state rep to give Congressional testimony on Pedernales Electric Cooperative
By Richard Whittaker, 5:05PM, Wed. Jun. 25, 2008
Someone will be getting their nice tie out: Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, will be having a trip to the Capitol tomorrow. No, not the state house, the big kahuna in D.C.
The Mark Strama look-a-like will be appearing before the mighty U.S. Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to give testimony on his efforts to reform the Pedernales Electric Cooperative. This announcement comes less than a day after subpoenas were issued for PEC General Manager Bennie Fuelberg and former board President W.W. "Bud" Burnett to explain to Congress about their management (or, as is accused by rate payers facing soaring bills, mismanagement) of the biggest electricity co-op in Texas, and a week since the entire board was replaced in elections.
For big Rose fans, the whole deal will be broadcast live via www.oversight.house.gov from 10am, Thursday June 26.
Full press release after the fold.
REP. ROSE TO TESTIFY BEFORE U.S. CONGRESS
Rep. Rose will share his role in bringing about reforms at the Pedernales Electric Cooperative
AUSTIN: State Rep. 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, June 26. Rep. Rose will share his role in addressing abuses by the Pedernales Electric Cooperative's (PEC) Board of Directors and senior management.
Over the past year, a group of co-op members have 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, Rep. 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. 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 3 million Texans served by co-ops across our state," said State Rep. Patrick M. Rose.
The committee is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and has 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 that are responsible for providing electricity at the lowest possible cost to their members; nearly 3 million member-consumers in Texas. Co-ops are tax-exempt and are also 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, June 24th, 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.
WHO: State Rep. Patrick M. Rose
WHAT: Congressional Testimony Governance and Financial Accountability of Rural Electric Cooperatives: the Pedernales Experience
WHEN: Thursday, June 26, 10:00 a.m. CST
WHERE: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2154 Rayburn House Office Building
About State Representative Patrick M. Rose
As Chairman of the Human Services Committee, Rep. Rose is leading efforts to increase oversight of the Health and Human Services Commission, grow enrollment in CHIP and implement reforms of Child Protective Services. Last session, he helped create the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, a $3 billion investment in the fight against cancer. Rep. Rose is currently working on legislation to bring about reforms at the Pedernales Electric Cooperative and to prevent similar mismanagement at co-ops across the state, as well as legislation to bring relief to property tax payers and public schools by extending the mid-size adjustment to Chapter 41 school districts. Rep. Rose represents House District 45 that includes Blanco, Caldwell and Hays counties in the Texas Legislature.