Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hans, Boobie, I'm Your White Knight!

"When you steal 600 dollars you can just disappear.
"When you steal 600 million, they will find you."

Poor Hans. Imagine using stupid ol' guns to steal! You don't have to be an outlaw to be an "exceptional" thief. One can do it and be perfectly legitimate in the eyes of the law (man's law, anyway). The art of the steal has long been a tradition of American business. As it has become normalized, the gall of the thievery is given little thought and, frankly, is expected. If one can legally socialize money, one does. Sort of a reverse Robin Hood, taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
Experts at the Public Utility Commission of Texas are urging its three commissioners to reject plans by a Dallas oilman and real estate tycoon to take over the state’s largest electric transmission company, a recommendation that could loom large for Texas' ratepayers and electric grid.

“The proposed transaction is not in the public interest and I recommend that the Commission reject the Applicants' application,” Darryl Tietjen, who oversees rate regulation for the agency, wrote in public testimony submitted Wednesday.

Tietjen was weighing in on a proposal from Ray L. Hunt and other investors to buy Oncor, whose 119,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines deliver power to more than three million homes and businesses in North and West Texas.
Like many billionaires who are bored, Ray L. Hunt has nothing productive to do with his life but as every life must have a direction his is to acquire more and more useless paper wealth. When in doubt, plunder! This evil comes under the benign (to our twisted ears) designation of "business" and anything with that label is given a free pass no matter how heinous the effect on human lives. The savagery of this proposal flies under the radar of our corrupt society but there will come a time we are forever deemed as a barbaric age.
To avoid paying federal income taxes, Hunt wants to transform Oncor into a real estate investment trust, a nearly unprecedented structure for a utility that has worried consumer advocates.

The Texas agency set a hearing for January, where its three commissioners must decide whether the plan fits the interests of everyday Texans.

On Wednesday, agency experts offered their view: No.

Tietjen wrote that Hunt’s plan to avoid paying income taxes would amount to a “substantial transfer of wealth from ratepayers to shareholders” totaling nearly $250 million each year.
So Hunt's greedy hands want to reach into the wallet of every hard-working or hard up Texan in the state and heist a chunk of their cash giving nothing in return. Some just call that good business! What's a quarter of a billion dollars between friends? It's fun screwing grandma on her fixed income while you're vacationing on the Riviera. At some point this whole greed thing is going to collapse (as we all knew it would) so better get yours while you can. Snatch that cookie from the neighbor's hand!

"Trust me with your light bill."
With the monopoly utility paying virtually no federal income taxes under the proposed structure, Tietjen wrote, Oncor’s shareholders would earn a rate of return of so high that it “could not be considered acceptable under any reasonable application of economic and regulatory standards.”

A consultant analyzing the plan for the agency also recommended that the commissioners reject it.

“While there is general benefit to resolving the [Energy Future] bankruptcy, the resolution simply cannot come at the expense of ratepayers as it does with the applicants’ proposal,” he wrote.

When Energy Future was formed eight years ago, the state Public Utility Commission insisted on a financial "ring fence" around Oncor to keep Energy Future’s debt from dragging it down. It worked, keeping the power line company financially healthy even as its parent sank into a $42 billion bankruptcy.

Among other concerns, Roach suggested Hunt’s proposal would leave Oncor unprotected.
Where did the roots of this corruption begin? The notorious Enron. Our elected prostitutes were more than eager with the prospect of "deregulation", i.e. taking a regulated consumer staple into the wild west in a massive betrayal of public trust. If we started hanging some of these whores we wouldn't have to live in fear of our electric bills tripling (as happened before).

Seeing an opportunity of a massive long-term public raping for decades to come, Texas' largest utility was sold with a heavily indebted LBO, the thieves wild-eyed with glee. What they didn't count on was the massive depression of natural gas prices not to return in the near future (but not to say never to return). That crippled their strategy of rape and plunder pushing TXU into bankruptcy, a once unheard of thought for a longstanding public utility.
Hunt owns the only other U.S. utility organized in such a trust: Sharyland Utilities, which serves just 50,000 customers in small patches of rural West and North Texas. It charges the highest rates in the state following a recent spike that sparked a flood of complaints from customers.
This leaves the door open for wolves in businessmen's clothing to hijack the situation to their benefit from a trusting (or just as corrupt) public. Things don't have to be like this. We don't have to be at each other's throats as a matter of course. But when lives are empty and hungry, the vampires rush in to feed on both the unsuspecting and the willing fools. We'll find out in January if this treachery is left to pass in yet another of a long string of burglaries and burglary attempts in Texas history.

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