Brad Messer Commentary
Monday, June 30, 2003

Electric Company Goofy

City Public Service is literally San Antonio's electric and gas utility.

City taxpayers own it. Income from CPS funds about one-fourth of the city budget. Without that revenue, taxes would go up faster than the mayor could say "tax breaks for developers."

Parts of CPS work well. Our utility rates are enviably low. Repairs are quick. An automated phone tree makes reporting outages fairly painless. CPS has shown at least a spark of interest in alternative sources such as windmills and solar.

But. You knew there'd be a but.

CPS is fine BUT... Try to call a human! You don't have to look far to find someone who has stayed on Hold for hours and hours and then been disconnected.

CPS is fine BUT... Managers are rushing a scheme to build a new coal-powered generator complex, even though we have an air pollution problem and a coal generator will make it worse. You've heard the news: the building permit vote is this evening.

CPS is fine BUT... Energetic conservation tactics could probably save so much juice that we wouldn't need a new power plant. Activists tell me CPS hasn't given much thought to that angle.

Mostly City Public Service works well. But the BUTS are goofy.

Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.

Walt Disney's Goofy | City Public Service website
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