The City of Tyler says its time for action, not delays from the Texas Railroad Commission.
A hearing examiner, who has been investigating Tyler's rate case against CenterPoint Energy, was scheduled to deliver a proposal for decision today to the Commission. But instead the City Tyler was told there would be no proposal and no one seems to know when the City will get an answer from the Railroad Commission.
A frustrated Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber says the time for action is now. "Just last week, the examiners said that they had enough information to issue a proposed decision today. They also requested information concerning the calculation of damages. We do not believe that they would have requested that information unless they had reached the point of determining that CenterPoint had in fact overcharged its customers as we have said all along," Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber said today. "Now we hear today that there is no decision and no indication of when a decision might come. We've spent enough time and money on this. They're not going to have any more information than they have right now."
The City of Tyler began a review of CenterPoint's rates in June of 1999. After several challenges, the courts sent the matter to the Texas Railroad Commission for a decision in July of 2003. The City believes CenterPoint may have overcharged Tyler customers by as much as 40 million dollars.
"I sincerely believe commission staff is working diligently on this case – and we appreciate the time and effort by commission staff," Seeber said. "But enough is enough – it is time for CenterPoint to allow this process to move forward – no more attempts to keep our city from holding town hall meetings, no more pressure from lobbyists and lawyers on a commission who is simply trying to execute its obligation under law. No amount of money spent on lobbyist and lawyers and no amount of pressure can hide the fact that CenterPoint overcharged consumers by millions."
In a statement from the Railroad Commission, Media Relations Officer Ramona Nye said, "The Texas Railroad Commission has not reached a proposal for decision yet on the Tyler-Centerpoint case, and I do not have a date on when this decision will be issued. However, the examiners in the case are working as quickly as possible to reach a decision. This is a big case with lots of issues raised, and the examiners want to ensure that all issues are looked at carefully."
For now Mayor Seeber is again urging Tyler residents to contact the Railroad Commission with their complaints and concerns.
The address for the Railroad Commission is: