The Water flows like Money – Part 1

This topic involves a whole lot of poo and cannot be done properly in a single writing. Thus, the Part 1.

We all assume to know that crimes are occurring in government. The problem is that usually the evidence is hidden from view or just beyond the reach of justice due to the influence of power and money. Occasionally, some jack wagon in politics truly screws over the electorate in a fashion that begs the questions of why they are not rotting in jail at the very moment of the criminal discovery. Mark Foley should have been tossed in the can for his impropriety with Congressional pages and Charlie Rangel should be carted off the Hill right now for all the nonsense he is guilty of. Power and money saved both their butts from jail.

I am sick of it.

As a resident of Texas, I keep in tune with what is happening in Austin. Yesterday I attended Rally Day in Austin with the Texas Builders Association to see my elected legislators and get info on all the efforts being made to stave off a tax increase. This current budget crisis facing the State of Texas is steep and every nook and cranny of each department is being looked over to save taxpayer dollars and avoid raising taxes. That’s what we’ve all been told.

Well, it’s a load of manure and I’ll tell you why.

There is a ton of money going through state agencies that have become bloated and are not being overseen or audited. What we have, in my opinion, is a real crime occurring in Texas right this very moment with specific agencies that are sacred cows.  The one I am focusing on involves water, electrical power generation, and a whole river of money. It is time for people to get prosecuted and go to jail and to put the heat on those that can make things happen to get the ball rolling. For liability purposes, I am going to use the words “alleged”, “probable”, and other such descriptors for a very specific reason. I came across this little shell game in my campaign for the Texas Senate. What I uncovered was a chain of very powerful people scamming the State of Texas and her citizens. The information uncovered brought out a force of money, power, and lies against me in a campaign that I was not prepared for and cost me an election. Some, but not all of the names, will be used in the series of blogs.

So you understand the gravity of this situation with the money and power involved, there were 2 attempts at kidnapping my children and multiple threats made against my life during this campaign. After the abduction attempts, we had security at our home with rifles all over the place. We still have the security today…. All this because a candidate for public office wanted to have an answer for constituents.

The alleged crime involves the Morris Shepherd Dam at Possum Kingdom Lake and the shutting down of the hydroelectric plant at the dam in 2007. The alleged perpetrator of the crime is the Board of Directors of the Brazos River Authority spearheaded by its President Chris DeCluitt. The potential accomplice you’ll figure out along the way and the victims are the citizens of the State of Texas.

In November of 2009, I was researching the history of the closing of the Morris Shepherd Dam. Through calls and other research I discovered the hydroelectric production units of the dam had been sold by the Brazos River Authority (BRA) to the Brazos Electric Power Cooperative (BEPC). The BEPC was to take over operations of the power production. The reason for the sale – BRA claimed that they could not make money on the contract they had executed for power supply. Understand that Texas had de-regulated electricity in 2001 under Senate Bill 7 (SB7) by then State Senator from District 22 David Sibley. What that meant was the BRA could adjust the rates now for market. Additionally, BRA had filed with the Texas Public Utility Commission (TPUC)  in early 2001 to be a Power Generation Company, meaning that they could deal wholesale or retail on electricity and adjust rates as needed for market. That approval was granted in June of 2001. So it begs the question – why sell off a unit that could and should make money? Every power company I know of makes money, why could BRA not money at Morris Shepherd?

The hydro units were shut down in August of 2007. According to BRA records and publications, the units were shut down for electrical concerns. However, a little known lawsuit was filed in Waco, Texas in July 2009 that told a different story. In the court documents Brazos Electric Cooperative, Inc versus the Brazos River Authority Cause 2009-2364-5, BEPC alleged that the BRA told them they were shutting down the hydro units for maintenance. This was occurring while BEPC was doing its due diligence in the purchase and according to court documents BEPC had no reason to not believe the BRA. According to the court documents when the deal closed a few months later, BRA threw the keys at BEPC and claimed it was BEPC’s problem now and have fun. Those silly BRA Board folks! Plantiffs Original BEPC v BRA0001

The Morris Shepherd Dam was rated at 24 Megawatts in power production and according to the FY09 Upper Basin Report by the BRA the units had produced nearly 30 Megawatts of clean power for the surrounding areas in 2007. That will power a whole lot of businesses and homes…. The hydro units also pumped water over the spillway that went down the Brazos River and into Lake Granbury in Granbury, Texas. Lake Granbury is around 130000 acre feet and the water that flowed down from the dam was in excess of that amount. That little trick allowed Lake Granbury to always be “constant level” and was used in the marketing and development of the Lake for years. It was even on the BRA website about being constant level until I got involved in the Morris Shepherd scandal.FY09_Upper_Basin By the way, this document has vanished from the BRA website since all the poo hit the fan last year…..

A natural question to be asked is – was proper maintenance down on the dam during its run? Was money taken out to covers the costs of maintenance? Did the dam pass all of its federal tests? Was all the money used properly? The answer to all  four is yes, yes, yes, and a great big NO. The no answer is what has me outraged and is an action that if anyone else outside of money and power attempted would have their fanny in prison.

So what do we have here? A hydroelectric unit that had never missed a beat in almost 70 years of service is shut down for some reason; a Texas Water Board claiming that they cannot make money on electricity in a post de-regulated environment, and a lawsuit that stirs a whole ton of poo.

So how does all this impact the current Texas legislative session? Well, there is this little bill passed in the 76th Session in Texas in 2001 that is unlike any other. It was specifically targeted to help the BRA and it gives broad power that cannot be found with other water boards. It was authored by then State Representative Kip Averitt out of Waco, sponsored by then State Senator David Sibley out of Waco, and signed under an emergency provision passing normal calendar rules of legislation. Here is the link: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=76R&Bill=HB3793 This bill allows the BRA to get its hands on a whole lot of money without any apparent oversight.

I’ll tell you how that impacts Texas taxpayers next week.

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