At its March 17 meeting, the PEC Board approved a resolution to oppose legislative bills, HB 3391 and HB 3451, filed in the Texas House mandating how PEC Board members are elected. The resolution states that the bills constitute unwarranted governmental interference and overreach into a member-owned cooperative corporation. The resolution also cites that the bills unfairly discriminate against members of PEC because they bracket, and thus singularly target, only one electric cooperative in the State of Texas.
One of the bills being opposed — HB 3451 — specifies that Board elections for co-ops composed of more than 200,000 members and partially located within a county with a population of more than 1 million and less than 1.5 million people be formatted as single-member district elections.
In both 2011 and 2014, PEC placed the voting system question on the election ballot, giving its membership the opportunity to decide the issue. In both years, PEC members voted in favor of the current at-large electoral system and against single-member districts for Board elections.
The PEC Board resolution states the bills are unwarranted because, in addition to conducting two member votes on the issue, PEC has achieved outstanding system reliability, solid customer service and is in strong financial standing.
The Co-op is currently rated AA– by global rating agency Fitch Ratings, has achieved equity milestones, recently reduced rates and distributed more than $65 million in capital credits back to members since 2009. However, according to the resolution, the legislation could have potentially damaging financial effects on the Cooperative's financial standing as it could cause downgrading of PEC in the financial markets, could cause damage to member-owner investment and could harm PEC's business reputation.