State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, sided with local consumers last week as the Public Utility Commission studied allowing the family of Dallas billionaire Ray L. Hunt to buy Oncor, the state’s largest electric utility.
The decision went the Hunts’ way, sort of. The three PUC commissioners approved the proposed $18 billion buyout and controversial conversion of Oncor to an ownership structure known as a real estate investment trust.
The “sort of” qualifier comes because the Hunts did not get full permission to keep $250 million a year collected from customers to pay federal income taxes that would not be owed under the new structure.
Hancock and two of the three commissioners want customers to keep some of that money.
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The matter won’t be fully settled for several months, when the commission completes a formal rate-setting process for Oncor — assuming Hunt’s investors don’t give up before then.
The commission made the right decision, and Hancock was on the right side.