CPS-NRG arm twist

March 9, 2011

The QueQue
San Antonio Current

As city-owned CPS Energy re-enters talks with NRG Energy about possibly buying more deeply into the proposed nuclear power plant expansion they only recently largely extracted themselves from, local and Austin-based activists are fighting a sense of regret and déjà vu. "We wish CPS would have learned the lesson that it should have learned a year ago. I wish we didn’t have to go through this again," Cindy Weehler, of the anti-nuclear group Energía Mía, said at a Tuesday press conference in front of City Hall.

After getting clearance from the CPS Energy Board of Trustees last week, CEO Doyle Beneby is planning to entertain proposals that could once again throw CPS and NRG into deeper partnership, priming the city to either further invest in the group’s two proposed South Texas Project reactors or agree to a long-term power purchasing deal.

Just a year ago, CPS and NRG’s equal partnership in the proposed nukes imploded in a $32-billion lawsuit amid allegations of fraud and manipulation on the part of NRG. quot;The history is so messy, so why would this even be considered again?quot; Weehler asked.

Karen Hadden, director for Texas clean-energy group SEED Coalition, said she has approached city council members and found "no excitementquot; about Beneby’s move. quot;Our concern is these talks just came up so quickly. We’re worried that serious arm-twisting could occur to push this thing through,quot; Hadden said.

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