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Austin Energy audit? ‘Been there done that’

TCTU’s Zimmerman calls out religious extremism for days-long blackout, supports audit

AUSTIN (Feb. 8, 2023) – City leaders are calling for a thorough audit of publicly held Austin Energy following massive and nationally publicized power blackouts after last week’s ice storm.

Been there done that, said former District 6 Council member and Public Utility committee Vice Chairman Don Zimmerman, executive director of the Travis County Taxpayers Union.

Having exposed the spectacular failure of a city of Austin billion-dollar biomass plant in East Texas in 2015, having championed an audit of Austin Water utility billing in 2016, and having fought for a 2018 referendum calling for an audit of all city services and departments, Zimmerman said he strongly supports renewed efforts to audit Austin Energy. But some of the steps that need to be taken do not have to wait for an audit. Unfortunately, a religious-like fervor stands in the way – as it did during his previous efforts to shine a light on Austin city regulated utilities, he said.

The following statement may be attributed to Don Zimmerman, founder of the Travis County Taxpayers Union:

“A full, external audit of Austin Energy is long overdue, but we’ve been there, and done that. And nobody acted. 

“Meanwhile, a physical threat to our power supply – tree limbs draped over power lines – are not being removed. Why? Because the city’s priority is the ‘war on hydrocarbon energy’ to appease the climate god.

“Austin Energy’s catastrophic $1 billion-plus waste on the ‘carbon neutral wood chip-burning plant’ in East Texas testifies to this religious extremism – an economic disaster for which ratepayers are still paying. 

“It’s no longer cynical to say every totally avoidable crisis caused by these science-deniers is their way of accusing rational human beings of ‘destroying the planet’ through ambiguous charges of causing ‘climate change.’ And if you disbelieve you have not heeded the sermons by Greta Thunberg, the emotional prophetess of the fake climate god.

“For the most secular and well-educated city in Texas, this blind followership needs to stop immediately. How many more blackouts, water outages, and boil notices do we need to wake us up to the plain facts?”