Lubbock continues fight against $1.5 billion power deal - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock continues fight against $1.5 billion power deal


For the second time in two weeks, Lubbock attacks the validity of a $1.5 billion plan to provide its residents with electric power after March 31, 2019.  On that day, Xcel will, for the most part, no longer supply Lubbock Power & Light with wholesale electricity. 

In 1986, Lubbock, Brownfield, Floydada, and Tulia created the West Texas Municipal Power Authority.  In 2008, WTMPA created the High Plains Diversified Energy Corporation.

High Plains filed a petition in April asking the judge to declare that it could borrow up to $1.5 billion in the form of municipal bonds.  Such bonds are normally backed by the full faith and credit of taxpayers, although the bonds could also be structured to use power plants, for example, as collateral.

Lubbock's legal protest last week said, "High Plains' petition … omits critical information."  Lubbock does not want local taxpayers held responsible if anything goes wrong. 

Thursday, Lubbock fired another shot at the legality of High Plains' proposals.  In the second filing Lubbock says, "These proposed bonds are not authorized under Texas law."

Lubbock also says, "High Plains does not validly exist."

Who said High Plains could exist in the first place?  It was none other than former 237th District Judge Sam Medina, who is now Lubbock City Attorney.

Because of this potential conflict of interest, Lubbock hired outside counsel to handle the High Plains case. Medina can only watch from the sidelines as Lubbock challenges the very ruling he made back in 2008.

A Friday court hearing the case has been postponed.

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