Energy in the News: Will Austin Pay Taxes on Biomass Plant?

Photo by Warren Getz, NREL

Austin Energy’s purchase of power plant threatens Nacogdoches County

By Philip Jankowski, Austin American Statesman

May 4, 2019 at 6:29 PM

When Austin Energy announced it would purchase an East Texas biomass power plant, executives at the utility projected the $460 million purchase would save the city hundreds of millions.

What Austin Energy didn’t mention was the collateral damage the acquisition could have on the poverty stricken rural East Texas school district, the small emergency services district and the county that have come to rely on the property tax revenue the facility generates.

Paul Robbins, an environmental activist and sometimes critic of Austin Energy, said …

“The humane part of me wants to say, ‘Well, sure.’ But the business part of me says, ‘We bit this bullet in order to get out of an onerous contract. When will this ever end?’”