Friday, February 26, 2010

Security Risks Preclude Public Visits To BRA Dams

Homeland Security Concerns Force Closed Door Policy

Reached for permission to tour the hydroelectric project at
the Morris Sheppard Dam on Possum Kingdom Lake, the manager
in charge told The Legendary that security risks will no
longer allow the risk of public tours of their dams.

"We don't allow anyone on our dams any more," said Mike
McLendon, Regional Manager of Customer Relations for the
Brazos River Authority at the agency's headquarters in Waco.
"Ever since 9/11, the security risk is too great."

The 1938 WPA project has been shut down for purposes of
generating hydroelectric power for sale to consumers through
the Brazos Electric Power Co-Op because of a deterioration
in the turbine generating equipment that is powered by the
the constant flow of water through the gates of the

It is a design feature of the project that has been
discontinued due to what the BRA has termed a lack of
maintenance. This prompted the Brazos Electric Power
organization to file suit in state district court for an
alleged breach of a contractual obligation to generate and
market electrical power. The agreement was approved by the
Federal Electrical Power Commission in the year 2008.

In the BRA's year end report for 2009, the agency declared,
"This contract has not produced adequate revenue in recent
years. On June 15, 2001, the Brazos River Authority was
approved as a Power Generation Company by the PUC. The
action essentially deregulates the Authority's power
generation, releasing us from PUC oversight..."

Senatorial candidate Darren Yancy, a Burleson investment
banker and commercial insurance broker who is running on the
Republican ticket against incumbent Kip Averitt, expressed a
desire to pay a visit to the powerhouse and turbine setup to
see what type of deterioration had caused the cessation of
generation of electrical power.

The presiding member of the BRA's Board of Directors, Waco
attorney Chris DeCluitt, has urged a "Keep Kit" movement
among Republican voters, though the lawmaker, who is
chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and the
principle sponsor of the Texas Water Plan, has declared that
he is not interested in seeking re-election to his post.

Incumbent McLennan County Republican Chairman Joe B. Hinton,
former Vice President for European operations of
Exxon/Mobil, during previous tenure by other Senate District
22 veterans, Dave Sibley and Chet Edwards.

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