Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, February 21, 2021

"My savings is gone," said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card - 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. For customers whose electricity prices are not fixed and are instead tied to the fluctuating wholesale price, the spikes have been astronomical.



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The steep electric bills in Texas are in part a result of the state's uniquely unregulated energy market, which allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system.

Under some of the plans, when demand increases, prices rise. The goal, architects of the system say, is to balance the market by encouraging consumers to reduce their usage and power suppliers to create more electricity.

But when last week's crisis hit and power systems faltered, the state's Public Utilities Commission ordered that the price cap be raised to its maximum limit of $9 per kilowatt-hour, easily pushing many customers' daily electric costs above $100. And in some cases, like Mr. Willoughby's, bills rose by more than 50 times the normal cost.

DeAndr Upshaw said his power had been on and off in his Dallas apartment throughout the storm. A lot of his neighbors had it worse, so he felt fortunate to have electricity and heat, inviting some neighbors over to warm up.

Then Mr. Upshaw, 33, saw that his utility bill from Griddy had risen to more than $6,700. He usually pays about $80 a month this time of year.

"It's a utility " it's something that you need to live," Mr. Upshaw, 33, said. "I don't feel like I've used $6,700 of electricity in the last decade. That's not a cost that any reasonable person would have to pay for five days of intermittent electric service being used at the bare minimum."

Deregulation is wonderful up until the moment that it isn't and innocent people are left paying for the decisions and mistakes of capitalists freed from reasonable oversight.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-02-20 08:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

What would happen if they refused to pay? I wouldn't pay until the whole thing was straightened out,maybe not then. One thing is sure. I would talk to the utilities and a lawyer before I paid a cent.

#2 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2021-02-20 09:06 PM | Reply

Declare Force majeure.

#3 | Posted by Scotty at 2021-02-20 09:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


Gotta love it.

Akin to healthcare for profit. The goal is not healthy Americans, but the profit off of not healthy Americans. So then the question becomes, why keep Americans healthy?

Capitalism, gotta love it.

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-02-20 10:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Absurdity is the GOP's new normal.

#5 | Posted by Angrydad at 2021-02-21 09:53 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Supply and demand. The system is working as designed.

Only socialists have a problem with this, so pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you're not a commie! They should have invested in the power companies instead of just sitting around waiting for a handout. Bunch of liberal losers!

#6 | Posted by horstngraben at 2021-02-21 10:07 AM | Reply

More and more stories like this are coming out from Texas. Anyone that pays these bills is a fool.

#7 | Posted by YAV at 2021-02-21 10:56 AM | Reply

#6 | Posted by horstngraben

Unfettered Capitalism is as bad if not worse than total socialism. This is an example of unfettered capitalism. This would be akin to loan sharking in my book. It is also a reason I don't have autopay setup on anything. I would fight that bill for sure.

#8 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-02-21 11:39 AM | Reply

" Anyone that pays these bills is a fool."

Apparently, more than a few of these folks had their bill set to autopay.

#9 | Posted by Angrydad at 2021-02-21 12:30 PM | Reply

#8 | Posted by GalaxiePete

I think ol' boy was being facetious...

#10 | Posted by Angrydad at 2021-02-21 12:31 PM | Reply

"My savings is gone"

Womp womp.

#11 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-02-21 12:35 PM | Reply

#9 - I only have a few accounts set to 'auto-pay' and I have limits set on all those. If anyone else on here uses 'auto-pay' I strongly recommend you set limits to prevent accidental billing or other events from ruining you financially.

#12 | Posted by YAV at 2021-02-21 12:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The median checking account balance is $3,400.

What are they going to do?

#13 | Posted by eberly at 2021-02-21 12:57 PM | Reply

What are they going to do?


Oh dear. Guess they should have lived better lives.

According to the GOP people who live "good lives" don't have these kind of problems.

#14 | Posted by donnerboy at 2021-02-21 01:23 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

What are they going to do?

They should start their own company!

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-02-21 01:52 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

They built that! Maybe they should reconsider who they are voting for next time???

#16 | Posted by a_monson at 2021-02-21 02:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Is the guy voted for Trump he voted for madness like this.

#17 | Posted by Tor at 2021-02-21 02:15 PM | Reply

Everyone I know now has friends or family that have been killed by Republican governance. Gene froze to death after 5 days without heat.
Quote Tweet
Pleasant Gehman
RIP Gene Taylor
He was an incredible piano player; we met years ago through The Blasters; he also played with Canned Heat, The Fabulous Thunderbirds & many more.
He was talented, hilariously funny & kind.
Journey well, old friend
11:28 AM Feb 21, 2021Twitter for iPhone

#18 | Posted by reinheitsgebot at 2021-02-21 03:16 PM | Reply

These people are crying for being stupid enough to buy electricity at market rates.

They loved it when they paid 1/2 what other people were paying. Now not so much.

Maybe they should reconsider who they are voting for next time???

#16 | Posted by a_monson at 2021-02-21 02:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

They won't. They have bought into the GOP baloney hook, line and sinker.

#19 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-02-22 07:06 AM | Reply

I only have a few accounts set to 'auto-pay' and I have limits set on all those. If anyone else on here uses 'auto-pay' I strongly recommend you set limits to prevent accidental billing or other events from ruining you financially.

#12 | Posted by YAV at 2021-02-21 12:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

It was a requirement of their contract I'll bet.

When natural gas opened up, I signed up with a new company. Locked in my rates for three years. To save an extra 1% I could prepay from my bank account. Nope...put it on my credit card.

First year went fine. Charged once in Oct and once in March for the six month blocks. Then gas prices skyrocketed. The utility called and offered 5% off if I renew for 5 years at current market rates of double what I was paying. I refused to re-up and told them I was going to let the contract run out. A month later they filed for bankruptcy. The day after that they charged my semi-annual renewal to my credit card and then announced they were shutting down. Thousands of others who used their bank accounts suffered similar fates but they were ---- out of luck in getting a refund. If they were charged a thousand, they were lucky to get a hundred bucks back. On top of that they had to rush out and pay again another utility for their natural gas for the winter.

#20 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-02-22 07:16 AM | Reply

Why is this ---- legal?

#21 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2021-02-22 12:57 PM | Reply

legal #becausetexas

#22 | Posted by e1g1 at 2021-02-22 01:52 PM | Reply

Do you know why we can fly a helicopter on Mars but can't turn on a light in Texas? Because scientists are in charge on Mars and Republicans are in charge in Texas.

#23 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2021-02-22 06:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


I would have flagged that funny if it weren't so depressingly newsworthy.

#24 | Posted by ClownShack at 2021-02-22 06:22 PM | Reply

Stop it! Your President Bye den is working hard for YOU!

#25 | Posted by Sludge_Report at 2021-02-23 09:32 AM | Reply

Biden's doing GREAT.

This is all due to Republican scum implementing a doomed ideology from the start.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

#26 | Posted by YAV at 2021-02-23 11:24 AM | Reply

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