Winter storm costs created public records fight in San Antonio

New Public Records Act Opinion Considers Extent of Trade Secret Privilege -  Best Best & Krieger


Public records and demands for details of energy costs from the February 2021 winter storm Uri aren’t just an issue at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

They are a growing issue in Texas where the San Antonio Express-News has attempted to learn more about why the city-owned CPS Energy spent tens of millions of dollars on legal fights to challenge bills from natural gas suppliers and the state grid operator.

The newspaper reported this week that it “remains unclear what San Antonio households have gotten in exchange.”

Documents obtained through open records requests made by the Express-News revealed CPS Energy paid nearly $27 million to eight law firms and a consultant for work on the energy fights. However, CPS Energy refuses to release details of the legal settlements.

The paper also stated that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton blocked the efforts of the Express-News to obtain agreements CPS made with 16 natural gas suppliers.