AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Public Utilities Commission denied a request Friday by the city of El Paso that sought a 30-day delay in the timeline for approval of a proposed El Paso Electric Company sale.
The city had sought to push back a Dec. 17 deadline for its negotiators to resolve issues involving the proposed $4.3 billion sale of the utility to a J.P. Morgan Chase investment fund.
City officials this week said those negotiations were focused on protecting workers and ratepayers if the sale goes through. But city leaders had expressed hope the state would grant them more time to complete those talks.
Among the top concerns expressed by city leaders: Making sure electric rates remain affordable for El Pasoans, ensuring that current El Paso Electric employees keep their jobs, and maintaining the utility's headquarters here in the Borderland.
There had been discussions by El Paso City Council about whether the city should seek to takeover operations of the utility as opposed to allowing the private sale. However, those prospects appeared to dwindle in recent days with officials saying they were instead focused on negotiations tied to the investment fund purchase of El Paso Electric.