Congressional District. Kubiak, a member of the union’s president’s council, pledged to work for a moratorium on farm foreclosures. “You want someone in Washington to help Jim Hightower and to help you,” he said. G. R. CLAYTON’S CONTRIBUTIONS We were worried there for a while about whether Billy Clayton would get his $300,000 in left-over campaign contributions spent on worthy causes. We needn’t have. $1,000 was donated to Mark White, $3,000 to the Democratic Party, and $15,000 a month was spent for 12 months to lease an airplane. Clayton’s officeholder report showed a total payment of $180,000 to lease a twin-engine Piper Aerostar from Springlake Enterprises, Inc., his own corporation. “I find it highly unlikely that a private plane would cost that much,” state Sen. Ted Lyon said. “What’s he flying, a 747?” Lyon, who carried Common Cause ethics bills in 1981, said tapping socalled officeholder accounts for flights to speaking engagements is justifiable, but Clayton’s payments are “totally outrageous.” Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, by contrast, owns his plane but taps his officeholder account only for $130 an hour when he actually uses it. J. H. CONSCIOUSNESS RAZING On January 12, I was called by one Susan Rose, who asked for an apology for the “misogyny” involved in my use of the allusion, “The bride is stripped bare by her suitors.” \(TO, I’m of two minds about this. First, I apologize for any violence done to Ms. Rose and all women, as she claims, by the use of this line, borrowed from the title of a work by Marcel Duchamp. I apologize for what may be perceived as glibness. Violence against any reader was not my intention. Apparently, for at least one reader the use of the allusion made the waters murkier rather than clearing them up. For that reader, then, the allusion failed. I apologize for failed allusion. At the same time, I am saddened that Marcel Duchamp is denied his place in a piece about COPS. For those readers familiar with the line and the work I think it adds a little resonance to a contemporary news story by triggering tiny reverberations throughout Western history and modern culture. Both COPS and Duchamp, in their own ways, have revealed to us institutions and processes that control our lives by stripping them bare of unearned authority and presumed power. G. R. Putting the S-T-0 to STNP By Nina Butts Austin Last year Houston Lighting and Power was one of eight electric utilities in America that canceled nuclear projects. Houston abandoned its plan to build the Aliens Creek nuclear generating station after spending $338 million on it. Now talk is in the air of canceling the South Texas Nuclear Project, the huge plant managed by HL&P that sits, one-third built, on 12,000 acres of former Gulf Coast farmland. STNP is shared by the public-owned utilities of and investor-owned utilities of Corpus Since Three Mile Island, canceled nukes have become as common as white bread. 1978 was the last year that a nuclear reactor was ordered for a U.S. power plant, and, in the intervening four years, 48 plants have been aborted in planning or abandoned in construction. In Texas, Austin has found out the hard way that utilities are no longer interested in nuclear power: Austinites voted in 1981 to sell their STNP share, Nina Butts is an Austin writer and frequent Observer contributor. and the city council has sought a buyer ever since without success. American utilities have simply stopped making new investments in nuclear power. And many of them are sacrificing huge investments that they have already made. For a utility company, cancellation of a nuclear power project is not a sweet option. It means a huge loss of money \(two billion dollars in the case of the confrontations with courts and public utility commissions over who should pay for the mistake, and damaged egos and prestige. After Houston Lighting and Power decided in August 1982 to cancel Aliens Creek, they asked the Texas Public Utility Commission to let them charge ratepayers $362 million of their $388 million in the project. The PUC ruled that the plant should have been canceled by early 1980, so the money HL&P had spent on it since then, $160 million, would have to be HL&P stockholders’, not the ratepayers’, loss. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.