EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The vote for the El Paso Climate Charter is drawing closer but utility companies such as El Paso Water and El Paso Electric are warning the community about the potential cost.

Proposition K, more commonly known as The El Paso Climate Charter, promises to use all available resources and authority to accomplish three goals of paramount importance. First, to reduce the city’s contribution to climate change; second, to invest in an environmentally sustainable future; and third, to advance the cause of climate justice.

However according to Eddie Trevizo, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers explained that this charter will put limitations on El Paso Electric especially at power plants that employ hundreds of people. This in turn will potentially cost even more jobs.

“We’re afraid that this could hurt a lot of our blue-collar workers and not only the blue-collar workers you know the people who work in PR, HR, you know we have attorney’s that work for the company we just feel like it could really hurt the working class.” said Trevizo.

KTSM reached out to EP Water to ask them how the charter could impact them. Denise Parra, public affairs officer with the company released a statement that says,

“We do want to dispel some misinformation that has been part of charter discussions. In particular, we do not supply water for fracking. Fracking companies have never requested nor obtained water from El Paso Water.

El Paso Water does serve some fossil fuel business customers outside of the city limits. They range from gas stations to a power plant, and total annual charges for these customers add up close to a million dollars.

The charter sets renewable energy targets that the water utility would be required to meet for 2030 and 2045.

“We are currently working with an engineering firm to determine the capital cost associated with meeting those renewable targets. We know the cost would be high and would have rate impacts, but we won’t have details until the engineering study is completed.” said El Paso Water.

However, ECO El Paso a non-profit focused on sustainability in El Paso and the surrounding region said that the charter is not meant to hurt the utility companies. Nonetheless, executive director Joshua Simmons says that this will benefit El Paso in the long run.

“Trying to encourage and strengthen their efforts to make sure we have clean abundant accessible water supply and that’s how the climate charter will benefit especially the water utility in ensuring the water is used for purposes that are beneficiary to the residents of the community.”

To read about the climate charter, click on this link.

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