Regular visitors here know how much we love TXU — how customer-oriented the company is, how much the soon-to-be completed privatization will improve service, and the like. So that TXU was fined $5 million for renewing customers whose contracts had expired — without the customers’ permission — is not surprising.

What is interesting, though, is that the PUC didn’t even discuss the fine. It was on the consent agenda, according to a PUC spokesman, which means no one on the board thought it was even worth talking about. That is an indication of how just how little the PUC trusts TXU.

And for those of us who love a good corporate-speak chuckle, consider this from the company after the fine was announced: "We don’t think we did any thing unlawful, and we settled in order to get back and focus on our customers," said a spokeswoman.

Update: TXU CEO John Wilder, who has not made many friends in the consumer, environmental or regulatory communities, will leave if the sale goes through. A vote is scheduled for Sept. 7. Wilder’s decison may be an attempt to appease everyone who is unhappy about the sale, including the company’s largest shareholder. It says it won’t vote for the sale.

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