Giant that ate El Paso Electric

Kenneth R. Baake

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper is a narrative examining how the types of discourse used by the El Paso Electric Co. since the company's founding in 1901 have reflected periods of relative calm and also have anticipated periods of tumultuous change. I use annual reports from the company supplemented with notes from my 10 years reporting on its activities for a daily newspaper to show how El Paso Electric's rhetorical output has evolved to meet multiple exigencies. These include fuel shortages, rapid growth in demand, a nuclear power adventure, bankruptcy and the current threat of deregulation. At times the company has responded to these situations by employing all three types of Aristotelian rhetoric: epideictic, forensic and deliberative. My study also considers shifts in El Paso Electric's rhetoric from that reflecting a modernist faith in the predictive powers of science to a post-modern awareness that scientific design alone cannot ensure success.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference - Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Duration: Oct 22 1997Oct 25 1997


ConferenceProceedings of the 1997 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference
CitySalt Lake City, UT, USA


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