Tuesday, July 1, 2008

State Senators Blast Electric Utilities

State Democratic Senators Vince Fumo, Lisa Boscola and Jim Ferlo weighed in on the pending elimination of electricity rate caps in Pennsylvania. Rate caps are set to expire in 2009, 2010 and 2011. When the caps are removed those rates will have consumers paying anywhere from 8 to 63 percent more for electricity. Senator Boscola says that deregulation in other states has been disastrous for industry, residents and the public sector--resulting in industry moving to states with regulated electricity, higher property taxes, and the closing of businesses. She says that while alternative sources of energy are important, they are insufficient to cover the needs of Pennsylvanians. Ferlo wants to mandate the Public Utility Commission to maintain sufficient data to assure utilities are acting in the interest of rate payers and to prevent market manipulation. The senators want the rate caps phased in over a five year period to soften the blow to consumers and they are calling for rates that either do not exceed inflation or do not exceed five percent, which ever is lower--indefinitely. Ferlo addressed his final comments to the the utility companies and their lobbyists by saying "let's get ready to rumble."

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