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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Cap-and-trade bill will only boost our utility rates

Sunday, February 7, 2010

If you liked your utility bill this month just wait until the feds approve new cap and trade legislation. You ain't seen nothing yet!

Utility customers throughout the region are shaking their collective heads this week with the arrival of January electric bills. A combination of higher rates and a prolonged cold spell is forcing many consumers to dig deep just to pay their utility bill.

As if that's not bad enough, the current federal administration seems hell-bent to save us from ourselves with their dream of cap and trade legislation. If approved - and we can only hope it is not - cap and trade could double these existing bills.

In Sikeston, we are truly blessed. Our municipal utilities are among the lowest rates in the state and we haven't seen a utility rate increase for years. That will probably change in a couple of years when the utility negotiates a new contract for coal delivery to our plant. But even then, we'll still enjoy extremely low energy rates. Thank goodness for those visionaries who proposed and then built our power plant.

Doesn't anyone in Washington understand that American consumers are hurting financially? People are holding onto those precious dollars not for a dream vacation but rather to purchase essential items like food and utilities. If something is not done at the national level to find relief for consumers, we're either going to go broke or have a modern-day revolution.

And we taxpayers will get hit in another silent way with these higher utility costs. You can only imagine the number of people in this country who are unable to pay their own utility costs. So taxpayers pay those bills. And those bills are only growing.

It's easy to point an accusing finger at the utility providers but that would be wrong. Virtually all utility providers don't spend lavishly but rather seek only to recover increased costs to them. Many operate a non-profit cooperatives. So don't blame utility companies. Blame government officials who impose added costs with no regard to the consequences.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen