SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Rate rage roundup - The morning after

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007

* We’ll start our coverage with today’s Tribune story

Lawmakers, school officials and mayors lashed out at utility companies Tuesday in a rare public hearing before the full House, saying skyrocketing electricity bills are forcing consumers to choose between food, medicine and heat.

“I can’t begin to describe the crisis and calamity going on,” said Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), sitting by a bundle of constituents’ bills 2 feet high. “The scales of justice in this state are out of whack.” […]

The hearing unleashed pent-up rage over bills that began arriving in consumer mailboxes about the time House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President Emil Jones reached a stalemate over how to address one of the biggest pocketbook issues the two Chicago Democrats have faced in years.

* Meanwhile, ComEd claimed they don’t have a rate problem up north, and blatantly threw Ameren under the bus

“Yes, there’s a serious issue in the state of Illinois,” Clark said. “But it’s not all over Illinois and 75 percent of the customer base in Illinois is not having that problem. Now do we need to address the situation in southern Illinois? Absolutely.”

* Sun-Times

Madigan said he’s “still very hopeful” that the Senate will support another freeze, even though Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) stymied a similar plan in January.

Ameren and ComEd executives have said another freeze would wreak financial havoc on their companies.

* Madigan called the ICC-imposed “reverse power auction” nothing more than a fix

“That auction is nothing more than a fix,” Madigan said. “It’s a fix for Exelon and other large power producers that can produce power at costs so low that when you compare the cost of producing the power against the price set by the reverse clock auction, there’s enough spread (that) the financial houses from New York have become buyers and sellers of power in Illinois. That’s not right.”

* And Ameren offered up a “compromise“…

The president of Ameren’s Illinois utilities, facing a roomful of angry state lawmakers Tuesday, vowed one-time partial refunds to Illinoisans who have been socked with unusually high power bills this month — a $20 million gambit apparently designed to persuade the Legislature not to re-regulate electric rates.

* But as I told you last night, when I was the first to run a brief piece on the Ameren proposal, the Speaker turned thumbs down, claiming the Ameren offer (which totaled $35 million) was insufficient.

* Lawmakers comment on electric rate hikes

* Outlining the program options offered by ComEd

* And a Daily Herald semi-blogger registered his complaints.

Making the management of the proceedings even more questionable was the fact that it was 7:30 p.m. before the Ameren CEO took the witness stand to explain why some of his company’s customers are seeing power bill increases of 200 to 300 percent and tell lawmakers what he planned to do about it. Scott Cisel, the Ameren CEO, outlined an 8-point plan of customer relief only to have it largely dismissed by downstate members who openly accuse the company of lying to them about the effects of rate hikes.

But by then, Mayor Daley was being declared the winner of yet another term in Chicago and across the state, media attention was turning to key local races, particularly downstate where there aren’t the resources in many media markets to cover both the hearing and the elections. And, unlike the hearing, the elections were producing results Tuesday night.

At nearly 11 p.m., ComEd’s CEO still had not testified or taken questions.

* Soundclips from committee of the whole hearing [Madigan’s full statement will be posted later this morning in the subscriber-only section]

- Posted by Rich Miller        


18 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 11:23 am:

    There needs to be a compormise. A power buisness needs to be able to charge an amount that allows it to run a profitabkle business. A company cliaming it is on the verge of bankruptcy begs the question of what is its real financial shape. To my simple persepctive, any discussion about rates needs to begin by having ameren etc open up their books and show what it really costs them to provide power to illinois residents. from their rates should be set. If the companies fairly need the increase because we kept the rates artificially low, then perhaps a phase in plan. If the rates are higher then actually needed so that the companies can use the long freeze as an excuse to reap large profits, this should be stopped.

    Alternatively, move to Springfield and experience govt. owned power :)


  2. - RickG - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 11:33 am:

    Kudos to ComEd for publicly admonishing Ameren. If I were a ComEd publicist I’d be slamming them top to bottom, because it only makes my company look better by comparison.


  3. - Way Northsider - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    Rich - thanks for this post. It is a complicated topic and you have made a really nice job of organizing the information. I don’t have a comment on the subject contents themselves but did want to let you know your work is read and appreciated. I hope you keep covering this and also the gross receipts discussion.


  4. - Whizbang - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 12:12 pm:

    Finally…. somebody in the GA understands at least part of the sham. Madigan’s comments about the auction are refreshing although nothing will probably happen to rectify the situation. Now if we can only get them to understand how the utility holding companies sold fully depreciated plants to their generating arms for full prices and are now figuring those into the rates. Good luck folks.


  5. - Cynthia Munoz - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 12:55 pm:

    Certain groups like UNO supposedly helping minorities and speaking for the community really sold out to ComEd and Peoples Energy. They went with the grant money and Big Business and not with the people or consumers. How do groups like this have any credibility?


  6. - Westside - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 1:07 pm:

    These problems started 10 years ago when they passed the rate freeze. Inflation has happened to everything expcept electric rates. These companies are in business to make profits and I am sure there cost have gone up in the last 10 years and it has to passed on to the consumer. This law should have never passed because in the long run it was not in the consumers best interest but it made the Reps back then look like heroes and that is what they were looking for.


  7. - Gregor - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 2:09 pm:

    All these polls are twigging just now that if this doesn’t get fixed pronto, they are all out of jobs next election. Unless they got enough under-the-table cash from the lobby groups to retire on, they need to “Come To Jesus” immediately.

    Months before the freeze ran out, I predicted that the ultimate compromise would be a gradual ramp-up of rates over several years. The power companies should have curtailed their greed up-front and pretended to amke “reasonable” increases of a percent or two. Like in that story of the frog in the pot full of hot water: if you raise the temp slowly enough, he never thinks to jump out, until he’s cooked and it’s too late.

    the utilities instead threw kermit in the microwave and set it on “glow in the dark”.

    Idiots.

    Now the pols have no other recourse but to make a big show of re-freezing the rates and then thawing them out more gradually next time.

    BTW, where the heck is Rod? Hiding out until someone else solves this mess he helped create with his padded boards and commissions? How much did HE get from utilites to contribute to the campaign?


  8. - TellAll - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 2:15 pm:

    Many voters are now wanting to know about who received contributions from Ameren and its affialiated PACs, and some mention is made about the possibility that AmerenCIPS’s chief spokesperson may be the Chairman-In-Waiting of a county Republican Central Committee; it’s very, very, awkward.


  9. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 2:44 pm:

    Nice ploy by ComEd. Keep the rates low until the threat of action has subsided, THEN raise the rates.


  10. - Mr. CUB - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 3:29 pm:

    Did Frank Clark have anything interesting to say when he testified? Was anybody still awake?


  11. - Frank Booth - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 4:39 pm:

    Mr. Clark talked about how many hi-efficiency light bulbs ComEd gives out and how they need to educate people about the bulbs because most people think they’re ugly (the bulbs) and don’t want to use them.

    Then Rep. Mary Flowers began quoting from Wikipedia entries about the California blackouts and asking him to respond.


  12. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 7:05 pm:

    I understand profit and loss, however, I also understand marketing and bad publicity. If both these monopolies do not show their true costs, including the pots of gold and golden parachutes their executives receive and show that they are essentially buying electricity from themselves and selling it to us at these outrageous rates, their good name is going in the outhouse.

    And if they suddenly find the money, in their supposed nearly impoverished state, to buy a nukie in Texas, then they can kiss their credibility and any support from the public goodbye. And by the way, where is Milarod?? Chickens–t.


  13. - Sango Dem - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 7:47 pm:

    Does Emil Jones not realize that he’s destroying what remains of the Democratic Party in downstate or does he just not care?

    Ameren was already a criminal organization run by crooks and now they’re abusing their monopoly power to rape their unwilling costumers. I hope most of downstate decides to start public utilities and co-ops after this. The private sector is NOT WORKING!


  14. - DRB - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 8:17 pm:

    Just remember everyone, this is entirely the Democrat party who brought on this rate increase. The Dems could have done something to help control this. Instead, they did nothing.


  15. - State Worker w/ MBA - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 9:02 pm:

    “These companies are in business to make profits and I am sure there cost have gone up in the last 10 years and it has to passed on to the consumer.”

    Ameren made something like 650 million profit in the 4th qtr of 06. How much do they need?


  16. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 11:06 pm:

    DRB, the GOP controlled the Senate and the Mansion in 96-97. They are as much to blame, and not extending the rate freeze last spring or fall could have resulted in a halt of power supplies.

    Let’s not forget that people in Southern Illinois paid less for years as a result of frozen rates and all-energy incentives. Also, I wish that politicians like Mike Bost and John Bradley would show some concern for sky-high property taxes in the suburbs. Those paying very high rates are also faced with major issues, and what are we to tell them? Move or live with it? Tough? That’s not fair, and people south of I-80 need to remember that nugget.


  17. - Madison County Watcher - Thursday, Mar 1, 07 @ 11:14 am:

    Who is the “chairman in waiting” of a GOP county organization that is also spokesperson for AmerenCIPS? Or what county are you referencing?


  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 1, 07 @ 6:33 pm:

    ComEd is not completely innocent here.

    They pulled the rug out from under us all-electric customers (after enticing us with discounted rates) without clear advance warning that their rate increases would be a lot more than the publicized 25 percent.

    The new rate schedules should have been mailed to customers several months ago so people could make energy saving changes in advance, but they only arrived with the second bill at the new rates.

    They’ve also offered few tips on how to save energy to reduce bills, when customers need the help the most.

    While the surprise hurts, I’m otherwise glad for the extra incentive to figure out more ways to save energy.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Where the social service money goes may surprise you
* It's just a bill
* Audit: IL Lottery violated State Finance Act
* Question of the day
* Butler implies that both Rauner and AFSCME not being "truthful"
* Budget impasse apparently taking toll on higher ed enrollment
* Today's number: 50 percent
* Fantasy Sports: Game of Skill
* *** LIVE *** Session Coverage
* Poll finds huge support for gun dealer licensing
* It's all one thing
* Bourne signs on to Manar plan
* Supremes to Blagojevich: Nope
* A picture is worth a thousand words
* Today's quotable
* HDems looking at another school funding avenue
* Two speeches, two messages
* Fantasy Sports Is Internet Gaming
* More crazy talk in Springfield
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* Rauner: "No way Hillary Clinton is getting elected"
* Standoff over stopgap
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** UPDATED x1 *** State GOP delegates soundly reject gay marriage platform change
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* iOS 9.3.3 jailbroken in record time and you can have it in 10 years
* Sony Xperia XA Ultra in UK for pre-orders via third parties
* Non-profit RideAustin looks to fill void left by Uber and Lyft
* iPhone 7 four-speaker design, Best Buy Galaxy S7 deals & more — Pocketnow Daily
* Google and Oracle present closing arguments in battle over Java
* Will.i.am's 'i.am+ EPs' Wireless Earphones Debut Exclusively at Apple Stores
* iPhone 7 speakers number four, iPad Pro called out in this case leak

* Ventura pleased starters worked deep in DH
* Nobody's more impactful than combo of Sale-Quintana
* Indians 5, White Sox 1: Dingers doom Erik Johnson
* Johnson allows 3 HRs as Sox drop nightcap
* Dominant Sale eyes 10th win as White Sox face Tribe
* White Sox hang on, edge Tribe in opener
* White Sox 7, Indians 6: Sweating out a win in Game 1

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Unmployment and Education - Alton Daily News..
* Miller: More crazy talk in Sprinfield - The Her.....
* Amid budget deficit, Illinois considers taxing .....
* Dick Durbin Responds to Speculation He’ll Run f.....
* Madigan still trying to wait Rauner out - SaukV.....


* Lawyers contribute to congressional campaign of judge's son
* Updating Illinois IDs won't cost require more state money
* Northern Illinois man accused of possessing pipe bombs
* State election board questions automatic voter registration
* High court rejects request to reconsider Blagojevich case
* Prosecutors: Peterson offered $10,000 for prosecutor's death
* Inmate: Drew Peterson admitted to killing missing wife
* 3 men from Illinois killed, 1 injured in Kankakee crash
* Budget stalemate erodes interest in some Illinois colleges
* Rauner: Still time to achieve 'grand compromise'

* Republicans doubtful Illinois State Fairgrounds foundation bill will pass
* GOP leaders: No tax hike with no reforms
* State election board questions automatic voter registration
* Feeding sites to still serve needy children in Springfield
* U.S. Supreme Court rejects request to reconsider Blagojevich case
* Rauner says there's still time for 'grand compromise'
* Updating photo IDs won’t require extra state spending
* Budget stalemate erodes interest in some Illinois colleges
* Illinois Republican Party takes stance on marriage
* As state searches for revenue, is gambling expansion back in mix?

* Polsky gives $35 million to expand University of Chicago entrepreneurship center
* Tribune investor seeks to revive print with 'machine vision'
* Three Chicago law firms beat average, grow revenue
* City reaches new pension deal with laborers
* Here's what CEOs think of candidates' health care ideas


* Woman shot, seriously wounded in Englewood
* Heyward eyes return vs. Cards; plus front office, Victorino notes
* Man shot in South Shore
* Grichuk homer in 9th sends Cubs to third straight loss
* Family asks for FBI investigation of 2013 CPD shooting
* Dear Abby: ‘Nervy’ fundraising by dying co-worker
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for May 24, 2016
* Nonverbal, disabled man missing from Chatham
* New $35M donation expands Polsky Center at U of C
* Girl, 15, missing from Auburn Gresham


* Facebook drops news outlet input in 'trending topics' review
* At least 5 wounded in shootings citywide
* Cubs want more chirping from their bats
* Greek authorities begin evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp
* Cubs' flaws show again in loss to Cardinals as skid reaches three
* White Sox back where they started after splitting doubleheader with Indians
* China's scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works
* Fed's view on interest rates is faulty - and scary
* Oracle sued Google over a hamburger, Java trial jury told
* U. of C. gets $35 million from Invenergy founder Michael Polsky


* Republicans doubtful Illinois State Fairgrounds foundation bill will pass
* Kathleen Parker: Election disaffection
* GOP leaders: No tax hike with no reforms
* State election board questions automatic voter registration
* Feeding sites to still serve needy children in Springfield
* U.S. Supreme Court rejects request to reconsider Blagojevich case
* Rauner says there's still time for 'grand compromise'
* Janet S. Stover: New OT regs could hit social service providers hard
* Updating photo IDs won’t require extra state spending
* Budget stalemate erodes interest in some Illinois colleges


* Centennial, Rantoul baseball fall in regular season
* Rantoul, M-S softball win in regional action
* Clinton, Prairie Central, Danville baseball advance
* Students give input on future high schools
* Illini basketball to host N.C. State in Challenge
* PODCAST: News Gazette Sports Page 05-23-16
* Airplane Crash Drill
* PODCAST: Little League - First Federal v Bacon & Van Buskirk 05-23-16
* Softball: Six teams vying to advance Tuesday
* Satisfaction not yet guaranteed for Chargers soccer


* No injuries in Naperville apartment fire
* Boys volleyball: Monday, May 23 scoreboard
* Softball: Monday, May 23 scoreboard
* Baseball: Monday, May 23 scoreboard
* Greek authorities begin evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Dick Durbin Responds to Speculation He'll ......

* Letter: Kirk's leadership encourages suppo......
* Kirk: VA wait times 'nothing compared to a......

* Disposing of a loved one’s life
* Emanuel likely to have to ‘take the stand’ in lawsuit filed by pair of Chgo cops
* Emanuel likely to have to ‘take the stand’ in lawsuit filed by pair of cops
* Roseland Theater and the future of the neighborhood
* Making work more complicated and costl
* Making work more complicated and costly
* Gridlock
* Emanuel Unveils Proposal For Tackling Laborers Pension Fund
* Study: Chicago City Council Less Of A 'Rubber Stamp' For Emanuel
* Thousands Of Anti-Violence Protesters Rally In Chicago


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




Hosted by MCS -- CapitolFax.com Privacy Policy -- SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax -- Advertise Here -- Mobile Version -- Contact Rich Miller