There was an interesting little question in the Post-Dispatch poll released over the weekend about electric rates. Even when told that the utilities are claiming that extending the current electric rate freeze could drive them into bankruptcy, a solid majority of 56 percent still wanted the freeze to go ahead.
QUESTION:As you may know, electric rates are scheduled to sharply increase in Illinois next year as the result of deregulation of the market. Some say the state should freeze those rates because there isn’t adequate competition in the market yet. The electric industry says continuing the freeze could drive it into bankruptcy. In your opinion, should the state:
Freeze rates at their current levels, OR
Allow the rate hikes to go into effect as planned
Here’s more from an accompanying article.
â€œThe power companies are going to need a hell of a PR campaign'’ to win over the public to the rate hikes, predicted pollster Del Ali. â€œIt’s not enough to threaten to go bankrupt, because people don’t care.'’
That was apparent in comments by poll respondents such as Cheri Akers of Hamilton.
â€œI would be more than happy to see it freeze,'’ she said. â€œI don’t think they would go bankrupt. I think the companies are bluffing.'’