The Pueblo West View

Letter: Forum disappointing

I thought the Re:Volt Pueblo public forum was finally the answer to our prayers, to lower the cost of our outrageous residential electric bills. What a disappointment! All we got was a business owner facilitator for the first hour, that was intent on telling us what we’ve already known for the last four years. We’re getting screwed by the electric utilities. When asked for a plan, he had none for the immediate crisis, nor did he want to hear one. He seemed to be encouraging the use of renewable energy sources as the answer.

Re:Volt Pueblo wants to create a consortium of local politicians and prominent business leaders to negotiate with Black Hills Energy for lower rates. Some of these same people recommended that Black Hills Energy be given a renewal on their franchise contract, and to build a second unneeded unit at their new power plant. Now that commercial business owners are being slammed with high peak use rates and can’t afford their electric bill, they want somebody to do something about it. Where were they four years ago?

It’s sad to see Re:Volt sponsors Sister Nancy Crafton and Ann Stadelman, both proponents of the poor, wring their hands in dismay year after year. But several people in past years, have told them that it will take a change in the law, that will allow voters to elect the three PUC members, instead of appointment by the governor. In addition, rate payers should be able to vote for approval or denial of all utility fees and rates. Impose a 50% severance tax on sale of natural gas, electric power, and water to out of state entities and a 50% income tax on profit margins above 2.9% for investor owned utilities, and the taxes be credited back to rate payers. This would ensure that utilities and producers would not create an artificial shortage to Coloradans.

Crafton and Stadelman think that this Re:Volt consortium negotiating with Black Hills, through some sort of divine intervention, is going lower fees and rates. It won’t. If two plumbers could implement a recall overnight, surely referring these issues to the voters can be done.

Frank J. Peralta

Pueblo West

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