Monday, July 13, 2015

South Dakota ratepayers suffering GOP-owned PUC

Energy consumers in South Dakota will continue to suffer rate hikes to pay for utility consolidation while monopolies enjoy the cozy shelter of the state's regressive tax structure. WNAX is reporting that the South Dakota Public Utilities Cartel (SDPUC) is seeing an increase in hike requests.

Black Hills Energy continues to gobble up competitors and frac in sensitive cultural lands while Xcel is raking in Colorado cannabis green.

GOP/Koch-owned SDPUC is expected to shoo in TransCanada as they will with Montana-Dakota Utilities request for a rate increase.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is staffed by Republicans so they're pushovers for rate increases by companies who bankroll their elections to the posts they hold.

NorthWestern Energy has its base of operations in South Dakota because of the state's regressive corporate tax law, so do several other monopolies utilities.

After approval by the PUC, NorthWestern’s request will mean an average increase of $16.76 per month for the typical electric customer, or about 56 cents per day.

According to information provided to the Huron Daily Plainsman, the rate case has nothing to do with carbon rules proposed by the Obama administration for coal-fired plants; but, 96 percent of the $26.5 million being requested involves the Environmental Protection Agency’s mandated pollution controls at the Big Stone/Neal Unit 4 generating plants, Aberdeen peaking plant and the Yankton substation.

Behind the paywall at the Aberdeen American News the paper is hosting a propaganda piece written by NWE's CEO who lives in Helena, Montana: a place where his personal income is taxed by the state. He wants the SDPUC to allow the company to raise its rates because of a decision to buy dams that generate power from public waterways in Montana and to build a new complex in Butte.

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