Telegram Clarifies Western Rate Hike..sort of…


The Telegram wrote: “In any case, no need to panic Rocky Mount

Well, I panic when it looks like the Telegram has started to work for Electricities.

From Telegram: This post intended to clear up confusion among a few Rocky Mount readers who happened upon this recent headline in the The Dispatch of Lexington:

For one thing, I think everyone on the east side knows where Lexington is located.  Anyone who has followed this blog for a month, or read any of the posts, knows there are two electric boards.

What was so interesting about this article (from the Dispatch) is only last summer ElectriCities officials were saying how much better off the western board was compared to the eastern board.  That was about the same time NCMEPA was raising our rates to high heaven. 

Raber at an NCEMPA meeting in Wilson, NC (last year) specifically talked about the cost of running coal fired plants, which are mostly in the east compared to nuclear mostly in the west.

Another snippet from the Telegram: ElectriCities Senior Vice President Ken Raber told me today the eastern agency is in better shape and might be able to avoid a rate increase during the next five years.

My take on this is…Wow, what a difference a year makes.  Now, notice the word “might.” Ask any politician, might is a very powerful word when you’re looking for cover. Always give yourself a way out.

I wish the Telegram had gotten a break down of all those “complicated differences” Raber was talking about.  I’m sure none of those differences happen to be political or board management?

But, alas, let’s take a look at that next to last sentence. 

The western agency, for one, historically has sold surplus electricity on the open market to help keep rates down for member cities, but those sales are way down in the recession.

Well, for one thing, why do you think markets gravitate to utilities in a recession? Because utilities are pretty much recession proof.  You can go without buying a new car, a bigger house, or that new dress you’d just die for, but you can’t crunch but so much of your utility budget.

In a nutshell, I would implore the Telegram to ask questions. Then to investigate if those answers are correct.  Don’t get use to being spoon fed.  Yes, ElectriCities has a very big spoon, but that isn’t chocolate ice cream they’re feeding you.


About George Fisher

George is a freelance writer, an author and a Democratic political consultant. He has worked as Deputy Communications Director for a Senatorial campaign and Campaign Manager for several NC House races and one congressional race. He previously worked as a news producer for a local television station.
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