I take back my snarky comments about this reporter after his silly "evil twin" story about new AEP CEO Little Drummer Boy. Dan Gearino of The Columbus Dispatch actually did some investigative journalism about AEP's sneaky rate hike deal with Ohio's Public Utilities Commission. The deal could raise electric rates for small businesses by more than 30%, while lowering rates for big, industrial energy hogs. Check out the results of the reporter's investigation here.
AEP is going to raise the electric rates of Kentucky Power customers 31% to installer scrubbers on their Big Sandy plant so that it can continue to burn lots of MTR coal far into the future instead of switching fuel sources. Keep in mind that the power companies always ask for more than double the rate increase they actually need because they know the state utilities commission is going to hack it up until it resembles something just and reasonable. Could AEP be padding the cost of this upgrade to support Mikey's EPA "train wreck" fantasy? I hope the Kentucky utilities commission checks AEP's claim that installing the scrubber is truly the least cost option over the long term instead of switching fuels, or other options.
If you're an Appalachian Power customer in Virginia, you can now start giving those Santa suit clad bell ringers the hand on your way into Wal-Mart because the Virginia SCC has now made AEP your charitable contributions coordinator. In a split decision, the SCC has allowed Appalachian Power to recover the cost of their charitable contributions from their customers. Dissenting Commissioner Mark Christie gets it right when he says recovery of charitable contributions have no place in a monopoly franchise. The company can deduct these contributions from their taxes, but they'd much rather recover them from their customers and take credit for the "charity." Outrageous!
And last, but not least, check out this episode of The Keystone Cops that ensued when Appalachian Power held a storm response drill in West Virginia. APCO would do better to just spend some of that money they received in rate increases to repair and maintain their crumbling distribution system instead of playing storm games. Be sure to check out the comments -- hysterical -- AEP will next practice filing for more rate increases! :-)
Ho Ho Flippin' Ho, AEP!