Thursday, February 11, 2010

CPS Rate Hike to Support Dirty Energy

In the wake of the new year as the STP nuclear project is still unresolved and lost in the courts, CPS has introduced yet another rate hike to city council. This time for 7.5% increase for San Antonio's electric bills. In the past two years the city council has passed two increases in the name of sustainability. The proposed 7.5% increase is the beginning of a series of increases intended to raise electricity and gas costs up to 40% over the next decade. Utility costs already function as a regressive tax, with low income households paying proportionally more of their income toward utilities. This increase would thus affect our communities first and worst.

CPS would have us believe that rate hikes are necessary for clean energy, but the reality is that this money is not earmarked for weatherization, conservation and efficiency measures or renewables, projects that would transition our city away from dirty energy at the same time that they would lower energy bills and mitigate health impacts from pollution. Instead the rate hikes intend to maintain existing dirty energy infrastructure like coal and gas and fund transmission lines to new development. Before we as poor and working folks spend more of our money on new homes and industry, we demand that our neighborhoods and homes be safer, cleaner, and healthier.

Yesterday February 10 was the last of the public meeting explaining the rate hike. As a community we want to see real public participation and transparency in the decision making process over energy policy. Announcing a public hearing on an issue that will have a deep and lasting impact on ratepayers on the day of the hearing is insulting. We insist on a truly transparent and democratic process that allows us as community members and ratepayers to have real and timely involvement in decisions that will have a huge impact on our economic welfare and health.

What you can do?
Call or write your city council representative and tell them to vote NO
Sign up to speak at the meeting on Feb. 18
Invite your familiy, friends, neighbors, organizations etc... to attend the vote on Feb. 18

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