Your Opinion: Transparency needed on utility proposal
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
When politicians say what we need in government is more transparency. I don’t think they had Sen. Kehoe’s latest stunt in mind. By that I mean that even a blind man could see right through Kehoe’s efforts to allow his friends at Ameren even more of a blank check when it comes to raising its rates and profits.
In a series of articles in your paper, he has stumbled through a series of vague and overly generalized reasons for eliminating the few remaining obstacles standing in Ameren’s way, by throwing out such terms as need for a better infrastructure and creation of jobs, without offering any facts to support his claims.
In each ensuing article it becomes more and more apparent that he was coached on what to say. Yet, his arguments have continued to border on the comical (i.e. customers’ bills won’t go down because of the so-called improvement in infrastructure even though you are paying for it and that investor-owned utilities like Ameren are fully regulated.
Only a fool, a politician or Ameren would try and convince us that a company that has had five rate increases approved in the past six years of over 40 percent is fully regulated. One must remember that the members of the PSC are appointed and in almost every case, former state reps or senators much like Kehoe. Do you really think they aren’t pressured to approve rate increases for big businesses? History proves that.
Also, Ameren pays out a high dividend to its investors for a reason, because it puts very little if any of its profit toward improvements. If allowed an infrastructure surcharge you can bet Ameren won’t be rushing to do anything other than putting the money in its own pockets.
Make no mistake if Kehoe and his boss Ameren have their way only his political campaign fund and Ameren’s profits will improve by leaps and bounds. In a truly transparent world Sen. Kehoe’s actions on Ameren’s behalf during the past three years would be under closer scrutiny by the press and others.