If there could be a wall of shame or a pillaring-pole in which to flog electric companies, I would place LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) up on it. From this company’s inception, they have been a bone of contention by their customers while favoring their executives and shareholders. What else is new?
A little history for those not familiar with LIPA: Before it became LIPA it was known as LILCO (Long Island Lighting Company). Due to the corruption and misuse of ratepayer’s money, former Governor George E. Pataki spear-headed this campaign to dismantle LILCO and create LIPA. Like some Long Islanders, I was against this move which favored the share-holders. In the dismantling of LILCO, the former CEO, William Catacasinos, took $67 million in severance pay. Nice huh? As we look to how AIG and others who we recently bailed out by raping the tax payers of this country, Catacosinos was way ahead of them.
As I delved further into the history, Lislueth.com reported another reason for LILCO's demise, citing it "was responsible for the Shoreham Nuclear Powerless Plant. When they proposed the $225 million plant back in 1969, their officials said that the electricity would be so cheap that they would not have to meter it.” Thankfully Shoreham never came online due to faulty construction and the inability for a credible evacuation plan of this island should a China Syndrome occur. Now that building stands as an eye-sore.
Lislueth went onto report, “the ratepayers of Long Island are in the hole for more than $7 billion for this plant that was never allowed to open” See, Long Islanders were way ahead of the curve before the recent bailout of Wall Street. We know what corruption is. I invite you to read that site in full to understand my anger.
Back to the present day:
In this day and age where many elected leaders and our incoming president, President-elect Barack Obama, have called upon all Americans to conserve their power usage, LIPA’s latest move has once again dealt their customers an underhanded blow.
I do not know what you are paying for your electric use across America, but here on Long Island, I am paying roughly $231 dollars per month. So, I was eager to do my part in conserving my electrical use. Not only for the good of the planet, but my wallet. I have done my part by turning lights off in any room I am not in, unplugging electrical appliances when not in use and so on and so forth.
So, here is why I am blustered at LIPA: In reading my local newspaper, Newsday, I read, “The Long Island Power Authority said Tuesday lower customer usage has cut revenue, one of the factors behind a proposed 4.8 percent bill increase for next year.” So, the customers are being punished for doing their part to help the planet? I guess the executives of this company along with their shareholders are hurting. Poor babies!
This added increase will translate to an increase of $7.50 to a customer’s monthly bill. While some will say that is a small amount, again, please go back and look at the amount I am paying per-month.
Newsday also reported this increase, "represents a power supply charge increase of more than 9 percent."
If you think that I am the only one who will suffer, a retiree living in a condominium whose name is Delores Plunkett will see her rates go up by $15.00 dollars a month and here is what she said, “If anything, we should be getting a break on the price," Meanwhile her retirement savings have been hit by the recent stock market crisis.
Let me get this straight: The miscreants at LIPA want to punish a senior citizen and others like her because they are losing revenue? Yep, they are!
While LIPA officials try and justify this increase in reading Newsday, the bottom line is this, “Customers shouldn't expect relief in 2010, when LIPA plans to add 660 megawatts of capacity from a plant in Marcus Hook, Pa. "The authority's five-year projection would show a need for another increase in 2010 to accommodate those [fixed-cost] needs," chief financial officer Elizabeth McCarthy said.”
What makes me scream out in anger is this little beauty reported by Newsday, “Nor should ratepayers expect LIPA to have its arms around its debt by 2013, when it had vowed to pay off debt from mothballing the Shoreham nuclear plant. LIPA has since taken on billions in new debt and will still have $6.4 billion in debt, Law said.”
There have been many articles citing how Long Island’s young people can no longer afford to live here and in the past it has been because of housing prices. Add how much more ratepayers will be forced to spend on their electricity: How can young people let alone seniors and boomers like me afford to live here?
Due to LIPA’s greed and its punishing the ratepayers for doing their part for conservation, they have dealt the final blow to Long Islanders. They just put the final nail in Long Island’s coffin. I wonder if years from now, we will be like ‘ghost towns’ that once scattered the far-west. It sure seems that way to me.