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Lobbyist Money Help  

Cost shift to Consumers?

February 22, 2006
By: Andrea Ramey
State Capital Bureau

With skyrocketing heating costs and recent allegations against Laclede Gas for its billing practices, consumers have utilties on the brain and so do legislators.

Andrea Ramey tells us why re-writing decades of utility regulatory policy proves to be a painful process in the state legislature.

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The much-discussed senate bill passed last session allows utilities to pass along costs of rate increases, environmental compliance, and weather variation to consumers.

Missouri Public Commission Chairman Jeff Davis says it's his Commission who writes the rules for utility companies to follow when they want to add a surcharge.

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Contents: "What these surcharges do is give you some truth for what you're paying for. This is not just the utility, you know, making more money off the consumer that the utility is spending this money to comply for the federal or state ordinance or policy that was mandated to them."

The Commissioner added that utility customers should not be asked to pay for pollution or environmental damages caused by a utiltiy.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.

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