Guest Column: Sacia’s blame for electric rates hit wrong target

I am writing in response to a recent guest column written by State Rep. Jim Sacia in the Dec. 13-19, 2006, edition of this paper.

Since the article was written by a state representative and was titled “Shedding some light on the electric rate freeze,” I assumed that it would, in fact, enlighten me. Some of us remember the cliché of assuming.

Electric rates are an important issue, but Mr. Sacia offers no explanation other than it is the current governor’s fault for not firing Illinois Commerce Commissioners, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

I agree it is not profitable to buy an item and then resell the same item at a lower price, but when the buyer and seller manipulate the market price, as was done in California, the consumer was penalized. Mr. Sacia suggests that an extension of the electric rate freeze will “create a debacle that will pale the one in California.” If I recall correctly, that debacle in California was caused by extremely greedy executives manipulating the market. Do not the convictions of the Enron executives point this out?

In October, when ComEd asked for $300 million for upgrading their distribution system, should they have not been soliciting this funding from their investors? Rep. Sacia blames federal antitrust regulations for Exelon not being able to assist ComEd in alleviating their economic difficulties. ComEd precipitated this current event when they decided to dismantle their company. I believe they wish to file bankruptcy so they might negate all current contracts, particularly those with their union employees.

I concur with the representative that the consumer will lose, but not for the reasons he suggests. The lack of oversight of the industry under past administrations is partly to blame. How will the future dismantling of the existing nuclear power plants be paid for?

I believe that smaller, regional power generation is the future. Possibly as small as on the farm. Let us look to the future now to solve the problem.

Richard Kanak is a resident of Cherry Valley, Ill.

From the Dec. 27 2006-Jan. 2, 2007, issue

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