Commonwealth Edison customers should be aware that there is the possibility of a large electric rate increase in their future. Unless consumers act with dispatch, Governor Qunn’s veto of ComEd’s Rate-Hike, Bill SB 1652, may be overridden by the Illinois state House and Senate during the upcoming veto session. Anti-consumer groups and legislators needed only five more votes in the Senate and four in the House to achieve their three-fifths super majority.
Governor Quinn has stated, “It may be a dream come true for Commonwealth Edison, but it is a nightmare for Illinois consumers.” Other opponents of the bill have cautioned that the bill would profoundly affect how electric rates would be determined, lessening the oversight of the Illinois Commerce Commission and paving the way for the utility to boost its bottom line. Robert Gallo, state director of the AARP, declared there is no guarantee that smart-grid technology would improve outages or service as claimed by ComEd. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan remarked that “It would allow the utilities to pass go and head straight for our wallets.”
What can we do to avert this cynical grab for our wallets? Call the offices of our state senator and representative and tell them to vote against an override of the Governor’s veto. If you don’t know their telephone numbers, contact your public library’s information service. Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. We must act now or pay a steep price for our inaction for many years to come.