Wyoming Legislators Look For Utility Rate Increase Solutions
Wyoming state legislators are moving quickly on measures that they hope will ease the blow of a massive utility rate increase across the state.
There are five draft bills being considered in Cheyenne.
Two of them are electric rate hike proposals by Rocky Mountain Power could add up to a 29.2% increase in utility bills.
There is even some talk of a special session on the matter.
Representatives of Rocky Mountain Power, as well as leadership from the Public Service Commission charged with approving or modifying the rate requests, testified before the Corporations Committee in August.
The utility re-asserted its analysis that volatile markets for coal and natural gas are the main drivers behind the proposed rate hikes, which add up to $190.5 million.
Meantime, the utility’s "renewable energy" additions — so far — have helped Wyoming ratepayers avoid more than $85 million in costs that otherwise would have been added to monthly bills. (WyoFile).
Yet most do not see the subsided wind and solar companies as "green" or cost savings to anyone.
Claire Deuter, who sits on the council pounced on the proposed moratorium for industrial wind and solar energy.
“It’s picking winners and losers, and it’s picking coal over renewables,” Deuter said. “It seems foolish after we’ve had Rocky Mountain Power say renewables have saved customers money.” (WyoFile).
On the federal level, there is pushback against such rate increases that have affected other states, besides Wyoming.
Anywhere that has seen a big push for wind had solar has seen a drop in reliability and an increase in rates.
Rep. Harriet Hageman writes, "Wyoming ratepayers should not be forced to subsidize bad policies coming out of Washington, Colorado, and California.
We have all the resources necessary to produce affordable and reliable electricity right here; if Colorado and California don’t want our power, they can find their own alternatives." (Cowboy State Daily).
Proposed legislation being worked on in Wyoming includes the following: