Quinn pushes veto of electricity rate hike bill

October 23, 2011 7:02:17 PM PDT
Gov. Pat Quinn joined with AARP and other organizations to urge the legislature to uphold his veto of a bill that would allow electric utility rate hikes.

ComEd and Ameren say the measure would give them the funds to enhance reliability and construct a so-called smart grid. Those opposed to the bill say it would also allow ten years of rate increases. It's now headed back to the legislature in the upcoming veto session.

"Sustaining this veto is the most important consumer issue we have faced in a long, long time and we just can't let two big utility companies run over consumers and business all across our state," said Quinn.

AARP also released results of a survey which it says shows that consumers oppose the bill.

Statement from ComEd:

The poll conducted by AARP is not a legitimate or credible survey. It's a survey designed to produce a pre-ordained result. The language read to respondents is slanted with inaccurate and misleading information.

ComEd commissioned a poll in the last month that in fact found substantial support for modernizing the electric grid. This poll was conducted by one of the most respected polling firms in the nation, Peter Hart Research Associates.

Customers were asked their opinions on smart grid development and its potential reliability impacts. After hearing a description of a smart grid, three-quarters (76%) of customers support updating and modernizing Illinois's electric system to include the technology. And, two-thirds (64%) of customers believe smart grid technology has a great deal or a fair amount of potential to improve the reliability of electric service and reduce outages.

We believe Senate Bill 1652 provides an array of benefits to Illinois in terms of job creation, economic development, environmental protections, consumer savings, regulatory reform and modern infrastructure. We look forward to working with members of the General Assembly to help make these benefits a reality.

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