Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Virginia GOP state senator blames high energy costs on federal law that doesn’t exist.


The Danville Register Bee in Virginia reported on Sunday that local power company Appalachian Power (APCo) has been overcharging customers based on estimated usage, rather than actual meter readings — a practice the APCo blamed on harsh weather conditions. Gov. Bob McDonnell recently signed legislation forcing the company to suspend the estimate practice. But Republican State Senator Robert Hurt took the opportunity to blame the rate hikes on federal legislation that hasn’t even been signed into law:

Sen. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, said state and federal environmental regulations have played a role in rising energy rates. The federal “cap-and-trade” passed by the House of Representatives last year is an example of the “devastating policies” that affect people’s lives, forcing companies to raise rates to revamp their facilities to follow environmental rules.

Hurt, who supported McDonnell’s actions Wednesday and co-sponsored one of the bills adopted, said that when someone drawing Social Security sees energy bills exceeding their income, “you have a problem.”

Of course it’s impossible for the House climate change bill to affect anyone seeing that it is currently stalled in the Senate, and nowhere near becoming law. TheGreenMiles.com’s Miles Grant observes that “it’s not surprising that Robert Hurt is willing to say anything to cover for” APCo which has “has contributed $3,250 to Hurt’s campaigns since 2001. That’s just a fraction of the $64,717 Hurt has received from energy companies over that period, including $20,750 from electric utilities.”

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