Thursday, December 27, 2007

More woes from ComEd - sticking it to electricity consumers

Regular readers from the early days of this blog will recall my rant about ComEd and Exelon's hair-brained scheme to auction off electricity to the highest bidder resulting in a projected 24% increase in residential electric rates. Well, the Illinois Legislature stepped up and rolled back those rates so we'd only get socked by a 13% rate increase in 2008.

But in another completely unethical move, ComEd and parent company Exelon have made some slick business decisions which should result in 18% rate increases for Chicago Area consumers in 2009.

In this bone-headed move, Exelon decided that our electricity generating plants should join the east coast power grid (known as the PJM) rather than leaving them connected to the Midwest power grid (known as the Midwest ISO.) The east coast PJM grid does not have enough generating capacity and there is tremendous competition and higher prices for electricity sold in the region. Of course, the nearest states in the east coast PJM grid are Michigan, a slice of eastern Indiana, Ohio and the rest of the eastern seaboard.

Sending electricity generated here in Illinois in plants paid for by Illinoisans is another sharp stick in the eye to Illinois utility consumers. Clearly, Exelon CEO John Rowe lacks any semblance of ethical behavior in his business dealings in directing his company towards ever greater investor return on the backs of his customers.

I repeat my argument from my previous post: Power plants in Illinois were paid for by Illinois consumers. The shenanigans involved in the divorce of the power plants from the distribution system and the subsequent creation of the evil step-parent company now known as Exelon has been a decades-long delicate dance of corporate treachery perpetrated against the consumers of electricity in our state. Regulator's and Legislator's complicity in this unsavory scheme just goes to show how powerful large business interests are in Illinois and the depths to which politicians will stoop in their quest for power, selling out their constituents in the process.

Those plants are ours and we should take them back.