Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

March 7, 2013

Letters to the editor - Friday, March 8, 2013

(Continued)

SB 560 requires a utility to submit to a rate case within seven years. The lack of such a provision in previous tracker legislation has been the major objection of consumer groups and large industrial customers. Importantly, its inclusion in SB 560 prompted some opponents — including some major industrial customers — to withdraw their objection to the bill.

SB 560 will also help Hoosiers who need access to low-cost natural gas. The bill contains an important economic development tool to encourage businesses to expand and grow. It provides an orderly process for utility infrastructure investment without compromising IURC authority to protect customers from unnecessary or unreasonable utility rates and charges.

Indiana’s energy costs have risen as a result of our historic reliance on coal-fired electric generation colliding head on with what many of us feel is excessive and unnecessary environmental overreach by the Obama administration. Indiana’s utilities have been forced to spend more than $5 billion to comply with these regulations — costs that are passed directly on to consumers. SB 560 cannot eliminate these federal mandates, but it can help many Hoosiers by giving them greater access to low-cost natural gas.

State Sen. Brandt Hershman, Buck Creek

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