The cash-strapped state of Illinois needs all the money it can get
to fill its gaping budget deficit. And just like a loan shark, ComEd sees opportunity in our desperation.
Both Capitol Fax and Crain's reported late yesterday
that the electric utility has offered to pay the state a lump sum of
$500 million this year (and promised to make $1 billion worth of investments in the
the state's "smart grid") if lawmakers agree to freeze electricity rates
through 2014 at 12.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. That is the level rates
are expected to rise to this June. It's also far
higher than ratepayers would otherwise pay through most of that four-year
The Citizen Utility
Board (CUB) is already bashing the proposal, calling it "a very bad bill for
consumers." Indeed, it's hard to see how ComEd
isn't simply extorting utility customers because our legislators
refuse to make the hard decisions necessary to solve the budget crisis.
CUB is holding a press conference on the issue this morning and we'll have some footage later today.