Larry Kurtz points us toward a Huron Plainsman article about NorthWestern Energy’s request for the first increase in its base rate for electricity since 1981. While that base rate hasn’t changed lately, charges for fuel costs and taxes have gone up for NorthWestern customers at about two thirds of a percent annually.
In his op-ed (Mr. Kurtz properly says propaganda, NorthWestern president and CEO Bob Rowe says the magic word, investment:
We’ve worked hard to keep electric rates stable for more than 35 years, while making important investments in the infrastructure that ensures safe and reliable service and meets the needs of our customers today and into the future [Bob Rowe, op-ed, Aberdeen American News, 2015.05.16].
Sure, just like we teachers and parents and voters want our Legislature to invest in education.
So who could oppose this investment? Rowe’s fellow industrialists. Check the Public Utilities Commission docket on the NorthWestern rate hike, and you’ll find a list of big industry intervenors including ethanol producers Redfield Energy, Toshiba America Business Solutions (hey, that’s Steve Sibson’s boss in Mitchell, isn’t it?), Trail King (CEO Bruce Yakley needs to save on energy so he can pay enough to keep his millennial workers), and Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart filing to intervene in NorthWestern rate case, 2015.02.06 run on NorthWestern juice).
Ah, corporations versus corporations—should be as entertaining as watching millionaires versus millionaires in professional basketball.