This afternoon, Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed SB 240 that would have allowed natural gas rates to rise without close oversight for five years! AARP and a number of other groups opposed SB 240 because:
- The bill meant hundreds of millions of dollars more in natural gas surcharges to customers. The surcharges would pay for pipes and other infrastructure, which the utility should already have calculated in its budget. Families can’t absorb repeated rate increases into their budgets. Missourians are still reeling from the recession. Many are un- and under-employed.
- It distorted the ratemaking process in favor of the gas companies. The bill allows them to make huge profits for five years before they have to justify their rate increases under the scrutiny of the Public Service Commission.
- It would force consumers to pay for their neighbors who fail to pay their bills. The so-called “bad debt tracker” would make consumers pay for 90 percent of the company’s bad debt. If someone else is paying why would the company work to minimize its bad debt? It will deny consumers their share in huge savings from the coming lucrative merger of Laclede Gas and Missouri Gas Energy.
Thanks to all who contacted Gov. Nixon and urged him to veto SB240. To read the veto letter from Gov Nixon, go to: