AG Addresses Power Prices

April 8, 2005
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LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox challenged more than $21 million in electric rate increases and $100 million worth of, what he called, forced ratepayer subsidies to the power industry yesterday.

The Michigan Public Service Commission had approved both actions earlier.

“With the threat of double-digit rate increases still hanging over their heads, ratepayers should not be shouldered with more than $21 million in hidden rate increases and $100 million in forced subsidies,” said Cox.

The Attorney General’s office filed an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals in March against the orders the PSC issued in January.

Cox said those orders allow the Midland Cogeneration Venture, an affiliate of Consumers Energy, and other energy suppliers to “force ratepayers into paying for the companies’ supposedly voluntary Resource Conservation Plan.”

In addition, Cox said his office will testify against two proposed rate hikes for customers of Consumers Energy when the PSC takes up the increases later this year. The attorney general also had a grievance with the commission when it approved a renewable energy purchase program for Consumers Energy. Cox called it a subsidy.

“I support the research and development of renewable forms of energy and

I support customers who want to voluntarily contribute to developing green power,” he said. “What I don’t support is forcing unsuspecting ratepayers to foot the bill involuntarily for private sector for-profit activities.”    

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