Senator Thomas P. Morahan announced that his efforts to get the Public Service Commission (PSC) to take a closer look at what he calls ‘utility company bullies’ has produced positive results. The Senator contacted PSC Chairman William Flynn to express his outrage at announced double digit rate increases by Orange and Rockland and United Water. The Senator told the PSC Chairman that the Commission needed to take immediate steps to "protect Rockland’s most vulnerable residents, including seniors, who were being economically traumatized by utility taxes on necessities of life including heating, lighting, cooling and communicating."
This week the Senator was notified that the PSC issued an order to United Waterto defer increases until a proceeding is held on June 28, 2006.
"I thank Chairman Flynn and the members of the Commission for deferring the United Waterrate increases. These increases go well beyond the normal course of business. The proposed rate hikess are out of line. A utility users tax is a regressive tax on consumption. The utilities are merely delivering the product and are not impacted by supply," said the Senator.
The Senator indicated that the fight to bring the rate hikes down would continue, and that he has placed on his Senate website an online petition which consumers who oppose the rate hikes can sign. The Senator plans to deliver all petitions to a PSC administrative hearing on O&R rate increases, which has been scheduled for April 15th in New City.
"I invite hardworking taxpayers in my district to go to my website, senatormorahan.com, where they can join the fight against unreasonable rate increases, by signing a petition, which I will personally present to PSC officials at the April 15th hearing," said the Senator.
In addition, the Senator is cosponsoring legislation in the Senate (S2763) which would require the PSC to consider the economic impact upon consumers of any major increase by a utility company.