CBJ building another mountain of utility trouble

In recent decades, the CBJ Assembly has made choices that leave us with a growing mountain of trash in Lemon Creek.

 

Rather than being proactive the Assembly left key decisions to a big outside corporation, which has stuck us with expensive service and a growing pile of garbage.

Now the CBJ Assembly is making the same mistake with our electric utility. AEL&P and Avista are being bought out by Hydro One, a large Canadian corporation with a very bad track record. Instead of seriously looking at the risks posed by this transfer, the CBJ is standing aside while another outside corporation builds a mountain of long-term utility trouble.

So far the CBJ has not adequately evaluated alternatives for local control of AEL&P. With a guaranteed return on equity of 11-13 percent, (50 percent more than typical electric utility returns), there is potential for keeping our electricity payments circulating locally instead of going to Canadian shareholders. Even if the community decided it didn’t want to capture those returns, it should be intervening in the transfer in order to protect Juneau’s interests. For example, Hydro One has made binding commitments to maintain or lower electric rates in other states, but not in Alaska. Why isn’t the CBJ retaining utility experts to look out for Juneau?

If you think that big outside corporations, or the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, are going to look out for community values, take a nice, deep whiff when you drive past the landfill.

David Abad,

Juneau


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.


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