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In Bid to Beat 'Public Health and Economic Crises,' Senate Dems Urge Utilities to Suspend Shutoffs During Pandemic

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/30/bid-beat-public-health-and-economic-crises-senate-dems-urge-utilities-suspend

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The big problem when utilities “suspend shutoffs” and late fees as many states have enforced since March is that none of the CARES or other relief bills provides one cent of help for utilities. The longer that shutoffs and late fees are suspended the more customers will be unable to EVER pay bills, thereby increasing future utility rates (more than they otherwise would have) for the rest of us.

When you look at all the corporate welfare CARES and other relief bills included, utilities have been excluded, yet required to provide free services.

Senate Democrats need to make sure utilities are getting a share of the relief money before “urging utilities to suspend shutoffs”.

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Yes, you are right urging auditing of these bail-outs that Trump-Mnuchin structured with Democratic approval to avoid meaningful auditing (Oversight would be the right word even if our wealthy overlords had agreed to it when bailing out these profit-maximizing entities) of publicly owned utilities. What of the share-holder owned ulitilies like Portland General Electric (PGE formerly Enron) or of California’s Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) where the biggest blocks of shares during privatization went to the Public Servants around SF Finance center who in office urged such privatization?

I worked for 11 years in the Wells Fargo Credit Card Services Executive Office handling regulatory complaint escalation. The regulator was the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a very cozy group controlled by former bank and finance industry interlocking board members.

The OCC’s slap-on-the-wrist level fines of Wells Fargo’s fraudulent business models and practices, like the opening of never requested credit card accounts, and the other malfeasance plagued soon-to-be bailed out Supermarkets of Financial Services would be paid by the share-holders, NOT the CEO\Chairman of the Board, Board Members or even the corporate officers unless their bonus compensation was in shares.

Hence the woman who was my first choice for U.S. President, Prof Senator Elizabeth Warren who via the Senate Banking Committee grilled the bailed-out and criminal immunity granted banksters and bid-net modelers on TV exactly while the Trump Side Show Campaign of 2016 gained all the eyeballs and ears of viewers and news agenda setters. Useful still to go to U. of Tube and check these clips out of what we missed and who we might have challenging the Trump-Mnuchin-Icahn-Barr juggernaut of Corporate Looters and supporters of Corporate Welfare while denying socialized costs and risks to the rest of U.S. via austerity or simply to spite the NANNY STATE:
~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJhkX74D10M

~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyVr4qcn8EM

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion List and Looksee

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“sent a letter to 21 of the nation’s largest utility and telecommunications companies”

whoopie do !!
what happens to the letter that a citizen mails to their US senator?

You are correct.
It is ignored.
So to, will the 21 companies ignore the senators
OR
have their lobbyists make a campaign contribution.
OR
citizens today realize the letter is just a late election publicity stunt.
Letting voters think that dems care, give a hoot, have solutions.

Energy is worth a lot more since they decided to export it. So many people may end up having to burn scrap wood or use electric heat, maybe by running generators, which is a lot more expensive.

Another alternative is just heat your bed and stay in bed. But then the pipes might burst and then a house might get so moldy it requires a major cleanup, perhaps even being torn down or sand blasted to the studs. As energy is likely to double in price, many cities may see a lot of urban renewal as older buildings becoe too expensive to heat, their landlords may claim.

A SCOTUS decision in 2006 (Kelo) then allows entire neighborhoods of well maintained but older, more affordable to be condemned as blight, the land given to real estate developers like President Trump to increase the tax base. It will probably be the largest shift in population since World War II. It will have an impact on wages, the loss of so much affordable housing will leave many cities without millions of workers.

I am sure foreign banks are looking forward to opening up shop here, given that we have to treat them as well or even better than we treat our own banks.

She would hands down have made a great president. No way would she have been elected. Men would have seen to that.

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I have a funny story: I have a thermometer that has to be programmed. The air conditioner works fine. But I can’t program the heater. A few years back, I had my unit serviced and the guy couldn’t program it either but managed to at least leave the air working. I looked up my unit online but can’t understand the directions. I live in South Carolina so our weather just keeps getting warmer to the point of barely having really cold weather. I made a conscious choice (by default) to not use my central heat. My bill went from around $270.00 a month to around $50.00 or less during the winter. I even had a credit one month. I have a combined gas/electric bill so I will always have a bill. I love not paying the big utility company sooo much that this summer, I refused to turn on my air. Lol. My bill all summer has not gone beyond $75.00 (only that high when I did use it at 83 degrees). Did I suffer heat and cold? Sure but I laughed about it because I loved the savings. And it was wonderful knowing Dominion Energy doesn’t own me! I cheat a bit. My sister lives over the river and I can go there for respite if I’m really uncomfortable. But, I’ve suffered before when I was younger and starting out and I can do it again…just to thumb my nose at their “summer rate” and their “winter rate” when they price gouge the hell out of us. Cheers!

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Make sure you know what to do if a really cold spell comes along, you need to keep your pipes above freezing.

My energy bill is really low also afraction of what my neighbors pay.

What I was mainly saying is that the export of natural gas - which began fairly recently, is going to make energy so much more expensive the next cold winter, and its going to be used as an excuse to tear down a LOT of affordable housing putting millions out on the street because they will lose their rent stabilization, which is tied to a single apartment.

They will use the rise in prices to get rid of rent control nationally, and also its likely displace a lot of homeowners. Renters will get nothing and in most cases wont be able to re-rent in the cities they live in today.

Because entire neighborhoods will be hit by what they used to call slum clearance even though the housing in moist cases is well maintained and occupied by the middle class. I can see them setting up people like AOC to be blamed for all this, we’re falling into a trap.

This is what happens when our elected “representatives” are actually working for the other side but pretend not to be.

We cant let them start up TTIP and TISA - they will both cause massive job losses to US resident workers, deeming us too expensive - and they give entitlements to low bidders in many areas…

TTIP also has this energy chapter which will make this new exporting natural gas for all purposes next to impossibly costly to end - no matter how bad the effects on our nations people are… People caht afford to use electric heat, nor can they exist without a lot of jobs that depend on the low cost energy - they would move elsewhere if it wasnt here because of our higher labor costs…

That income could also sustain a lot of public works, but instead we’re allowing a global grab, a massive looting of it all, and they are rushing to do that.

In some parts of the country, most housing is in older buildings, the kinds that will likely be deemed too costly to heat and it will become vulnerable to being torn down.

GATS makes building new public housijng subject to rules that will demand it be profitable, also millions of people who had good credit when they rented now are unemployted, and even were they emp-loyed could never afford to rent in a newer building.

So when their current housing becomes officially ‘obsolete’ or ‘blight’ and subject to condemnation against its owners wishes, on a large scale, towns desperate for higher tax receipts will try to use this to increase their tax revenue brought in by replacing poor neighborhoods with what they hope will be richer ones, but I expect that this will not end well because often the money tio replace whats been torn down never materializes… or things change. The mechanics of “churning” is such that often the money to be made gets made regardless of whether the final scheme put forward at the beginning is ever completed.; What I am trying to say is,m and that there have been changes which make it legally possible to strip virtually everybody in the country of every thing that gives people any stability. All behind our backs, allow/is enabled by a new money is everything - “law and economics” ? cult of money, cult of free trade maximalism, hypercapitalism, etc. extremist ideology, which the government (the two parties are actually in agreement on this cult / ideology) They are but the general public is unaware of this important change, and would never have allowed it if we were…

Wake me up when the headline reads, “Dems threaten to jail utility company CEOs for turning off utilities during a pandemic.”

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