February 2, 2001


Editorial

Taxation without representation!

As we sit back and watch our political leadership go through the consternations of trying to fix the energy mess that they created, it is curious that the ones most affected, are slowly but surely the ones being forgotten and ultimately will be the ones who will have to bail out the energy companies.

The ones that are most affected by the energy crunch are the ratepayers, you and I. We don't ask for much and until recently it hasn't been a problem. All we ask is that when we are home the lights go on, the refrigerator hums, the TV switches on, and the heater keeps us warm. All the things that we probably had taken for granted. And for the most part the cost of energy usage was an affordable expense.

But somewhere along the line, through the power of the press, through great spin and PR, the aggrieved ones are the power plants, the energy brokers! And on cue our great political leadership is working overtime to salvage California's energy companies, the companies that are now supposedly on the brink of bankruptcy and who's credit ratings are teetering. The big question in Sacramento is how do we bail out these billion dollar companies? The answer that they are letting out is that you and I are going to be paying higher rates!

This was a bad law, which was created by a few, who knew the consequences of what this bill was going to create. But in the name of greater profits this enormous, highly complicated bill came into being through the political body, creating an attack on our pocket books. Now we are being asked to trust these same politicians to fix a mess that they never understood in the first place, and are being directed once again by the energy companies and lobbyist that got us into this mess in the first place!

We also need to remember that the rates in San Diego have been capped. What this means is that we have been paying only a portion of our bill, while the outstanding amount sits in the uncollected files until a later date when it will become due and payable. In the meantime our rates have grown to the point of outrageousness. As we continue to conserve to try and keep our bills within reason, as we continue to freeze in our own homes, as we sit and listen to our children cough from cold, we are being asked to conserve even more. And despite our conservation efforts, our rates continue to climb.

While the energy companies are shifting billions of dollars out of state, and energy providers are realizing astronomical profits, the politicians continue to demand that we conserve even more, threaten us with blackouts, and prepare us for rate increases. There comes a breaking point when the ratepayers say enough!

The public is seething, awaiting an answer to this mess that was created, and ushered through the political process, led by Steve Peace, with the assistance of the energy companies and lobbyist. The question is what is going to happen if and when our rates are raised even more? What is going to happen when the public finally reaches the boiling point?

Of course the last time we had this type of taxation without representation, well you all remember what happened then, something about a Boston Tea Party!

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