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This is a vote of appreciation for Chris Brooke's excellent reporting on Appalachian Power Company's excessive rate increases ("Power Struggle," Jan. 14).
Appalachian Power has a stranglehold on our state's economy.
Not only are my elderly neighbors having trouble keeping warm, these skyrocketing utility rates are making Virginia less attractive to business, compared to North Carolina.
If we really want jobs here, we've got to stop penalizing industrial users. Appalachian should not charge our industrial users more than Duke Power charges companies of the same size in North Carolina.
Duke Power's industrial rates went up only 10 percent, compared to 43 percent here. Residential customers struggle with a 90 percent increase!
This makes me wonder about some General Assembly lawmakers who yell the loudest about jobs. Their votes on House Bills 2117, 2118 and 2107 should give me a pretty good idea.
The bills will repeal bad legislation from 2007, restore authority to the State Corporation Commission and provide reduced rates for low‑income residents.
Write your state representatives at the following Richmond address: Del. Charles W. Carrico, Sr., P.O. Box 406, and Sen. William Roscoe Reynolds, P.O. Box 396, Richmond Va. 23218‑0406.