The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today ran an article about how no one is there to represent the middle-class consumer, something that is especially needed since Missouri has a governor and state legislature that is completely pro-business no matter who it hurts.
One result of this new pro-business emphasis will be felt in the near future by Empire District Electric customers. The company was recently given permission to increase its rates $25.7 million annually to recoup some of its costs, even though no one showed any evidence that the company is doing anything except making money hand over fist.
The Post-Dispatch article noted that the Public Service Commission's vote was 3-2 and that one commissioner, Steve Gaw, strongly dissented saying that this decision and another one that was made recently "send a clear signal to the Missouri utility companies and their captive ratepayers (that) the welcome mat is out and the days of generally lower-than-average utility rates in Missouri are over. A wave of rate filings is now a certainty." He said that all Empire customers "will suffer."
And they will will find no one to represent them in Jefferson City. Empire District has long been a contributor to the political campaigns of our local Republican legislators and Empire District lobbyists also court our elected officials in the state capital on a regular basis.