About 30 states have begun (em
either through the legislature, the utility commission, informal working groups, or some combination of these (em to consider issues such as retail wheeling,...
New York Gov. George E. Pataki wants Long Island Lighting Co. (LILCO) dissolved to reduce electricity rates on Long Island. LILCO presently has the second-highest residential rates in the nation (Maui Electric Co.'s are highest) (em 16.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (›/Kwh), compared to the national average of just 8.8›/Kwh. Pataki has asked the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to draw up a plan that: 1) cuts rates in Nassau and Suffolk counties, 2) cuts rates by "double digits,"
3) protects Long Island residents from any property tax hikes, and 4) increases competition. Apparently, Pataki envisions state involvement in LILCO.
LILCO spokesman Suzi Halpin says the utility shares Pataki's interest in cutting rates, but has no specific plans as yet. Halpin adds that any proposal will have to address LILCO's state and local taxes of $600 million a year (about two and a half times the national average) as well high interest on debt resulting from the 1989 closing of the Shoreham nuclear plant.
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