Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Tool of the Week: Obtuse liberal members of the PSC

Empower Wisconsin | Sept 21, 2020  

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — Pay now or pay a lot more later. 

That’s the position Wisconsin’s utility ratepayers face, and the liberal tools at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) are pushing the big bill back. 

On Thursday, the PSC voted 2-1 to continue its moratorium on utility residential electric and gas disconnections to customers behind on their bills until Nov. 1. That means there will be no interruption of service to customers who can’t — or haven’t — paid their bills until at least April 15 of next year. 

The moratorium, already previously extended, was supposed to lift on Oct. 1. 

But the liberal majority thought that was unfair. COVID, you know. They contend that disconnecting utility service would pose a risk to hygiene standards during the pandemic. 

“As public health experts continue to promote social distancing and shelter at home, people need access to utility service, specifically low-income residents who are unable to pay their utility bills at this time,” the majority order states. 

Yes, the pandemic and the government-made problems that have resulted have hit some Wisconsinites particularly hard. 

But the PSC’s actions have driven out any incentive for people who have the means to pay their utility bills, as commissioner Ellen Nowak has pointed out in a previous dissent, obtained in a records request by Empower Wisconsin.

In August, after the last extension, Nowak wrote, “This vote ignored the very foreseeable impact of the July extension of the moratorium.”

At that time, the PSC had evidence that, year over year, non-payment of utility bills had risen from 12.2 percent to 32.9 percent. So nearly one out of every three customers stopped paying utility bills. Given the unemployment rate of 8.5 percent at the time (it’s even lower now), Nowak wrote “it is clear that non-payment is more a matter of the actions of this Commission than our economic challenges.” 

She was clairvoyant. 

“An extension to October will clearly lead to an extension to November which means the incentive to pay is delayed until April 2021 given the winter moratorium that takes effect,” Nowak wrote. 

And here’s the rub for ratepayers everywhere — particularly the two-thirds still paying their bills. 

“The cost of one-third of residential ratepayers not paying their bills will be placed on the shoulders of a shrinking number of responsible ratepayers. Make no mistake, the Commission majority just voted to raise utility rates as soon as next year for everyone who pays their bills.”

At last week’s PSC meeting, liberal commission members sounded like they wanted the state’s largest utilities to consider eating a lot of the losses they are experiencing. 

That’s how the left rolls. Be it the Green New Deal, Medicare for All or any of the countless other socialist plans to grow the government and expand benefits. They ignore the price tag or pass it along to the people who are still paying for the services. 

It takes a real tool not to see that such policies will ultimately leave no one left to pay for the left’s benefits tree. 

The liberal members of the Public Service Commission are such tools. 

Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.

Listen to more:

Explore More
Biden already creating disorder at the border

Biden already creating disorder at the border

Friday, two groups of more than 3,000 Honduran migrants each pushed their way into Guatemala without registering as part of a larger caravan headed to the United States, the Associated Press reported. A third group entered Guatemala on Saturday.

Read More »

January 19, 2021
So long Palm: Evers’ power-grabbing health czar leaving

So long Palm: Evers’ power-grabbing health czar leaving

After nearly a year of treating the Bill of Rights as a suggestion, Andrea Palm is leaving her post as state Department of Health Services Secretary-designee to take a position as deputy secretary of Health and Human Services in Joe Biden’s administration. 

Read More »

January 19, 2021
All Woke Up: Now gifted and talented is racist

All Woke Up: Now gifted and talented is racist

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was once the crown jewel of Fairfax County, Va.’s public education system. But in Wokeland, that kind of success is a recipe for racism. 

Read More »

January 19, 2021
Lawmaker: Time to stop Evers’ edicts

Lawmaker: Time to stop Evers’ edicts

As Gov. Tony Evers issues yet another public health order and extends his long-running statewide mask mandate, a Wisconsin conservative lawmaker said it’s time for the Legislature to end the governor’s constant power grabs. 

Read More »

January 18, 2021
Biden COVID plan: Money for everything!

Biden COVID plan: Money for everything!

Soon we’ll have a new Democratic president backed up by Democratic majorities in Congress, so $900 billion is no longer enough.

Read More »

January 18, 2021
Janesville to cancel school so teachers can be vaccinated

Janesville to cancel school so teachers can be vaccinated

The Janesville School District plans to cancel classes on Friday so that its teachers can receive the first round of vaccinations.

Read More »

January 18, 2021
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *