Statement by Assemblyman Ramos
on LIPA Rate Increase

Members of the board:

This is the third straight year that the Long Island Power Authority has broken its promise to reduce Long Island electric rates. These excessive hikes are draining our businesses and families, who need relief from steep energy costs and unchecked rate hikes.

This year's proposed 8.8 percent increase demands an immediate review by the Public Service Commission. When LIPA formed in 1998, ratepayers were promised that any rate increase over 2.5 percent for more than one year would be approved by the PSC. Again and again, LIPA has dodged its obligation to the people of Long Island by disguising rate increases as temporary surcharges. And - according to a recent report by the Citizens Advisory Panel - LIPA is even including non-fuel related expenses in these higher bills. This is another example of Long Island Consumers being stiffed by the authority that was supposed to help them.

The businesses and working families of Long Island deserve better. These rate increases are completely unjustified. I insist LIPA be accountable to the people it serves, and submit this rate increase to a full PSC review.

Phil Ramos