Resistbot Petition: Say NO to Harmful Public Utility Commission Changes (Mo. only)

An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (Mo. only)

Say NO to Harmful Public Utility Commission Changes

10 so far! Help us get to 25 signers!

I urge you to oppose SB934 (Bernskoetter), HB2832 (Haffner), HB1747 (Haffner), SB839 (Cierpiot), and SB758 (O’Laughlin), which change the membership of the Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas, steam, telephone, water and sewer companies operating in Missouri. While I do not oppose reform of the PSC, this is not the way to do it. SB934, HB2832, and HB1747 propose that the PSC shall consist of seven members, instead of five members, provided that at least two members shall be actively engaged in production agriculture. If we are to change the makeup of the PSC to guarantee representation of different interests on the committee, this representation should go beyond solely adding agricultural interests. For example, to name two potential additional categories, the PSC could include an environmental scientist and a consumer interest advocate. The proposed change has a fiscal note of over $2 million per a year. This additional cost would ultimately be paid by Missouri residential and commercial utility customers. The PSC is funded through assessments on utility companies that are passed on to consumers through rates so Missourians would have to bear such a cost while only some Missourians receive increased representation. Additionally, SB934 and SB839 limit the representation on the PSC to only one member per congressional district in Missouri, which presents a concerning limitation on fair representation and expertise. By restricting each district to only one member, these bills risk undermining the diverse perspectives and localized insights crucial for effective regulation of vital services such as electric, natural gas, and water. A commission tasked with overseeing utilities that impact the entire state should reflect the breadth of Missouri's communities and interests, ensuring balanced decision-making and equitable outcomes for all residents. Therefore, these bills jeopardize the commission's ability to adequately serve and protect the interests of Missourians statewide. Finally, SB758 (O’Laughlin) reduces the term of a commissioner on the PSC from six years to just two years. This would be a detrimental step backward in ensuring stability, expertise, and accountability in overseeing vital utilities in Missouri. Such a short term would severely limit the ability of commissioners to implement long-term strategies, address complex issues, and foster continuity in regulatory policies. It would lead to frequent turnover, hindering the accumulation of institutional knowledge and experience necessary for effective decision-making. The regulation of essential services like electric, natural gas, and water demands thoughtful, consistent oversight to safeguard consumer interests, promote infrastructure investment, and maintain reliable service.

▶ Created on February 28 by MO Residents

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