ICYMI: COVID, Ratepayers, Utility Bills 9/15/20

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta asks:
“How Can the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California consider spending hundreds of millions of dollars in tunnel planning when so many cannot pay their water bills presently?”

Opinion: Metropolitan Water District Can Do Better for Southern California Amid COVID – Times of San Diego 9/11/20
“While the Water Authority has been cinching its belt to benefit ratepayers through freezing hiring, limiting travel and training programs and delaying equipment replacement, MWD has not done the same, or at least it has not adjusted its budget and rates in order to pass the benefit of any cost-cutting measures on to ratepayers. In fact, MWD’s board directed staff last April to look for cost-cutting measures to bring back to the MWD board this month — but MWD staff is now specifically recommending to not provide any additional rate relief.”Pandemic, unpaid bills test utilities’ social justice vows – E&E News 9/14/20
“As we power the lives of our customers, we will also continue to advocate for change, stand up for justice and ensure the communities where we work and live are provided with equal opportunities,” CEO Lynn Good of Duke Energy Corp. told analysts and investors last month.

Now, corporate vows to fight for racial and social equity are being tested as many state disconnection protections fade and fears of unpaid bills and spiraling customer debt climb.

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