One begins to get the sense that National Grid energy prices are becoming a bit of a representation of Rhode Island’s business climate generally, which makes this sort of rhetoric from the Raimondo administration a bit hard to take, from Alex Kuffner’s article on rate increase requests for the Providence Journal:
Rhode Island families and small business owners — especially manufacturing businesses — are already challenged by high energy costs,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “The Public Utilities Commission needs to open up National Grid’s books and stand up for Rhode Island ratepayers.”
Macky McCleary, administrator of the state Division of Public Utilities and Carriers — sister agency to the PUC — said Rhode Islanders deserve better value in their utility services.
“What we received today appears to be a proposal that continues business as usual and presumes the willingness of Rhode Islanders to bear an ever‐increasing burden of higher costs,” he said.
Read through the article and what you’ll find is a list of complaints that touch on government mandates on energy and on business in general:
- Labor costs, including health care
- New hires to connect green energy sources to the grid
- Wealth redistribution through a low-income discount
- Electric vehicle charging stations
How can the governor play defender of the people when it comes to these expenses and then allow things like mandatory paid sick time, new health care mandates, and expanded green energy programs? Whether these costs filter through the energy company or not, they ultimately all come from the same household incomes.