State utility officials urge climate change law restraint

Utility officials in 10 states sent a joint letter to Rep. Henry Waxman calling for a balance between climate change/energy policy moves and consumer prices (thanks to the folks at Bracewell for forwarding the letter).

“The joint letter, signed by the public service commissioners in Ala., Ark., Ga., La., Miss., Mo., N.C., S.C. and W. Va., and the public utility commissioner in Tex., urges Congress to ensure that the transition to a low-carbon economy does not result in burdensome costs to consumers and does compromise the reliability of service.”

The letter calls for 1. cost-containment measures, 2. flexibility in how companies can meet carbon caps, 3. a signifcant transition period, 4. continued support for carbon capture and storage development and 5. “realistic carbon caps that reflect an understanding of current technology limits.” The full letter is below.
Ok, not exactly a surprise, but it comes as the rubber meets the road for the massive climate change law the House is wrestling with this week. It’s a tough issue that, as Chron environment reporter Matt Tresaugue reported today has strained a lot of traditional alliances. And our colleagues on the Chron’s Texas on the Potomac blog report a vote is expected today.
But some, including Wood Mackenzie analyst Bill Durbin say the possibility of passing health care reform — something that could actually reduce costs for thousands of voters, er, Americans the next year could lead to a delay of climate change legislation in the Senate until next year or beyond.

Joint Letter- Cap and Trade RES Letter