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house Bill H.R. 587

If Federal Regulators Don't Act, Should Consumers be Able to Appeal a Proposed Utility Rate Hike?

Argument in favor

People shouldn’t face higher utility bills simply because federal regulators fail to make a decision. This bill gives consumers, cities and states an opportunity to appeal and prevent a rate increase and bring transparency to the process.

Helen's Opinion
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01/23/2017
Consumers should always be able to appeal what the government does
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Matt's Opinion
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01/23/2017
I'd like transparency behind why my bills go up.
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Cynthia's Opinion
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01/23/2017
The consumer comes first. Utilities should be challenged on rate hikes since they impact the poor disproportionately.
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Argument opposed

Regulators should be acting in a manner that balances the needs of stakeholders, and if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chooses to do nothing about a proposed rate hike that should be the end of the matter.

operaman's Opinion
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01/23/2017
State problem. Why seek a Federal solution?
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Jim2423's Opinion
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01/23/2017
I worked forty years with the power company as a substation electrician, power companies (most) do a great job of delivering power to their customers. Folks do not realize there are three grids in America. Ferc is good for the nation but DOE has not produced one kilowatt of power. People do not realize how well engineers, linemen, electricians and technicians work together to have electricity to your homes and businesses. Solar and wind are the most expensive and have to be paid for by the power companies due to federal regulations. The only ones who make money on green power is the manufacturers of these systems, not the rate payers. Equipment is expensive, manpower is necessary and SAFETY is the most important issue. Yes government intervention is not always good unless they are providing funds to upgrade the grid system instead of taking all the tax monies.
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Laura's Opinion
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01/25/2017
The FERC regulates interstate (between state) activities only. Intrastate (within state) activities are regulated by the Public Utility Commission in each state. Www.ferc.gov/about/ferc-does/ferc101.pdf
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house Passed January 23rd, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedJanuary 17th, 2017

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    Consumers should always be able to appeal what the government does
    Like (190)
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    State problem. Why seek a Federal solution?
    Like (38)
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    I'd like transparency behind why my bills go up.
    Like (142)
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    The consumer comes first. Utilities should be challenged on rate hikes since they impact the poor disproportionately.
    Like (102)
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    The ability to seek relief at all levels would help create a more fluid and responsive market.
    Like (23)
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    Utilities are special in that citizens are not true consumers with them, we don't get to chose which utilities get our money. Rate hikes need to reflect costs, service provided, and future infrastructure development, not just utility profits. So we need a way to prevent unwarranted rate hikes.
    Like (19)
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    People shouldn't have to pay outrageous rate hikes just because regulations are tied up in the system.
    Like (13)
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    The POV of a person who actually made a career of working for a utility company -- Countable member "Jim2423" said: "I worked forty years with the power company as a substation electrician, power companies (most) do a great job of delivering power to their customers. Folks do not realize there are three grids in America. Ferc is good for the nation but DOE has not produced one kilowatt of power. People do not realize how well engineers, linemen, electricians and technicians work together to have electricity to your homes and businesses. Solar and wind are the most expensive and have to be paid for by the power companies due to federal regulations. The only ones who make money on green power is the manufacturers of these systems, not the rate payers. Equipment is expensive, manpower is necessary and SAFETY is the most important issue. Yes government intervention is not always good unless they are providing funds to upgrade the grid system instead of taking all the tax monies." I appreciate your input, Jim!
    Like (12)
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    Since we are at least as effected as stakeholders, consumers should at a minimum have the right to appeal a non-decision that raises rates for us.
    Like (10)
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    Concerned about an Enron repeat. Also, rate hikes disproportionally affect people on a fixed income and low income.
    Like (9)
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    I worked forty years with the power company as a substation electrician, power companies (most) do a great job of delivering power to their customers. Folks do not realize there are three grids in America. Ferc is good for the nation but DOE has not produced one kilowatt of power. People do not realize how well engineers, linemen, electricians and technicians work together to have electricity to your homes and businesses. Solar and wind are the most expensive and have to be paid for by the power companies due to federal regulations. The only ones who make money on green power is the manufacturers of these systems, not the rate payers. Equipment is expensive, manpower is necessary and SAFETY is the most important issue. Yes government intervention is not always good unless they are providing funds to upgrade the grid system instead of taking all the tax monies.
    Like (8)
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    This bill represents the kind of federal intervention that I would consider positive and necessary. Its purpose is for Congress ( Legislative branch) to intervene to force federal agencies (Executive branch) to act in a timely manner to address an issue that affects citizens lives directly. If a federal regulatory agency neglects to act in a timely manner, then the decision must revert to the People, as represented by the Congress. This is exactly the kind of policing that needs to be applied to the Executive branch by the Legislative branch to ensure the best interests of the American people are upheld. It is a great example of using the separation of powers This bill also represents the kind of work I believe Congress should be doing to fulfill its role, instead of spending its time trying to regulate the personal lives of the American people.
    Like (6)
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    We all know what happened when Enron was running the electricity market without regulatory supervision. Let's not repeat the same mistakes.
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    The point of government is for the constituents to have a say.
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    Of course consumers should be able to speak up against price increases in something for which the government has granted a monopoly.
    Like (5)
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    If citizens have no voice, do we still call America a democracy? Or was Bernie Sanders correct & we are a full blown oligarchy in which businesses alone have a voice. YEA.
    Like (5)
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    Rate hikes that affect consumers should always allow their input.
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    Appeal should always be an option.
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    Impeach Trump
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    While I appreciate the viewpoint of those arguing against this Bill as a State and not Federal issue, that is not quite the case. This Bill is a protection of 1st Amendment right to redress of grievances, as the utilities are public and not private. The current statute loophole affords the FERC veto powers that they are not Constitutionally granted, and this MUST be addressed. Inaction that results in passage of should be considered a decision of the FERC, and allow redress per statute as if it were an affirmative decision.
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