July 2, 2008
Re: Electric Energy Cost Containment Initiative
We were recently contacted by the Public Power Association of New Jersey (PPANJ), which represents New Jersey’s nine municipal electric utilities and the Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative. So, in a very real way, the members of PPANJ are also League members. Accordingly, we often work together on municipal electric energy issues.
PPANJ and its members have joined a national effort to seek reform of today’s electricity markets. As local elected officials, we all must deal with the impact of skyrocketing electricity costs on local tax rates, local services and our artificially capped local budgets. Accordingly, this issue merits our attention.
The American Public Power Association (APPA) has been at the lead in this reform effort, which is known as the Electric Markets Reform Initiative (EMRI). (For a wealth of detail on EMRI, you can visit http://www.appanet.org/aboutpublic/index.cfm?ItemNumber=16772 .)
EMRI was formed in response to the failure of the restructuring of the wholesale electricity markets to provide consumers with just and reasonable electric rates and reliable service. Although restructuring was implemented as a means to promote “competition”, spur efficiencies and innovation, and most importantly, lower rates for consumers, the opposite has occurred. (For the summary of an APPA study of the wholesale market in our own region, the PMJ, visit http://www.appanet.org/files/PDFs/SummaryRPM2008.pdf .)
As part of their efforts in New Jersey, the governing body of each PPANJ member is in the process of passing resolutions and issuing news releases. The goal is to convince our congressional delegation to act by placing pressure on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to do their jobs, which is to see that rates are just and reasonable.
The PPANJ and its members have asked that the League assist by distributing a sample resolution to all municipalities so that they may support this effort. Accordingly, we are happy to include the attached Sample Resolution. We urge you to consider acting on this, as soon as practical.
If you have any questions on this, please feel free to contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.