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* This article first appeared in The Wallkill Valley Times on August 16, 2000. Used by permission.

 

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Berkman seeks to battle utility rates

Orange County Legislator Jeffrey D. Berkman called for immediate action by the Orange County Legislature regarding excessively high utility rate increases of up to 59.4% in "market supply charges." Berkman submitted a resolution in last week's Orange County legislative meeting demanding that the NYS Public Services Commission investigate the oppressive electric rates, demanding that public hearings be scheduled to discuss the negative impact on consumers, small businesses, and futures economic development, and demanding that the electric companies serving Orange County participate with local governments to educate the public about alternative electric choices.

"It is outrageous that the people and businesses of Orange County must endure such burdensome increases, while areas serviced by O&R in Pennsylvania and New Jersey do not," Berkman said.

"The people must come together and form coalitions against such actions by any utility," he added. "Deregulation is supposed to be a boon to all New Yorkers, including families with a fixed income. It should not be allowed to create a windfall for utilities."

 

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Jeffrey Berkman
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