ST. PAUL, MINN — Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) and Representative Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) announced today their strong opposition to Minnesota Power’s three proposed rate increases totaling 28 percent on consumers in Northeastern Minnesota. They are calling on those who live within the service territory to join them to formally fight the rate increases as it moves before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which must review and approve any rate increase proposals.
“Minnesota Power actively lobbied for new legislation to shift costs from industry to homeowners in an attempt to save the very industries that buy their power in Northeast Minnesota. In a period when we are trying to revive our taconite industry, maintain the paper industry, start copper nickel mining, and get our people back to work, I’m extremely disappointed that Minnesota Power has so blatantly reached for huge increases that are totally counterproductive to the aforementioned legislation,” said Sen. Tomassoni.
“Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. This proposal essentially nullifies any savings our local businesses would have qualified for with the recent EITE rate case. I’m opposed to shifting even more of the burden onto homeowners. This 28 percent proposed increase will take money off main street and send it directly to Wall Street. This increase is targeted directly at our most vulnerable low and middle income neighbors. We are calling upon our community to join us in opposing these increases by writing to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission,” said Rep. Metsa.
Minnesota Power is proposing an 8 percent rate hike immediately, followed by another 10 percent rate hike. This is on top of another 10 percent proposed increase that Minnesota Power recently requested from the Minnesota PUC.
Both Tomassoni and Metsa added that these huge increases would add $55 million to Minnesota Power’s annual revenue. That $55 million would come from homeowners, small businesses and the mining and paper industries. The legislators said, “It is time we stand together and say no.”