Deregulation disasters

Dear Editor:

Just recently I read in the paper that people in St. Clair township were upset with the electric aggregation. The deal was that the costs would drop, but they were going up. A Ohio Edison spokesman came to a trustee meeting and blamed the rising costs on AEP Ohio Power.

AEP raised their rates, thus the increase of Ohio Edison’s rates. Edison has a power plant in Shippingport, Pa., just six miles away, why are they buying power off AEP anyway? I get calls all the time to change my electric company from AEP to some new company that was started to give AEP some competition in the market. I ask them where are your power plants and they reply “we only buy and sell power.”

I ask where do you get this power and how do you get it to me if you have no generating plants and no lines to transport it on?” It’s usually AEP and we use their lines and you save 15 percent.”

I seem to remember a similar situation with a company called ENRON in Houston, Texas, and it was a fraud and people lost fortunes and others went to prison for doing the very same thing. This brings an immediate hang- up.

I lived through the deregulation in the trucking industry and today rates are as high as $.04 mile with a 49 cents a mile fuel surcharge and shippers can’t get any service and the companies can’t get any drivers who can pass a drug test. The new hours of service rules are making it impossible for a good driver to exist out there.

Our airports are filled with people sleeping on the floor and carriers gobbling each other up and rates always rising and ever growing fees. Soon it will take a credit card to go to the bathroom and once their down to just one big airline it will be $10,000 to everywhere.

Yes, deregulation has been a disaster in every industry it has been tried in. Consolidated Freightways was one of the most successful and innovative companies on the planet and management started CCX, probably for the going rate at that time for a new 48 state authority of $365 plus attorney fees and stabbed CF in the heart. CF’s operating authority, like Yellow and Roadway, was worth billions and was worth $ 365 by 1980. I guess Edison and AEP are forced to play the game, and get ready for higher rates no matter what they say and call it. Deregulation has been a total disaster and the PUCO is hell bent on carrying it out in our utilities no matter what.

Donald J. Chambers

East Liverpool