Since NC PIRG is the featured non profit and has a Utilities Watchdog Project, I would hope they would do some research on what is happening to eastern NC as a result of ElectriCities.
From NC PIRG's site, "1)The General Assembly created the Utilities Commission to limit utilities’ abilities to exploit customers. States where utilities are unregulated have been subject to extreme price hikes and energy crises. According to some research, residents in those states pay almost double what we pay."
How true. But while this is true, some customers in cities pay almost double what the fortunate people in Raleigh and Charlotte pay ... why because of ElectriCities. Ask customers in Kinston, LaGrange, Smithfield, Wilson, Scotland Neck, Rocky Mount, etc. ElectriCities is exploiting customers by increasing operational costs for salaries, perks, benefits, out of court settlements and then passing those costs to the power agencies, the cities and the customers. ElectriCities was helping cities "get" retail as part of the Parton Theatre development debacle as well. Encouraging investment in entities for "spill over" from the hoards of people expected at this taxpayer funded monstrocity.
Who is in charge of the oversight for ElectriCities?
The General Assembly created this debacle. But the Utilities Commission does not regulate them. The General Assembly does not regulate them. The State Auditor is not supposed to regulate them since their money is from our pockets and not the state coiffers. And certainly the local leaders with their Board of Directors who take money from the staff do not regulate the hand, I mean staff, that pays them. Well, feeds them too, since the stories of wildly expensive outings and restaurants is all over the state.
So, who regulates this entity. Will NC PIRG step up to the Challenge? Will CUCA? People in eastern NC are losing jobs, houses and are the first to feel the effects of recession but electric bills soar and excessive spending at ElectriCities continues which drives electric bills. And city councils, evidence Roanoke Rapids with Parton, do not have the time, skills or expertise to address this issue. And now ElectriCities wants to add a retail development specialist to the staff. Great. That will provide great, minimum wage jobs in eastern NC. There are two economic development people busy there snuggling up to the regional partnerships like the NE Commission (i.e. Parton debacle) giving them extra money to waste, and working with the very same players involved in the Parton issue. ElectriCities has paid some of the same players handsomely to produce "marketing plans" for cities. The marketing plans are IDENTICAL except the names change, except a couple of time, oops, the names weren't changed. Another travesty of wasted money. But the economic development team plays a lot of golf and spends a lot of money on Dept. of Commerce, so I guess that counts as "helping eastern NC."
Who will regulate? Who will investigate? Was that never contemplated in this mistake? Several legislators are looking at options but the corporate lawyers at Poyner and Spruill wove such a deal so as to deceive us all. Perhaps Roy Cooper will take this issue on? I guess a group of retired seniors will continue to provide the data and do the work for them until it blows up in their collective faces, perhaps just before election time.