To the editor:
I would like to respond to the Aug. 16 letters to the editor of Mary Jo Moore (“IPL’s high rates hurt our residents”) and Terry Flowers (“Coal power plants hurt human health”). The fact that I stated in my letter on Aug. 9 (“Council moves too quickly on energy”) that the electric rates in Independence are “affordable” doesn’t mean I believe that there is no room for improvement. I believe the entire rate structure should be reviewed and both Independence Power and Light, and the City Council are looking at doing that.
Independence Power and Light only produces approximately 10 percent of its current base load needs in house. In my professional opinion we should be producing 35 percent to 40 percent of our base-load needs in house to help control rates and not be reliant on other utilities for our needs.
I do support renewable alternatives, as I stated in my letter, but the technology in these areas are not at a level that would allow for the base load needs in a reliable and cost-effective manner. I am simply suggesting we not paint ourselves into a corner when it comes to our fuel source options. As a lifelong resident I am concerned with the citizens’ ability to afford their utilities while still being able to provide for their families.
That is one of the reasons I became a board member for the community development block grant. The CDBG makes decisions on a variety of funding options that can help citizens with their bills. They also provide many other services and assistance options.
After attending many Public Utilities Advisory Board meetings over the years, I now have the ability to volunteer and did so in an attempt to bring my diverse, well-rounded and experienced voice to the table. I have knowledge in all three of the utilities that are covered by the PUAB and wanted to use that for the benefit of the citizens. Council Member Gragg even stated at a recent City Council meeting of the importance of having “key professional positions” on these boards.