Candidate for governor says proposed electric rate caps are still too high

    A Democrat making the impending expiration of electric rate caps a centerpiece of his 2010 gubernatorial campaign says he’s not impressed by a House bill aimed at curbing utility bill increases.

    A Democrat making the impending expiration of electric rate caps a centerpiece of his 2010 gubernatorial campaign says he’s not impressed by a House bill aimed at curbing utility bill increases.

    Listen:
    [audio: reports20090407rate.mp3]

    A measure backed by House Speaker Keith McCall, Majority Leader Todd Eachus and other Democratic representatives would limit rate hikes to fifteen percent a year, once caps start expiring in 2010.

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Knox of Philadelphia says he’s not impressed.

    Knox: How about five percent a year? Fifteen percent is too high. Let’s just say five percent a year and the cost of inflation. That might be OK.

    Experts say utility rates could increase by 40 percent or more after state regulations are lifted.

    Knox says if elected, he’d push for a state authority that would buy and distribute Pennsylvania’s energy. He says that could reduce rates over the coming years.

    Knox is a millionaire businessman, and says he’ll self-finance much of his campaign. He ran for mayor of Philadelphia in 2007, finishing second to Michael Nutter in the Democratic primary.

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