Thursday, August 13, 2009

Editorial: Line extensions hurt ratepayers

Today the unnamed Courier editor must make what he apparently sees as a Solomon-worthy decision between rural developers and electric utilities, and as the experienced Courier reader might expect, comes down on the side of I-me-mine.

Here's some background from, which differs with the editor on when the rule went away and on whose initiative. The editor failed to mention that this came up on the official request of Navajo County, which no doubt is as developer-driven as Yavapai, but it ought to matter, especially given that the editor neglected to publish a news piece on this issue.

This story has a pretty low profile, and I have to wonder why it rates an opinion. Maybe someone the editor knows is worried that someone else might build a house on a neighboring property?

From what I read, the developers and growth-fascinated county officials want free extensions in a big way, and the utilities don't seem to mind one way or the other, so the ACC will probably reinstate the rule regardless of the editor's professed concern that he might wind up paying a few more pennies a year to run Fox News and old Westerns on his big-screen teevee.

I'm a little divided on it myself. Anything that slows human encroachment into unspoiled land seems like a good thing to me, but this could also affect the spread of distributed energy generation as more rooftops go solar and more ranchers build wind generators.

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