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Perdue Says Electric Rate Hikes Add 'Insult to Injury'

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Will pressure PSC and utility companies to 'freeze and rollback' increases

West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue today said he opposes the latest rate hikes requested by Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power.

"These rate increases add insult to injury and must not be allowed," Perdue said. "As governor, it is my intention to put pressure on the Public Service Commission and the utility companies to freeze rates for at least one year and to rollback recent rate increases that have been a shock to West Virginia families."

Perdue said a recent personal experience brought the issue into sharp focus for him.

"My 87-year-old mother called me in distress because of her high electric bill," Perdue said. "I am sure many other families are struggling to pay high utility bills. What is almost beyond belief is that the rate hikes requested yesterday are in addition to a rate hike that is awaiting final approval from the Public Service Commission."

Perdue's opposition to the rate hikes came on the heels of a statement from AARP West Virginia expressing concern about the increases.

"Today, I stand with the AARP and pledge to work with them to stop these massive rate increases," Perdue said. "Perhaps these utility companies haven't noticed we are in the midst of a prolonged economic downturn. With so many people out of work and many others underemployed, these rate hikes are a huge and unexpected burden on West Virginia families."

Perdue, a candidate for the democratic nomination for governor, encouraged people to go to his website at www.johnperdue.com to share their stories and ideas with him. Perdue said his campaign has created a place on his website where people can leave their ideas for improving West Virginia.

"This is also a place where people can tell me their stories about how these rate hikes have affected their families," Perdue said. The site also allows people to post links to YouTube videos if they prefer to tell their story with video. This part of the website can be found at http://www.johnperdue.com/ideas .


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