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"I'm interested in the bill because I think it favors the consumer, believe it or not," says Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville).
Senator Norris says the current rate review process for utility companies is lengthy and complicated. He believes streamlining the process will benefit the utilities and customers.
"It would give an opportunity for an annual review rather than every 4 years which is now," says Senator Norris. "When you do have rate increases on a 4 year basis you can have big spikes in those fluctuations."
State Attorney General Bob Cooper has expressed concerns the legislation could allow investor-owned utilities to inflate and raise rates without having to justify the increases. Senator Norris disagrees.
"Give this a try, let's see if that's the case," says Senator Norris. "I think the more frequent review is going to result in more scrutiny rather than less."
David Trusty, a spokesperson for Piedmont, says streamlining the process for rate adjustments doesn't mean costs will automatically go up.
"The perception being that anytime a company like Piedmont goes to the TRA or regulatory agency it's to raise rates," says Trusty. "The truth of the matter is since 2008, some 5 years ago, we've been back to the TRA 7 or 8 times to lower our rates."
Trusty says cutting government red tape for the utility doesn't mean getting rid of oversight.
"Streamlining doesn't mean you cannot be efficient and maintain proper balance between interest of consumers and the interest of the utilities," says Trusty.
Monday, March 11 2013, 11:48 PM CDT
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
Porsche tops in annual survey of vehicle quality
DETROIT (AP) -- Porsche is the top performer in an annual survey of new vehicle quality.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS SAY SURVEILLANCE FOILED PLOT TO BOMB NYSE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S.
VEGAS STRIP-THRILL RIDE
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- If losing your shirt in Sin City isn't enough -- you could soon lose lunch.