Kenergy says proposed bill could raise members rates if passed - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Kenergy says proposed bill could raise members rates if passed

Kenergy said today that if a proposed bill is passed members rates will increase.  Kentucky Sen. Joe Bowen recently introduced Senate Bill 71 to the Kentucky Senate and Rep. Tommy Thompson introduced House Bill 211 to the House of Representatives. The bills would allow Century Aluminum of Hawesville and Rio Tinto Alcan of Sebree to buy power on the open market. Kenergy said in a press release that Kenergy would not be paid for the use of their transmission lines and other fees.  

"These legislative bills would lead to Kenergy's non-smelter members paying more than their fair share," said Kenergy President and CEO Greg Starheim, "We have worked with Century for months in an effort to provide the smelter with power from the open market as requested; however, we remain dedicated to finding solutions that are fair to all members."

Rep. Tommy Thompson said the bill is intended to save hundreds of jobs at aluminum smelters. "This bill will allow them to go to the open market to purchase power at a rate that is affordable enough to allow them to stay in business," said Rep. Tommy Thompson, "In this difficult economic market we can't afford to lose one job so that's what the issue is here. That's what we're trying to prevent in this legislation."

Kenergy said they are not yet sure how much more members would have to pay if the bill is passed. Kenergy said they are drafting amending language for the bill that they hope the energy committee will consider when the committee reviews the bill.

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