EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has agreed to review its regulations that would require New York City to install a 90-acre cover over one of its reservoirs at a cost of $1.6 billion. Mayor Bloomberg complained about the unfunded mandate and Jackson promptly responded by sending a letter to Senator Charles Schumer saying she agreed that [...]
I came across an excellent paper on utility economics the other day during some internet research. The paper stands out for its focus on regulation of natural monopoly businesses, which specifically include water and sewer utilities. Natural monopolies are defined as an industry where a single firm can produce output to supply the entire market [...]
For many months we have tracked the activities of private water companies in America through their requests for – most large – rate increases. We have an entire category on this blog dedicated to these activities listed under “privitization” on the right sidebar; give it a click to get some of the astounding history behind [...]
The Illinois American water company serving about 10,000 customers in the Chicago area has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission to approve a 30% increase in water rates and a 50% increase in sewer rates. What the protesters probably don’t understand, and what everyone who thinks substituting public ownership of their water/sewer utilities with private (corporate) ownership needs to know is that the private utility owner has a constitutional right to charge rates that will allow it the opportunity to earn a reasonable profit.
Water and sewer rates sometimes can’t keep pace with the costs of regulatory actions. Small communities in particular are challenged to meet regulatory requirements with a limited number of customers to share the costs. We expect regulatory actions to increase during the current Administration.