KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Gee Scott: Rich people should not pay more for their electricity

Apr 17, 2023, 3:12 PM | Updated: 7:11 pm

utility worker electricity...

A utility worker works on electric lines. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Customers of Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric will see a new charge based on household income and KIRO Newsradio’s Gee Scott doesn’t like it.

Customers will soon see a tier system depending on how much money a household makes. For example, on the low end, a household that makes less than $28k annually will pay an additional monthly charge of $15. For households making more than $180k, the monthly fee will be $85.

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“Look, I believe in equity, no doubt about it. But this is way too far on this. Don’t start doing this,” Gee said. “Whatever it is that you think is better for you, do you, but what you don’t want to do is overcharge somebody based on their income. I’m not for that.”

CA Governor Gavin Newsom pushed for this as a way to bring down electricity costs for low-income people. They would see an average reduction between 16 to 21% in their electric bills

About half of the electric customers would see lower bills.

“While people in Washington state obviously are calling for tax breaks for everybody, it appears that what Democrats are most interested in is tax burden shifting. So making rich people pay more taxes,” said show producer Andrew Lanier.

“And this is now extending to goods and services, or utilities, in this case, with electricity,” Lanier said. “Now, here’s the only way that I can say this makes sense, is that your electricity bill is driven not just by how much energy that you use, but also by how much energy your neighbors use.”

The theory would be that the more energy a big house, with all of its appliances and needs uses, the higher the rate is for the whole neighborhood.

“If you have all those appliances, then you’re probably paying more for what you used,” Gee said. “And by the way, I’m Gen X. I’m from when the Beatles came. You’d hear ‘turn them lights off.’ You would never turn them lights off. That means that was stress from your parents because that bill was too high last month.”

Gee explained that rich people paying more for electricity is a pandora’s box and he doesn’t want it opened.

“This is ridiculous. You start charging rich folks more for their electricity. That’s the beginning. You get your foot in the door on that, you start charging more for their cars, right?” Gee explained. “That’s the beginning of the end of fair pricing.”

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Chef said that you can’t coupon clip your way out of inflation.

“If the demands that are being placed on the grid by all of my rich neighbors cause it so I don’t have access to cheap power, then why shouldn’t they pay more?” Chef asked. “If Jeff Bezos’ compound, wherever he lives, is sucking up the equivalent energy of 10,000 households, and we have to pay more as a result, why not shift some of that cost on to Jeff Bezos? You have no problem with him paying more in taxes?”

“The only time I think income should be taken into consideration is on your taxes,” Gee said. “Let’s end it at that.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Gee Scott: Rich people should not pay more for their electricity