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Letter: PSEG rate request a test of new law

PSEG Long Island recently invested $4.8 million in

PSEG Long Island recently invested $4.8 million in two infrastructure upgrade projects in Huntington and Elwood. These trucks are leaving a service yard on Jan. 1, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

AARP was glad to see State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and the rest of Long Island's Senate delegation come out against PSEG Long Island's historically huge electric delivery rate hike request -- nearly 12 percent over the next three years ["LIPA hike opposed," News, July 31].

While PSEG claims that this would amount to an increase in customers' total bills of just under 2 percent a year, our analysis shows some ratepayers would get hit much harder, and we believe the Long Island Power Authority's decision in the case represents the first real test of whether LIPA reform is working.

According to the state comptroller, while the 2013 LIPA reform law added bureaucracy in the form of a new Long Island office of the Public Service Commission, the law actually reduced meaningful oversight of LIPA ["LIPA law under fire," News, July 24].

Long Islanders, including the 600,000 AARP members in the LIPA service territory, can't afford a spike in our already third-highest-in-the-nation electric bills. We're looking to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to join the Island's senators -- who supported the 2013 LIPA reform bill -- to ensure we're getting the positive reform we were sold. If this massive rate hike gets approved, then this reform effort clearly failed.

Bernard Macias, Merrick

Editor's note: The writer is AARP's associate state director for Long Island.