AG: Utility bills would climb under legislation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The state Attorney General says a measure pending in the General Assembly could cause bills from for-profit utility companies to climb significantly without much government oversight.

The Tennessean reported Attorney General Bob Cooper warned this week that investor-owned utility companies would be able to raise their rates without having to prove that the increases are really necessary under the proposed legislation. The legislation cleared a House committee on Wednesday and is supported by Gov. Bill Haslam.

Tim Schwarz is the chief of external affairs for the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, which regulates rates set by the for-profit utilities. He said consumers would still be protected from unwarranted price increases and the TRA would ensure increases would have to be in the public's interest


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