Just before a City Council committee passed a resolution asking the Illinois General Assembly to rein in reckless spending by Peoples Gas, CUB’s Bryan McDaniel stood with consumer advocates to talk about problems with the utility’s pipeline-replacement program.
Peoples Gas is legally obligated to replace hazardous pipes, and the company is supposed to do it in a cost-effective manner. But consumer advocates argue that the utility has exploited the pipe-replacement program as a blank check to increase profits. The program has an overly aggressive spending pace, is over budget, and has not been meeting its goals. And they warn the program could double gas bills in years to come, hitting seniors and people on a fixed income especially hard.
While the company argues that safety is the motivation behind the program, Bryan says money is the real motivation. (Just last year, Peoples Gas made a record $132 million in profits.) Listen to his comments: