Ocean County Board of Commissioners ain’t having the big rate increase. Neither am I.
Did you hear that story we did a few days ago about how New Jersey Natural Gas has asked the state’s review board to approve a big rate increase for it’s customers? Yep, they want a WHOPPING 25% increase in gas rates!
Hey, we understand that giant corporations are feeling the pinch these days… and man, we’re really sorry about that… But WTF? 25%??? What does Steve the CEO need a new yacht? Is that 3 million dollars you earn not enough, pal? (Sorry, NOT sorry… couldn’t resist.) Yep, the guy who earns 3 million a year needs to stick a 25% price increase on what you use to heat your home and cook your food….
The company says that they need to recoup the money that they spent on infrastructure improvements and other upgrades to their system.
Oh, infrastructure improvements…. You mean like that natural gas pipeline across the Pinelands and Monmouth and Ocean Counties that a $#it ton of us didn’t want because of environmental reasons? (Whoops, there I go again…)
Even the leader of the state’s board had her eyebrows blown back by the rate increase request. Stefanie Brand is the director of the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel. Her response: We’ve got “a little sticker shock.” “They’re asking for quite a lot.”
Asking for a lot? What the hell did they do, wrap the gas lines in gold foil? Put diamonds on the gas meters? 25% is a big rate increase, there’s no other way to look at it. (Oh, darn it… looks like I’m unhinged….)
The latest development is that the Ocean County Board of Commissioners finally heard about the requested 25% rate increase and they weren’t having it at all. They passed a resolution calling the proposal, “preposterous”… opposing the rate hike saying that many of the senior citizens will face a financial crisis if the rate hike is approved. “Our senior citizens saw only a 1.3 percent Social Security increase in 2021 but are now expected to pay a 25 percent hike in their gas bill,” Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari said. “I fear some of our most vulnerable residents will be left with the tragic choice of paying this increase or buying necessary food and medicine.”
Yeah, we hear that about senior citizens… but you know what? It doesn’t end there. Tons of young people are struggling now too. We’re trying to make ends meet during this pandemic where we put our lives on the line just to show up to a job barely able to afford a mortgage or rent and BAM! Here comes another increase. This is BS! We can’t always depend on the lottery or cool cash giveaways by radio stations to make ends meet!
COMMENTS by CARL CRAFT, author.