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Gary Moline about 3 years ago

comment...Very unfair and unnecessary move by MP.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3989041-skyrocketing-price-steel-bodes-well-cliffs-margins?ifp=0 We purchase steel and employ many trades in MN and our material costs are now rising rapidly. We also compete with European based manufacturers and are also faced with a strong dollar as well, but will get no relief and must fend for ourselves.

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Albin Peterlin about 3 years ago

As a senior citizen on social security I do not agree with MP increasing our rates by up to 15% to give big business a break. In the 15 years I have collected social sacurity I don't think I've gotten more than a 4% increase. You see what that does to me. All the business has to do is increases prices.

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Richard Harri about 3 years ago

I am a retiree living in the Duluth area on a fixed income that cannot handle this proposed rate increase suggested by Minnesota Power. They need to figure another way to benefit business customers than doing so at the cost to the residential customers. This is not a good or practical stategy.

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thomas nikko about 3 years ago

Reject MP's request. It is grossly unfair to residential customers.

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Scott Peterson about 3 years ago

Reject this request. If MP's rates are too high for these eleven companies then its time to re-evaluate their rates across the board.

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Scott Peterson about 3 years ago

Reject this request. If MP's rates are too high for these eleven companies then its time to re-evaluate their rates across the board.

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JIM GLOWACKI about 3 years ago

As a long time business owner on the Iron Range I support the effort to provide competitive rates to EITE eligible customers. Without these industries, customers would be forced to pay a much larger rate increase. These taconite and wood products companies consume over 50% of the electricity produced and distributed by Minnesota Power. More importantly, I would urge those Commissioners of the Minnesota PUC who have not had an opportunity to tour a taconite plant or wood processing plant to do so prior to making this critical decision. It is an eye opening experience to see a large taconite plant in operation and to understand the huge economic benefit they provide to our region.

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Alan Muller almost 3 years ago

I do not agree. There is not credible evidence that this revenue shift would have any significant impact on the future business decisions of the beneficiaries.

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william winkler about 3 years ago

The 10% increase for residential customers is outrageous! In the western part of their coverage area we receive no benefit from this proposal.

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Daniel Unulock about 3 years ago

In Economics classes I learned that one of the rules of the "Law of Supply and Demand" is that when demand is higher, prices are higher. We have heard and read from Minnesota Power that these big industries have a high demand for electric power. So, why aren't these industries willing to pay a higher price for their high demand? Does the "Law of Supply and Demand" not apply when it affects one negatively?

If Minnesota Power wants to reduce the rates for big industry, then so be it. But if they want to be a good community neighbor, then Minnesota Power should be willing to accept and absorb any loss as a result, rather than be a bad neighbor by penalizing residential customers to make up the difference.

What the attempt seems to be here is not actually increasing the overall electric rate, but to shift the amounts charged between different categories of customers. In other words, Minnesota Power's electricity revenues would remain the same. But for residential customers, it is in fact a rate increase. By thinking of this as a rate shift, rather than an actual increase, does this keep the door open for a residential rate increase in the planning stage? If this is so, would that mean two rate increases to residential customers and getting away with saying it is only one increase? I believe that most residential customers would feel that if their rates go up, it's a rate increase, not a rate shift.

If industry's costs are cutting into their profits, I think this approach to a solution is the wrong one. Perhaps their desired profit margins should be examined; are they too excessive? Industries should either increase the price they charge their customers of look for other areas of their operation where they can be more frugal. Subsidizing big industry's electric bill should not be the responsibility of residential customers as part of a businesses effort to control their costs. The big business industries should seek help from their congressional representative to control foreign prices. Congress should work to establish tariffs to control "dumping" by foreign competitors.

Many residents are retired, and I'm sure, many of them live on only Social Security. Please understand that in many of the past several years, Social Security recipients have received either no cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) or very little COLA. Keep in mind, any minimal monthly COLA also has to cover monthly increases in food, transportation, insurance, medical, communication, housing, and so on. The COLA is not for electricity only. The estimated $8.00 per month increase in a residential electric bill may seem manageable to Minnesota Power, but it may be a significant burden of a minimal COLA for Social Security recipients.

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Daniel Unulock about 3 years ago

In Economics classes I learned that one of the rules of the "Law of Supply and Demand" is that when demand is higher, prices are higher. We have heard and read from Minnesota Power that these big industries have a high demand for electric power. So, why aren't these industries willing to pay a higher price for their high demand? Does the "Law of Supply and Demand" not apply when it affects one negatively?

If Minnesota Power wants to reduce the rates for big industry, then so be it. But if they want to be a good community neighbor, then Minnesota Power should be willing to accept and absorb any loss as a result, rather than be a bad neighbor by penalizing residential customers to make up the difference.

What the attempt seems to be here is not actually increasing the overall electric rate, but to shift the amounts charged between different categories of customers. In other words, Minnesota Power's electricity revenues would remain the same. But for residential customers, it is in fact a rate increase. By thinking of this as a rate shift, rather than an actual increase, does this keep the door open for a residential rate increase in the planning stage? If this is so, would that mean two rate increases to residential customers and getting away with saying it is only one increase? I believe that most residential customers would feel that if their rates go up, it's a rate increase, not a rate shift.

If industry's costs are cutting into their profits, I think this approach to a solution is the wrong one. Perhaps their desired profit margins should be examined; are they too excessive? Industries should either increase the price they charge their customers of look for other areas of their operation where they can be more frugal. Subsidizing big industry's electric bill should not be the responsibility of residential customers as part of a businesses effort to control their costs. The big business industries should seek help from their congressional representative to control foreign prices. Congress should work to establish tariffs to control "dumping" by foreign competitors.

Many residents are retired, and I'm sure, many of them live on only Social Security. Please understand that in many of the past several years, Social Security recipients have received either no cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) or very little COLA. Keep in mind, any minimal monthly COLA also has to cover monthly increases in food, transportation, insurance, medical, communication, housing, and so on. The COLA is not for electricity only. The estimated $8.00 per month increase in a residential electric bill may seem manageable to Minnesota Power, but it may be a significant burden of a minimal COLA for Social Security recipients.

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Richard Polo about 3 years ago

I am on retirement and can not afford to help pay the power bills of these large foreign companies of which MP and Elite own one of t rejehe paper mills all the same MP is just trying to double dip another way by sneaking in the back door to raise our rates They were already turned down once This is very wrong and maybe even Illegal Please reject this bid to hurt the common residents of northern Minnesota

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Richard Polo about 3 years ago

I am on retirement and can not afford to help pay the power bills of these large foreign companies of which MP and Elite own one of t rejehe paper mills all the same MP is just trying to double dip another way by sneaking in the back door to raise our rates They were already turned down once This is very wrong and maybe even Illegal Please reject this bid to hurt the common residents of northern Minnesota

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Daniel Unulock about 3 years ago

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS COMMENT. I don't know why or how the previous comment was repeated; it should have been recorded only once.

News reports have mentioned that the different rates for industry and residential customers are at an improper balance, suggesting that big industry has been subsidizing residential customer's rates. Since this is the first time I have heard this, would this mean that this imbalance has been intact for many years? If this so called imbalance has gone on for any length of time without any action taken to address it, wouldn't that imply that these rate differences are properly balanced? Why suddenly might they be regarded as out-of-balance? Is this a manufactured complaint to try and get approval of this Energy-Intensive Trade-Exposed (EITE) Rate?

Previously, it was reported that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) ruled that there was no net benefit to the first request for this EITE rate. If Minnesota Power wants to do the same thing again this time, I would think that nothing has changed to provide a net benefit. I believe a net benefit means a benefit for everyone. If residential rates are increased by a double-digit percentage, in fact, by any amount, it is not a benefit to residential customer. The benefit would be only to the big industries.

Utility customers in this area are currently being faced with a rate increase request for natural gas--I still see the interim rate charge on my natural gas bill. Also, there is currently a request for an additional increase to our natural gas bill to cover the cost for a project in the Rochester, Minnesota area. If this current EITE request from Minnesota Power is approved, then residents in this area could be faced with three utility rate increases all during the same time period. Is this getting excessive? And add to that, we regularly see increases to various required items on our telephone bill.

We residential customers should not be responsible for the competitiveness of a business, that's up to the management of the business. This EITE idea seems to be taking the easy way out by taking advantage of those with far less financial resources.

In a very recent news report during the week of around August 8, 2016, the big industry of United Taconite announced that they would be spending $65 million to upgrade their facilities. Yet, United Taconite is one of the eight businesses that filed in support for approval of this EITE request. I wonder if any of the other big industries in this case have a similar situation. If they have financial resources available to afford spending that much money, why can't they pay their own electric bill? Something seems out-of-sync.

I hope the MPUC will give meaningful consideration to these comments. Based on these comments, I feel that this EITE request by Minnesota Power should be denied. Minnesota Power and its big industry customers should work towards a better solution without penalizing residential customers, who I would think have no involvement with the operation of the big industries.

Thank you, Dan Unulock

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Steven Heikkila almost 3 years ago

First I am very angry that the state has made it so difficult to get on this website and then I am even more angry that it is almost impossible to find this site to comment on. You greatly dissuaded people to comment on this issue and have made this a disservice to the people of the State of Minnesota. This makes it look like you want the increase to customers to pass, because it is so hard to comment on.

As far the 10% rate increase goes, if I am lucky I get a 1% increase or less every three years on my pay. This is a hidden tax and the benefits go to multinational corporations. They are the biggest welfare recipients there are. Increasing the costs on struggling Minnesota individuals, families, and businesses cannot be in the best interest of Minnesota or Minnesota Power's customers.

It has been stated that the mining companies run efficiently...that is not true. There is a lot more that they can do to become efficient, but they don't. This filing does not require the companies that benefit to invest in efficiency, which doesn't solve the problem. As individuals we are charged for conservation programs, but they are exempt.

I am also angry that I have to subsidize the power company's profits, if they want to give a discount to their big customers, that should come from company profits not from the backs of their residential, small business, and municipal customers.

I am against ANY rate increase. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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frank ganje almost 3 years ago

Pressure the Legislature to stop this farce. They passed this bill to allow Minnesota Power and other utility companies to benefit at our expense. Fortunately there is an election coming up in November so that we may collectively replace our legislatures who don't seem to be working on behalf of the voters.

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Steve Zacher almost 3 years ago

Tourism provides the most jobs in this area and yet is heavily taxed and not subsidized. Let's get real... the mining industry has been in a state of decline since WW2. We need to stop subsidizing foreign national companies and welfare for big multi nationals in paper and mining. Let's reduce the greedy top salaries of these executives for a start. As a working person who makes a middle class income why should I pad some fat cat's life style? Look a Magnetation to see how the Minnesota citizens have been pillaged. NO MORE SUBSIDIES ON THE BACKS OF WORKERS AND RETIREES!

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Kate Dougherty almost 3 years ago

As a MN Power stock holder, I am quite outraged that MP would give shareholders two cent increase on dividends and then outrageously tell those of us who live in their power distribution territory, to pay far more on our bill. They announced a better than expected earnings, gave stockholders an increase in dividends(two cents) and then turned to their customers to pick up that tab.The increase in dividends, doesn't even remotely cover the cost of the requested increase in my bill.

As if that is ridiculous enough, we are being asked to pay for C-suite pay increases, and their over the top bonuses. No! If these companies are run so poorly, that they cannot pay their bills, but CAN give themselves raises and bonuses, than stockholders need to fire the C-suites and their BODs who seem to have no business sense, other than to beg for for a hand out after their own bad decision making.

No more corporate handouts. Taxpayers are heaving under the weight of the subsidies big corporations already have and that middle size and small business are not allowed.

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Mark Wihriala almost 3 years ago

Stop this Bill!! Just another break for big biz on the heads of the consumer!! Legislators should be ashamed ... I thought they worked for the people??

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Glenn Peterson almost 3 years ago

Reject. I'm writing this comment as a former manager at a taconite plant responsible for a 77 million dollar budget. Power cost reduction as proposed for the taconite industry would not have affected my budget, nor have had any influence on the decision to operate or not to operate. Other costs influenced my budget more significantly. As a residential consumer the cost transfer to the residential customer does affect my budget. While MP adds the following fees to my bill: a service charge, an affordability charge (?), a renewable adjustment (?), a transmission adjustment (?), a Bowell Plant adjustment (?), and a resource adjustment (?), all which total more than my cost of electricity, if the cost increase is passed on to the consumer, these cost also increase, making it more difficult for the consumer to pay the bill. Minnesota Power however, consistently publish increased revenue and profits, and increase dividends to their stockholders, the majority of whom live out of state. If MP would like to see decreased rates to heavy industry, I suggest they kick into the pot!!!

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Missy LePage almost 3 years ago

Perspective from an insider. Right on!

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Glenn Peterson almost 3 years ago

Reject. I'm writing this comment as a former manager at a taconite plant responsible for a 77 million dollar budget. Power cost reduction as proposed for the taconite industry would not have affected my budget, nor have had any influence on the decision to operate or not to operate. Other costs influenced my budget more significantly. As a residential consumer the cost transfer to the residential customer does affect my budget. While MP adds the following fees to my bill: a service charge, an affordability charge (?), a renewable adjustment (?), a transmission adjustment (?), a Bowell Plant adjustment (?), and a resource adjustment (?), all which total more than my cost of electricity, if the cost increase is passed on to the consumer, these cost also increase, making it more difficult for the consumer to pay the bill. Minnesota Power however, consistently publish increased revenue and profits, and increase dividends to their stockholders, the majority of whom live out of state. If MP would like to see decreased rates to heavy industry, I suggest they kick into the pot!!!

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Dwight Morrison almost 3 years ago

We in N.E. Minnesota have a high number of people in the poverty category, so these individuals would be harmed by any method like this one that shifts cost onto this population. We also have a high percent of people over 65 years of age, so a fixed retirement income can be compromised by this shift in energy costs onto them. As MN Power appears to be doing well right now, the status-quo should be maintained. Dwight

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Alan Muller almost 3 years ago

I am doubtful that commenting on this site will have much impact on the PUCs decisions in this docket. Perhaps more of a venting opportunity? In any case:

Carol and I were at the Legislature testifying against this and other ripoffs. Did no good. The Republicans, of course, are there for big business, but the DFLers totally rolled over (I hope you are reading this, Marty!). (AGs office made some effort.) NGOs in the bag. Public never allowed to speak at meetings of the Legislative Energy Commission. Overall, a disgusting scene. And my grasp of the language is inadequate to convey my views of the Range DFLers like Bakk and Saxhaug. But if you want to know where this bill came from and why is got into the Omnibus Energy Bill.....

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Missy LePage almost 3 years ago

Yes... I would like to know. Where did it come from and why did it get into the Energy Bill?

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Diane J Peterson almost 3 years ago

As a member of MN Citizens Federation who actually lives in southern Minnesota, I oppose this unfair imposition of a corporate welfare expense by Minnesota Power onto household rate payers. MN Citizens Federation has proven repeatedly to our state's Public Utilities Commission that the utility's claim that corporate ratepayers, taconite mines and paper mills, are overcharged and thereby subsidizing small ratepayers, to be a false claim. Now, the utility claims that they need a special concession from the state for its industrial ratepayers to be competitive with foreign firms. However, this concession will only reduce the overall industrial production costs by 1%. This 1% is far too little to make a significant difference in their competitive business model. The new federal tariffs on foreign steel this year have already boosted Iron Range business. It is not fair to burden individual household ratepayers to enrich the area's corporations.

2) Small business will pay 1.6% more, but more important, area business will lose $19 million/year in consumer spending.

3) The MP stockholders can easily afford to pay for a big industry discount -- it is only 14% of one year's profits. Most of the profits go out of the area. That's where the $19 million/year will go.

4) MP and the big industry like to say that they are overpaying, and subsidizing the residential rates. The Citizens Fed, over the past decades, has repeatedly proved to the PUC that this is false.

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Jessica Mandoli almost 3 years ago

If big business can't pay their bills, Minnesota Power doesn't get paid. If big business starts budgeting their energy usage, Minnesota Power takes a loss. Period. Don't push the cost on the rest of us. It's also pretty sad that people are going days without power after an outage - not the greatest service lately. It's insane to think that people are going to be ok with paying more and getting nothing in return.

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Brian Von Arb almost 3 years ago

Please reject MN Power's request for a competitive rate for EITE. We as homeowners should not have to subsidize any businesses. We are a capitalistic society not a socialistic society.

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Sandy Roggenkamp almost 3 years ago

These industries are already heavily subsidized by taxpayers. MN Power and the mining and paper industries could not promise that this subsidy will save jobs, but yet many of us on fixed incomes will be directly affected. Please reject the request from MN Power for this rate increase.

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Alisa DeRider almost 3 years ago

Reject. It is ludicrous that individual citizens are asked to foot the power bill for the mining industry. This is the US - a free and open market - not China.

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Sheila Packa almost 3 years ago

I'd like the Commission to reject this proposal. It provides a favor to corporations at the same time that it burdens individuals and families. I don't agree with the underlying values expressed in this proposal. It communicates that business is more important than the lives of people. Unfair! Corporations already receive a great deal of help. The 10% increase will be difficult for me and my neighbors, many of whom are on a fixed income.

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Justin Perpich almost 3 years ago

Please reject this proposal. In May 2016 the US Department of Commerce hiked tariffs up 500% on Chinese cold rolled steel and the mining and steel industries are now posed for a comeback. Also in the same month MN Power and Cliffs Natural Resources signed an agreement where MN Power gave Cliffs $31 Million in cash. Another thing to factor in is that as the mining industry continues to boom and technology continues to improve it will lead to less and less workers being employed in the mining industry. Northern Minnesota a large population of folks who are in their 60. Did you know that the average voter in Minnesota's 8th Congressional district is 64 years old? That shows me we have a lot of retirees who are on fixed income. This rate increase is going to hurt them more and more. From my understanding Social Security recipients didn't receive a COLA increase last year and it doesn't look good this year as well. With the mining industry bouncing back I see this hurting more of the residents in our area than helping. So I encourage the MN PUC to reject this offer because most people on a fixed income cannot afford it.

Thank you.

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Whitney Jones almost 3 years ago

As someone who has a very tight budget, this rate increase would significantly affect me financially. I don't feel that it is my responsibility, or any other residential customer, to bail out these companies. Please reject this proposal!

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Ashley Hoppe almost 3 years ago

Reject this proposal. Please. This isn't right. Corporations already get a big cut of the pie and the rest of us are fighting to survive on the crumbs.

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Anastasia Bamford almost 3 years ago

Reject this! There is no valid reason for corporations to get a break on costs at the expense of the little guys!

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Cory Binsfield almost 3 years ago

I strongly urge you to reject this rate increase that forces retirees, students, and residential customers to subsidize large corporations that are having difficulty competing agains low cost producers. In a capitalistic economy, subsidies allow corporation to remain bloated and we all pay the costs for companies that scream 'unfair completion in the form of higher steel prices and in this case, higher electric prices. Mn power is an extremely profitable enterprise. Since 2011, revenue is up- 61% ending December of 2015.

Gross profit is up 29% and the stock is up 19.73% year to date versus 7.82% for the stock market as measured by the Sp500 index. This rate increase will only benefit the shareholders at the expense of the residential customers who do not have the freedom to give themselves a 10 to 15% raise whenever they feel they are hurting for cash flow.

I have personally seen my electric bill increase faster than inflation over the last five years and do not wish to see a higher increase so I can help a publicly traded company enrich their shareholders on th4 backs on retirees and students on a meager income.

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Terri Lennartson almost 3 years ago

Please Please reject this rate shift.The 5 percent discount for big industries would be paid by an estimated 10 percent increase in bills for residential customers---about $100 more per year on average, plus fees and taxes. This large subsidy will be put on the seniors and families. This will also set a bad precedent. Allowing big companies to benefit UNJUSTLY from the sacrifices of seniors,veterans,our families and small businesses. When you live on a fixed income this will be devastating. Thank you.

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Terri Lennartson almost 3 years ago

Please Please reject this rate shift.The 5 percent discount for big industries would be paid by an estimated 10 percent increase in bills for residential customers---about $100 more per year on average, plus fees and taxes. This large subsidy will be put on the seniors and families. This will also set a bad precedent. Allowing big companies to benefit UNJUSTLY from the sacrifices of seniors,veterans,our families and small businesses. When you live on a fixed income this will be devastating. Thank you.

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Nancy Platzer almost 3 years ago

Mp&ls request for a rate hike for the mines ,to be paid for by homeowners is insane. I vote no. I am opposed to this increase. I have an all electric home ,do I really want my bill to be 400.00 dollars monthly, absolutely not.

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Joshua Bixby almost 3 years ago

I believe the MN PUC should deny MN Power's request to decrease certain industrial customers' electrical rates by increasing rates for residential and commercial customers. I don't believe the request should be denied on the grounds that it will increase electrical rates for residents, although the increases being asked for are exorbitant by any measure. The request should be denied because of the flawed logic and disingenuous reasons behind asking for the shift in rates.

MN Power along with certain industrial customers claim the cost of electricity for residential and commercial customers is subsidized by a dozen or so energy-intensive industrial customers and that those industrial customers cannot be competitive in the global economy because of that alleged subsidy. Both claims are flawed logically and practically, and the MN PUC should not approve requests that are based on false or misleading claims.

The claim that industrial customers subsidize residential and commercial customers is arguable. There are certain organizations that counter the claim and say MN Power is using selective accounting to paint a picture that isn't entirely accurate. I personally cannot say proponents or opponents of this rate change are correct in their statements about subsidies, but therein lies one of the biggest problems. The fact is MN Power has not presented to the public a detailed accounting demonstrating a subsidy exists. Documents submitted to the MN PUC for public view make statements that cannot be substantiated with the information provided. Before a decision can be made to reduce or eliminate a subsidy, it has to be clear there is a subsidy, and MN Power has not sufficiently demonstrated one exists.

Regardless of whether there is a subsidy or not, reducing energy-intensive industrial customers electrical rates by up to 5% will not make a substantive change to their competitiveness in the global economy. Sure, the total dollar amount being discussed is potentially millions of dollars a month for some industrial customers, but those numbers have to be put in context. The cost of producing metal or paper products is influenced by many factors, and several of the most important factors are global today. The notion that reducing a single production cost by up to 5% will somehow make a company globally competitive that isn't competitive already is, well, laughable. In Duluth News Tribune stories from this past November, it was quoted that electrical costs make up 15% of the production costs for Verso paper in Duluth. Reducing Verso's electrical rates by up to 5% will lower Verso's overall production costs by 0.75%. Is the MN PUC and citizens of MN supposed to believe that reducing Verso's total production costs by 0.75% will somehow turn them into a globally competitive juggernaut? It is a disingenuous proposition, at best.

Whereas the proposed rate reductions will have little impact on global competitiveness, the increases for residential customers will have a profound impact for individuals and customers with low or fixed incomes. Seeing that many low-income customers are on heating or energy assistance programs, shifting this much cost to residential customers is basically asking all taxpayers of MN to pad MN Power's bottom line.

I hate to sound cynical, but this request for a rate change seems to have more to do with padding some profits than magically making these dozen or so companies globally competitive. I am willing to entertain paying higher electrical rates when they are necessary or supporting a larger cause like Green Energy, but this request for an exorbitant rate increase on residential and commercial customers is nothing more than a fleecing.

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Brenda Gilbert Anderson almost 3 years ago

First I think it is an absolute crime that it is this difficult to comment on a public rate increase! I am completely comfortable with computers but it still took me quite a bit to figure out where and how to comment - and then it will be said that no one commented so no one cares...not true. Make it easy for the public to comment and you will hear all you need. This rate increase proposed is completely inappropriate. As a single income family AND a small business owner, I already pay high costs for electric. - between 290-320 a month for my business and 125-190 for personal electric. As a small business that employs 9 part time workers an increase further strains the ability to pay employees which in turn is spent in our community. Big business already gets incentives, cuts, etc. To raise the rate on people with fixed incomes or small incomes to save big business $$ is simply wrong. This rate increase is unfair and will make Minnesota Power look bad. How sad - because it is one of the few truly respected businesses around. I am currently proud to hold stock but to do this to your customers who can least afford the increase is simply terrible.

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Jane Borgren almost 3 years ago

I'm with you Brenda! No wonder there are so few comments, this was really hard to get in to. I'm sure they have a good reason for that, right? Also agreeing with you regarding the increase. They'd best reject it, so far 67 comments.....

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Janet Blixt almost 3 years ago

I do not support Minnesota Power's increase request. Many of the previous comments provide reasonable arguments and detail on why this request to shift costs to individuals from corporations is not valid or fair or economically sound. Thank you.

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Janet Blixt almost 3 years ago

I do not support Minnesota Power's increase request. Many of the previous comments provide reasonable arguments and detail on why this request to shift costs to individuals from corporations is not valid or fair or economically sound. Thank you.

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Missy LePage almost 3 years ago

All of the reasons are already listed above. This is the most unfair way for MN Power and large employers to increase their profits. This proposal must be rejected.

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Cindy Johnson almost 3 years ago

As a senior citizen living on social security I, like most other seniors and families living on a fixed income cannot afford to be bailing out these companies. As stated above many of the previous comments argue against this increase and I just want to state my objection also.

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M A Englund almost 3 years ago

We are opposed to a rate increase as proposed by MP (Allete). In about 1975 we were offered the opportunity to sign up for MP's electric heat program. Approximately 1500 MP homeowners signed up for the program. At that time the pricing was very competitive with other fuels. It no longer is. The baseboard type electric heaters are "hard wired" into our homes and would require thousands of dollars to convert to their latest "off peak" system. Our current total electric bill averages $309 per month ($3709 per year) on a cost averaging basis of which about 70% is for electric heat. In addition, per our MP agreement we had to install a back up system of non-electric heat to cover our heating requirements during a power failure. This has added another $200 to $400 per year for an alternate fuel system (fossil) to our annual energy cost. We are retired on a fixed income small pension and social security which provides very little increase in annual income. Therefore, we must be quite frugal in our spending habits.
MP has not suffered through this economic downturn an temporary shutdowns oof taconite operations. That is because they have "take or pay" contracts with the taconite industry. Note that the price of Allete stock has not suffered during the downturn. I feel that MP should spend more time and effort to ensure that foreign steel imports are limited and competitive with the cost of our steel production.

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M A Englund almost 3 years ago

We are opposed to a rate increase as proposed by MP (Allete). In about 1975 we were offered the opportunity to sign up for MP's electric heat program. Approximately 1500 MP homeowners signed up for the program. At that time the pricing was very competitive with other fuels. It no longer is. The baseboard type electric heaters are "hard wired" into our homes and would require thousands of dollars to convert to their latest "off peak" system. Our current total electric bill averages $309 per month ($3709 per year) on a cost averaging basis of which about 70% is for electric heat. In addition, per our MP agreement we had to install a back up system of non-electric heat to cover our heating requirements during a power failure. This has added another $200 to $400 per year for an alternate fuel system (fossil) to our annual energy cost. We are retired on a fixed income small pension and social security which provides very little increase in annual income. Therefore, we must be quite frugal in our spending habits.
MP has not suffered through this economic downturn an temporary shutdowns oof taconite operations. That is because they have "take or pay" contracts with the taconite industry. Note that the price of Allete stock has not suffered during the downturn. I feel that MP should spend more time and effort to ensure that foreign steel imports are limited and competitive with the cost of our steel production.

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M A Englund almost 3 years ago

We are opposed to a rate increase as proposed by MP (Allete). In about 1975 we were offered the opportunity to sign up for MP's electric heat program. Approximately 1500 MP homeowners signed up for the program. At that time the pricing was very competitive with other fuels. It no longer is. The baseboard type electric heaters are "hard wired" into our homes and would require thousands of dollars to convert to their latest "off peak" system. Our current total electric bill averages $309 per month ($3709 per year) on a cost averaging basis of which about 70% is for electric heat. In addition, per our MP agreement we had to install a back up system of non-electric heat to cover our heating requirements during a power failure. This has added another $200 to $400 per year for an alternate fuel system (fossil) to our annual energy cost. We are retired on a fixed income small pension and social security which provides very little increase in annual income. Therefore, we must be quite frugal in our spending habits.
MP has not suffered through this economic downturn an temporary shutdowns oof taconite operations. That is because they have "take or pay" contracts with the taconite industry. Note that the price of Allete stock has not suffered during the downturn. I feel that MP should spend more time and effort to ensure that foreign steel imports are limited and competitive with the cost of our steel production.

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Judy Budisalovich almost 3 years ago

i feel this increase is unfair to all of us that are on a fixed income this year i did not get a cost of living so i will go in the hole some more. and mn powers profit go's up why don't they give them the cut and not increase the cost for the home owner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Judy Budisalovich almost 3 years ago

i feel this increase is unfair to all of us that are on a fixed income this year i did not get a cost of living so i will go in the hole some more. and mn powers profit go's up why don't they give them the cut and not increase the cost for the home owner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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david pierson almost 3 years ago

I too feel this increase to MN residential and small business consumers is unfair and unneccessary. A small reduction in energy cost to the large mine users will have little effect in keeping NA Fe ore production competitive on a world scale. But the increased costs to general population will be significant, permanent and will never go away. Fe ore is a commodity that will continue to cycle with the markets and when the market demand improves, so will profits of the BOF Fe ore consumers. MN Fe Ore is not competitive on a world scale anyway but that is OK as their market is the NA BOF's and continues to be the cheapest raw matl for domestic BOF's. A slightly lower cost of Fe from MN due to a rate reduction will not keep NA BOF's sustainable long term as technology shifts to EAF's. If MN Power wants to protect their large consumer base market share in down markets that should be their cost to remain competitive in the energy markets. Not on shoulders of general population. Reject the proposal to force this rate increase to MN residents.

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david pierson almost 3 years ago

I too feel this increase to MN residential and small business consumers is unfair and unneccessary. A small reduction in energy cost to the large mine users will have little effect in keeping NA Fe ore production competitive on a world scale. But the increased costs to general population will be significant, permanent and will never go away. Fe ore is a commodity that will continue to cycle with the markets and when the market demand improves, so will profits of the BOF Fe ore consumers. MN Fe Ore is not competitive on a world scale anyway but that is OK as their market is the NA BOF's and continues to be the cheapest raw matl for domestic BOF's. A slightly lower cost of Fe from MN due to a rate reduction will not keep NA BOF's sustainable long term as technology shifts to EAF's. If MN Power wants to protect their large consumer base market share in down markets that should be their cost to remain competitive in the energy markets. Not on shoulders of general population. Reject the proposal to force this rate increase to MN residents.

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Denise Scott almost 3 years ago

Homeowners would see a 10 percent hike in their bills although in February 2016, Allete reported 2015 earnings of $2.92 per share on net income of $141.1 million and operating revenue of $1.49 billion. Earnings for 2014 were $2.90 per share on net income of $124.8 million and operating revenue of $1.14 billion. I have heard that the increase for homeowners will also allow Allete to focus on seeking recovery of investments which include upgrading thermal generating units, repairing and strengthening our hydroelectric generating resources, and investments in new and existing transmission assets. Is this not the cost of doing business which should not be handed to the customer to pay.? Truly, it is without conscience that you can give "the ability to give these rate breaks outside a rate case and then having the rate recovery go on the back of another customer class." I would venture to guess that a 5 percent decline in electric rates isn't going to save money, jobs, or restore the fortunes of mining and paper companies. I believe mandating conservation improvements programs would achieve the goals of Allete to continue to maximize profits. Ironically, though according to a report dated 3 August 2016, On a per-share basis, the Duluth, Minnesota-based company said it had profit of 50 cents. per share. The power company owner posted revenue of $314.8 million in the period. Allete shares have risen 25 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has risen 32 percent in the last 12 months. Shame on for giving your regional monopoly on power to our residents.

_____Shame on you.

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Denise Scott almost 3 years ago

Homeowners would see a 10 percent hike in their bills although in February 2016, Allete reported 2015 earnings of $2.92 per share on net income of $141.1 million and operating revenue of $1.49 billion. Earnings for 2014 were $2.90 per share on net income of $124.8 million and operating revenue of $1.14 billion. I have heard that the increase for homeowners will also allow Allete to focus on seeking recovery of investments which include upgrading thermal generating units, repairing and strengthening our hydroelectric generating resources, and investments in new and existing transmission assets. Is this not the cost of doing business which should not be handed to the customer to pay.? Truly, it is without conscience that you can give "the ability to give these rate breaks outside a rate case and then having the rate recovery go on the back of another customer class." I would venture to guess that a 5 percent decline in electric rates isn't going to save money, jobs, or restore the fortunes of mining and paper companies. I believe mandating conservation improvements programs would achieve the goals of Allete to continue to maximize profits. Ironically, though according to a report dated 3 August 2016, On a per-share basis, the Duluth, Minnesota-based company said it had profit of 50 cents. per share. The power company owner posted revenue of $314.8 million in the period. Allete shares have risen 25 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has risen 32 percent in the last 12 months. Shame on for giving your regional monopoly on power to our residents.

_____Shame on you.

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Jackie Kedrowski almost 3 years ago

Great article.

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Fred Anderson almost 3 years ago

I would like to reject MP's proposal to increase the bills for residential and small businesses because we have no way to make more money compared to these bigger companies. I am retired and on social security and I don't ever see a raise in that so why should my rates get raised.

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Fred Anderson almost 3 years ago

I would like to reject MP's proposal to increase the bills for residential and small businesses because we have no way to make more money compared to these bigger companies. I am retired and on social security and I don't ever see a raise in that so why should my rates get raised.

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Eric Pierre almost 3 years ago

Minnesota Power,

There is a solution to benefit both residential and commercial users of electricity. Significantly reduce the cost of electricity for everyone in the entire state. Alternating current was never intended to be used as a source of profit by anyone in the world. Tesla intended AC as a gift to benefit everyone and not be taxed, although this obviously did not happen. The single and three phase power used by the industry and residential consumers can be supplied to the entire state at a lower cost. The state of Minnesota will benefit from its supplier of electrical power by them helping take care of all the people, and not just a small few.

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Thomas Maruska almost 3 years ago

What a novel idea, make a big investment in the hopes of making a lot of money and the unforeseen slowdown in mining causes the investment to not be working out so increase the rates of your residential customers to offset your bad investment. When I was in business if I made a bad investment no one ever bailed me out. I couldn't go to my customers and ask them all to kick in a few bucks. This is ABSURD, ASININE and I can think of a few other adjectives describing why this should be flat out rejected and no further attempts for lesser increases should be allowed. Take a few dollars from your own top echelon to offset these costs. Thsi is BS!

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Shannon Laing almost 3 years ago

Reject. Let's look for a win-win for the industries and residents in question. I believe that for the long term good of the companies involved as well as residential customers who would be affected, it would make more sense to employ serious energy efficiency measures to lower energy costs. It is an investment that will pay for itself. With older facilities that have a lot of rooftop, the opportunity for air sealing, insulation, lighting retrofits, solar installs and other energy and waste saving measures is high for great potential energy savings. Lowering their energy costs is a disincentive to take steps towards efficiency.

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Matthias Wappes almost 3 years ago

Please reject this onerous residential rate hike! I'm already forced to keep my thermostat at 60 degrees all winter--any extra amount that I'm forced to budget for additional utility costs makes it that much more difficult to pay my ever-increasing property taxes. Help us ordinary working people who struggle to make ends meet monthly!

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Dennis Szymialis almost 3 years ago

In the case of Thomas Blanton v. Mississippi Power Company Inc. v. Mississippi Public Services Commission the court held that, "the risk of loss from an abandoned project remained with the utilities an its investors even after a plant went into service and the AFUDC was capitalized and included in the rate base, the risk of loss still remained with the utility company and its investors if the plant were aborted for whatever reason. This is because of the used and useful principle." Citing Jersey central power and light company v. Ferc 730 F.2d 816 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (Jersey Central III). The current rate increase requested by Minnesota Power does not reflect a reasonable rate of return from consumers rather it reflects losses from the downturn in the mining industry which the power company is attempting to recoup from consumers. These losses are to be born by investors under principles of used and useful. The utility is not legitimately an instrument of economic development with increased rates for these collateral projects to be passed on to consumers as it represented itself in the 2007-2009 PolyMet rate increase hearing. The Commission should reject MP's request for a competitive rate for Energy-Intensive trade exposed customers and an EITE cost recovery rider, as a matter of law. The rate increase for PolyMet continues to be collected by Minnesota Power even though that company is far from seeing the light of day in terms of it's own legality. That rate increase being collected and intending to favor PolyMet is itself a standing illegality. Minnesota Power simply desires to compound the illegality with the current rate increase benefiting so called EITE customers.

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John Bray almost 3 years ago

The important thing to note in this matter is that all Mn Power rate payers will be facing substantially increased power bills, since Mn Power is simply passing these special large customer rate reductions onto every Mn Power rate payer.

To be clear, this kind of special treatment for any class of rate payer should be at the expense of Mn Power, not the rest of its rate payers.

The huge rate increases expected because of this will especially hard hit rate payers who are living on fixed incomes.

So while Mn Power takes credit for its generosity to the Mn mining and wood products industries, the real credit should go to the Mn Power rate payers who are really subsidizing this unfair business decision by MP.

If MP wants to subsidize a special class of industrial elwctruc power customers, it should recoup its costs by tightening its internal corporate belt and making the necessary cost reductions internally and seriously right-sizing within the MP corporate bureaucracy -- not putting the burden on residential rate payers.

Sincerely & with respect, John Bray MnDOT (Ret.)

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John Bray almost 3 years ago

The important thing to note in this matter is that all Mn Power rate payers will be facing substantially increased power bills, since Mn Power is simply passing these special large customer rate reductions onto every Mn Power rate payer.

To be clear, this kind of special treatment for any class of rate payer should be at the expense of Mn Power, not the rest of its rate payers.

The huge rate increases expected because of this will especially hard hit rate payers who are living on fixed incomes.

So while Mn Power takes credit for its generosity to the Mn mining and wood products industries, the real credit should go to the Mn Power rate payers who are really subsidizing this unfair business decision by MP.

If MP wants to subsidize a special class of industrial elwctruc power customers, it should recoup its costs by tightening its internal corporate belt and making the necessary cost reductions internally and seriously right-sizing within the MP corporate bureaucracy -- not putting the burden on residential rate payers.

Sincerely & with respect, John Bray MnDOT (Ret.)

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Lori Andresen almost 3 years ago

'No" to energy rate carve-outs for large mining and paper companies.

It is unfair to expect local residents and small businesses to subsidize large industry.

Why encourage energy inefficiencies with an energy rate carve-out for the largest users of energy?

The EITE Petition does not provide a net benefit to the utility or to the State of Minnesota, and is not in the public interest and should be denied.

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Lori Andresen almost 3 years ago

'No" to energy rate carve-outs for large mining and paper companies.

It is unfair to expect local residents and small businesses to subsidize large industry.

Why encourage energy inefficiencies with an energy rate carve-out for the largest users of energy?

The EITE Petition does not provide a net benefit to the utility or to the State of Minnesota, and is not in the public interest and should be denied.

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Jackie Kedrowski almost 3 years ago

The rate increase for electricity, (any energy source), for private residences, small business, and service organizations, such as public schools, hospitals, etc should not increase. Large businesses know exactly the profit margin they want to attain. Good forward business practices should dictate adjustments in the bottom line of profit . These adjustments need to occur before any type of product price increase or rate increases. If these adjustments do not occur the company will not be successful. Large cooperation's do not go out of business. They role funds into another venture with another brand name and more marketing. Cooperation's do not loose their shelter, food, or clothing, people do. People will not purchase and cannot afford to do business with the company or any of the other agents that will produce the item for sale. This particular rate increase proposal is a lose, lose for everyone. Here is a statement that I had heard when Toyota vehicles were out pacing sales of other United States mainland produced vehicles, "Toyota is making superior trucks over Ford or General Motors, and are less expensive. Until Ford and General Motors improve quality for the same price, I will purchase from Toyota." My family also lives on a fixed budget. There is no disposable income and our profit margin consists of the pennies that I can save at the grocery store register with coupons. Our budget cannot sustain a rate increase and pay for commercial products which are overpriced, so a large company can make an outrageous profit. The rate increase proposal should be rejected soundly, once and for all. .

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Jane Borgren almost 3 years ago

We are retired, on a fixed income. Please reject this proposal of Minnesota Powers increase in rates for residential customers. It's just crazy to expect that regular folk pay for corporate utilities!

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Joyce Lusnia almost 3 years ago

Your comment page leaves a lot to be desired. You have to be determined to be heard to stay on it. I am collecting Social Security as a widow. I am in a senior employment training program with the City of Duluth, which has cut my hours to 12.5 a week. I applied for help in paying my electric bill this year. They finally did in August when I applied in May. When they paid on my bill they decided I wasn't paying enough at $75 a month, they changed my budget billing to $109 a month without consulting me. Now you want me to pay for big companies who have many employees, and are able to pay lawyers to get them off the hook to pay their own bills. You are nuts !! I have to find another way, like going bankrupt, sell my house, go on welfare. Please tell big business to pay up from their own huge bank accounts, not on widows and orphans.

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Eugene Stevens almost 3 years ago

My wife and I would like to voice our opinions that the PUC reject MP's proposed rate increase. Our personal reason is that the increase would cost us about an additional $350 per year, a long way from the stated average of $96/yr. We live on my pension and our SS. Our home is ten years old and was built to Minnesota Power's Triple E Program with a Energy-Efficient Home Certification, and has all Energy Star appliances along with CFL and Led light bulbs. Our two year average monthly electric bills for years 2007 & 2008, were $190/mo, and for years 2014 & 2015, were $280/mo. There was only an additional 1500kwh total combined for the later years. I mention all this because we have very little in the way of any projected income increase, and also very limited or no options for any reduction of current energy consumption. This rate increase would definitely be felt by us. Meanwhile back in April, the Duluth News Tribune (DNT) ran an article stating that Minnesota Power (MP) had their best ever first quarter, with I believe it was stated as a $300 million profit. In May the DNT ran an article announcing that MP made a deal with Northshore Mining to supply power to the plant through 2031, and then paid them $31 million for those rights. Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves was quoted, "They get the increased base load they want, we get a guaranteed competitive rate I want...and we get $31 million", he added the check has already cleared and the "money is in the bank". Part of the deal included extending MP's contract to supply United Taconite through 2026. The article also stated that by adding Northshore Mining, that now Minnesota Power is the sole supplier of all six major Minnesota taconite operations. Then came the report in August of a much better than expected second quarter for MP. Please keep in mind that all of this happened while almost all of the mining operations were shut down!!!! How can they possibly propose this rate increase ?

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Eugene Stevens almost 3 years ago

My wife and I would like to voice our opinions that the PUC reject MP's proposed rate increase. Our personal reason is that the increase would cost us about an additional $350 per year, a long way from the stated average of $96/yr. We live on my pension and our SS. Our home is ten years old and was built to Minnesota Power's Triple E Program with a Energy-Efficient Home Certification, and has all Energy Star appliances along with CFL and Led light bulbs. Our two year average monthly electric bills for years 2007 & 2008, were $190/mo, and for years 2014 & 2015, were $280/mo. There was only an additional 1500kwh total combined for the later years. I mention all this because we have very little in the way of any projected income increase, and also very limited or no options for any reduction of current energy consumption. This rate increase would definitely be felt by us. Meanwhile back in April, the Duluth News Tribune (DNT) ran an article stating that Minnesota Power (MP) had their best ever first quarter, with I believe it was stated as a $300 million profit. In May the DNT ran an article announcing that MP made a deal with Northshore Mining to supply power to the plant through 2031, and then paid them $31 million for those rights. Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves was quoted, "They get the increased base load they want, we get a guaranteed competitive rate I want...and we get $31 million", he added the check has already cleared and the "money is in the bank". Part of the deal included extending MP's contract to supply United Taconite through 2026. The article also stated that by adding Northshore Mining, that now Minnesota Power is the sole supplier of all six major Minnesota taconite operations. Then came the report in August of a much better than expected second quarter for MP. Please keep in mind that all of this happened while almost all of the mining operations were shut down!!!! How can they possibly propose this rate increase ?

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Doretta Reisenweber almost 3 years ago

I urge the PUC not to reduce big industry's electrical rates, while raising residential rates. Their 1% reduction would mean a 1.6% increase to small businesses. Over 25,000 low income seniors an families would be hard-pressed to pay the proposed rate increase along with medical care and housing expenses. Please make your determination on facts and fairness. Just say "No to reducing big industry's electrical rates," and "No to raising residential electric rates."

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Tom Thompson almost 3 years ago

Please reject this petition from Minnesota Power or modify the petition to increase the rates of EITE's and decrease the rates of other smaller customers. Such a decrease in rates for anyone should be paid for not by rate payers but by stock holders. Please don't give Polymet or any other such entity a Minnesota Power rate decrease that is paid for by any other rate payers. This is a subsidy paid for by people who can't afford nor should have to pay for someone making a business decision they cannot afford. If such a decrease is given to Polymet or other entity, it should be paid for by the stock holders/owners. This proposal is unfair and unjust. Please reject this petition!

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DAVID REISENWEBER almost 3 years ago

This site dropped my comments and put in a blank under my name, so here it goes again: It makes no sense for residents to pay more so multinational extraction companies can pay less. They are major water polluters, we have no reason pay for even worse pollution from the proposed copper nickel sulfite mining. Good sustainable economy activity in NE Mn. depends on our clean water, not mining. Technology and big machine will continue to reduce employment in mining.

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Elanne Palcichy almost 3 years ago

I am opposed to reducing mining company electric rates on the backs of local consumers and small businesses. A rate increase will have a major impact on many of the people living in my neighborhood. In addition to electric rates, many people are also facing large increases in health insurance rates. Even mine workers employed by the taconite industry will be impacted. It appears that the real significance of this rate change is to prop up another type of low-grade mining that would require huge amounts of electricity--proposed sulfide mining. At a time when demand and price for metals was at an all time high, Minnesota Power invested in new sources of electricity, along with major power lines, and now seeks to subsidize these faltering mine operations and proposals. The citizens living here are not responsible for risky business decisions made by the power company. Taking away money from average consumers will not help stabilize the local economy.

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