The Ramifications of High Rate Increases

Dear Source:
As a homeowner living off island I don't even know the words to describe how I feel about the recent WAPA rate increase. I got my latest bill to find that the LEAC charge is double the charge for the energy actually used in my home. I cannot imagine how normal, everyday, hardworking people in the Virgin Islands survive something like this. I know of at least three families forced to leave the territory all together to survive financially after this latest robbery perpetrated by the government and members of the Public Services (that's a joke) Commission. I fear many more will have to leave their homes for the very same reason in the near future. I live in the state that has the highest utility rates in the country. I run my air-conditioning pretty much 24/7 in the summer and to cool a very large, four bedroom home my bills never exceed $250 monthly. My three bedroom rental villa which is not occupied at all times now costs me over three times that. I will of course pass this charge on to my guests who will in turn stop coming to the island due to the cost (the airlines have already beat me to this deterrent to tourism) and I will be forced to give up my house because I can no longer afford the energy costs. Lots of people leaving with lots of money to spend somewhere else.
Do we really want to do this?????? I keep hoping that someone somewhere will wake up and realize how wrong this all is and find a way to fix it. Most of the locals I speak with about this simply say there is nothing we can do about it. That's precisely the attitude that allows WAPA to continue. Does anyone think that if fuel costs go down, our bills will reflect that????? There is an election coming up people. Use the power you have and get someone in office who can think outside the traditional Virgin Islands box and help the territory solve some of these horrible problems.& nbsp; Does anyone think any sort of business will want to settle in the Virgin Islands given this kind of cost? The answer is none. Are we OK with that????? Is there simply nothing to be done?????? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I wish I could give up my voting rights here and transfer them to the islands, at least I could feel like I had something to say about the way things are done.

Sue Seibel
Chicago/St Croix

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