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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Georgia Power pushes rate increase, says coal costs squeeze profit

Woe is Georgia Power.

The energy heavy and subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co. is advocating before the Public Services Commission today and tomorrow that it needs to raise its rates 3 percent because of the skyrocketing cost of natural gas and coal, the state's predominant fuel burned to generate electricity. Customers would most likely see their bills go up $3 if the hike is approved.

Georgia Power says the rate hike will generate $222 million. Long the cheapest bang-for-the-buck source, coal's prices have risen sharply, from nearly $40 a ton early last year to $90 a ton in today's market, thanks to increasing demand from India and China. Two new coal power plants have been proposed for the state of Georgia. The mining and use of coal is also probably one of the stiffest middle fingers you can give to Mother Nature, but that's another story.

In other news, the sun continues to shine and wind continues to blow.

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