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Members of the Vermilion County, Illinois Board of Review have placed a referendum on the ballot that would allow the Vermilion County Board to initiate an electrical aggregation program in Vermilion County. Under such a proposal, a third party that resells electricity produced by Ameren, the utility company that currently provides electricity to residents of Vermilion County, will negotiate utility rates with the Vermilion County Board. This deal is being pushed by Integrys Energy Group, a Fortune 500 corporation with deep lobbying influence. According to Public Campaign and Citizens for Tax Justice, two non-partisan political organizations, From 2008 to 2010, Integrys spent $710,000 on lobbying. During that same time frame, Integrys paid no corporate income taxes, in fact, receiving $92 million in tax rebates, despite making a $818 million profit. In 2010, Integrys paid their top 5 executives a total of $14.8 million.

Integrys Energy Group is acting in bad faith with the people of Vermilion County, Illinois. Integrys is already laying the ground work for a mail campaign in which Integrys operatives will mail flyers designed to mimic utility bills in which Integrys will tout savings of 20% to 30% on customers' electrical bills. If this referendum is approved by voters, Integrys will pull a bait and switch on the people of Vermilion County that will result in higher electrical bills for Vermilion County residents. Integrys wouldn't have offered big savings to the Vermilion County Board for electricity to power the Public Safety Building (i.e. Sheriff's office) without the intention of placing the burden on the residents of Vermilion County, and Integrys has every intention of selling snake oil to the people of Vermilion County in order to do so.

This will not be an easy campaign on my part. I am one citizen of Vermilion County, Illinois against a Fortune 500 company that bathes in its own greed. This is more than an uphill climb, this is a vertical climb with several edifices along the way.

If you are in Vermilion County, Illinois, vote NO on energy choice on November 6! If you know someone who is in Vermilion County, Illinois, contact them and tell them to vote NO on energy choice on November 6! Together, we can defeat corporate influence in local government!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Where did you get Integrys pays no income taxes? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neuroptimalian, lineatus

    Why make such a grossly incorrect statement when it is so easy to fact check? These types of statements does great harm to Democrats in that it plays into the theme that Democrats don't understand business and economics.

    At the link below from Yahoo Finance sourcing SEC filings, Integrys has been paying about 1/3 of their profits in income taxes.

    Look at the line labeled "Income Tax Expense"

    See http://finance.yahoo.com/...

    If you think the above is not true please locate the SEC documents and page numbers that show what you are claiming.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:22:10 PM PDT

  •  I like my community choice aggregator (0+ / 0-)

    For what it's worth, I'm quite happy to be rid of my local utility and be a customer of my local CCA.  Of course, ti all depends on who's running it.

    My power bills did go down, but the big thing was that I could get a 100% renewable contract that I wasn't able to otherwise.

  •  Evanston Illinois just passed a law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DownstateDemocrat

    allowing the town to negotiate with "energy aggregators". I also smell a rat.

    •  Over 50 IL cities and towns passed aggregation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grey Panther, freshwater dan

      ...on the March 20 ballot.

      The whole basis of my argument that Integrys is plotting a bait and switch on electricity customers in Vermilion County is that they've offered sweet deals to the county before, including one that helped the county save money on the Sheriff's office's power bill. The only reason Integrys would push for this November 6 referendum is if Integrys had every intention of pulling a bait-and-switch on Vermilion County residents in order to jack up electrical rates.

      Integrys has surveyed the political playground in Vermilion County. They're plotting their next move as I type this message.

      •  Look at all of the municipalities and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DownstateDemocrat

        rural electric co-ops who "bought into" the Prairie State Generating Station in downstate Marissa.  

        The whole project is more than double over budget and way behind schedule.  The citizens of those towns are going to have to eat a lot of that cost.

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