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LETTER: Southwest Gas execs get caught with hands in cookie jar

Here we go again. Another company acting surprised that it has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar.

Southwest Gas filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission requesting a rate hike. But guess what? A review of the application revealed company officials had included many expenses that in no way actually affect the operating costs of the utility (Aug. 27 Review-Journal). Their reasoning for including these questionable items was that they were “small” or that other similar utilities in other areas had included them previously for their rate hikes. What an absolute crock — especially now when so many are out of work and struggling just to put food on the table.

Here’s my solution on how to keep other companies from attempting the same shenanigans. If a review of a request determines that any questionable items have been included, then absolutely no rate increase would be allowed for a number of years. Forget asking the company to redo the request; forget approving a smaller rate increase. The company gests nothing.

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