No refinancing for eastern NC electric customers
ElectriCities will not refinance power plant debt
July 7, 2009

The way ElectriCities went about working the debt ratio and the options they used to project refinancing of the debt was a no win situation. The only way to ever get out from under this debt is to approach our Congressional leaders and get a very low interest loan from Washington.

From AIG to GM, ERON to WorldCom, the Government has handed out cash for the asking. We don’t propose a bailout or a handout. We are simply asking for all parties to seriously look at the the feasibility of flexible Government intervention in an effort to support the citizens of eastern North Carolina.

So far, the only Congressman that will even listen to us is G. K Butterfield. He hasn’t acted on anything, and was supportive of the Cap & Trade Bill. But, at least he’ll pick up the phone and listen to our concerns.

Jones has said that he thought this was a local matter and he was not going to get involved. (Well, he’s gotten involved in other issues not so different from this). It may very well be that the only way to get Walter Jones involved (and on the side of eastern North Carolinians) is with a crystal ball so he can foresee which side of the fence this will fall. After all, we surely don’t want Walter sitting on the wrong side of a vote, now do we?

Etheridge has been candid and honest when he says the only money he foresees us getting is weatherization money. At least he’s honest and that’s a start. He has raised valid points as to why no one will want to spend political capital to get us out of this debt. Plus, I don’t think Etheridge has a “hidden agenda” not to help us.

The Real Deal: Trying to refinance the 2.5B debt through commercial bonds is a waste of time. ElectriCities knew this even before they looked at the idea. The meeting a few weeks ago relevant to this issue was basically smoke and mirrors.

But, the need to eliminate this debt is as valid today as it was six months ago when this group started. And years ago when citizens first started to questions the high price of power in eastern North Carolina.

Citizens in eastern North Carolina are living paycheck to paycheck. Some are not even that well off. To eliminate the burden of this utility debt would put deposable income back into the hand of ratepayers and back into the hand of small business (where it belongs). To make us prosperous again, we’ve got to have some spending money in our pocket. We’re not going to have spending money because we owe 2.5B!

Official says refinancing wouldn’t save money

By John Henderson
Rocky Mount Telegram
Sunday, June 28, 2009

WILSON — A citizen’s group advocating lower electric rates in Rocky Mount had hoped their goal could be accomplished by the refinancing of bonds funding power plants.

They learned Wednesday that would not likely happen.

“At this point, it is not a (financially) viable option,” said Tim Tunis, chief financial officer for ElectriCities, the administrative arm of the power company serving Rocky Mount.

Meeting at the Wilson Operations Center, city officials from throughout the eastern region of the state on the power agency’s board listened to staff explain the many negatives and few positives of refinancing a major portion of the agency’s $2.5 billion debt that funded construction of power plants.

Tunis presented three refinancing options for the agency’s portion of the debt funding the Shearon-Harris power plant near Raleigh and Brunswick power plant in Brunswick County.


A few Representatives from NC

teaming up on this could make it happen ... if they have all the clout they claim. At the very least they should try. A low interest loan would be smart.