Private Utility Companies Also Got Into the Pandemic Profiteering Act

by | May 2, 2022 | Quick Facts, Politics & Corruption

Photo by Jon Moore

Private Utility Companies Also Got Into the Pandemic Profiteering Act

by | May 2, 2022 | Quick Facts, Politics & Corruption

Photo by Jon Moore
A new report details how private utility companies shut off electricity to U.S. households more than 3.5 million times since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, even amid soaring profits and executive compensation.
Private utilities have shut off electricity to U.S. households more than 3.5 million times since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as the power companies have reaped windfall profits and their executives’ compensation has skyrocketed, a report published Monday revealed.

“Utility companies are deliberately prolonging their dependence on fossil fuels and passing volatile fuel prices on to consumers.”

The research—entitled Powerless in the Pandemic 2.0—was produced by the advocacy groups Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Bailout Watch as a follow-up to a September 2021 publication that showed how utilities took $1.25 billion in pandemic aid and then disconnected households’ electricity nearly a million times.

“Utility companies are deliberately prolonging their dependence on fossil fuels and passing volatile fuel prices on to consumers,” Chris Kuveke, data analyst at BailoutWatch, said in a statement. “Our research shows that millions of Americans are disconnected when they can’t pay their monthly electric bills, while these utilities pass windfall profits to shareholders and executives through dividends and bonuses.”

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Utility shutoffs soared 79% from 2020 to 2021;
  • Seven companies—Nextera Energy, Duke Energy, The Southern Co., Exelon Corp., American Electric Power Co., Ameren, and AES Corp.—accounted for 78% of all identified disconnections;
  • Only 33 states and the District of Columbia have made disconnection data public, while 17 states and Puerto Rico do not require private utilities to disclose information about shutoffs; and
  • More than 40% of the disconnections in the report occurred in Florida, while nearly 70% of the shutoffs were in just five states—Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

The alarming rate of utility disconnections, coupled with soaring energy prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and fossil fuel industry greed, have created a crisis for low-income households.

Republished with permission from Common Dreams, by Brett Wilkins

<a href="http://commondreams.org" target="_blank">Common Dreams</a>

Common Dreams

Common Dreams has been providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 1997. They are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Related Articles

Nov 26 2022

Early Voting Starts Today in Georgia Despite Republican Efforts to Block It

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against the Republican Party attempts to block local election officials from conducting advanced voting the Saturday after...
Nov 24 2022

Huh? Herschel Walker’s Primary Residence Is in Texas?

The question of the day, “How can Herschel Walker represent Georgians when he doesn’t claim Georgia as his primary residence?”
Nov 21 2022

By the Numbers: How the Supreme Court Paved the Way for the GOP House Majority

Recent actions—and inaction—by the right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for a Republican House majority.
Nov 20 2022

Why Conservative Parents Are Trying to Take Over School Boards

Hundreds of parents hoping to “take back” public education ran for school board seats in the midterms. What’s the actual job that awaits those who win?
Nov 16 2022

Some “Do’s and Don’ts” of How the News Media Should Responsibly Cover Trump’s New Circus

When it comes to Trump, journalists—if they are to serve the public interest—must realize they are reporting on a politician who regularly defies democratic norms and...
Nov 14 2022

How Ballot Recounts Work in Colorado

The surprisingly competitive matchup between Boebert and Frisch has become Colorado’s closest congressional race since 2002 and will likely trigger a statutory...
Nov 13 2022

Why Misinformation About COVID Vaccines and Pregnancy Won’t Go Away

Before coronavirus vaccines were even released, a disinformation campaign used a moment of national and personal vulnerability to prey on those who were pregnant or who...
Nov 12 2022

Georgia Senate Candidates Back on the Campaign Trail as Trump Factor Could Again Aid Warnock

Trump has been blamed for helping Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff win in 2021 when he spent the time before the January runoff telling Georgians the state’s election system...
Nov 10 2022

How Can Congressional Insurrectionists Be Removed from Office Under the 14th Amendment?

There is no question that certain sitting members or newly reelected members of Congress do not qualify for office under 14th Amendment. The real question is whose job...
Nov 08 2022

Campaign Contributions: Following the Money in an Election Campaign

Campaign contributions can be a confusing web of super PACs, FEC filings and dark money. That’s why it is useful to know how to see who is paying who and trying to...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This