Me and my wife absolutely love hearing "Dan Jackson's consider this." We think he would give the Mayor one hell of a race if he ever ran for Mayor. Keep it coming, its nice to finally find some real inteligent commentary.
I have used LP&L for quite some time and my rebate was $0.23, wasn't that so nice of them to give me 23 cents.... I am sure someone with more importance in the city received that rebate!!!
Dear Mr. Jackson - I heard your piece this morning on KCBD where you brought up the idea of privatizing our Lubbock's water utility. I believe that if our water utility were privatized, rates would definitely go UP, because private companies need to make a profit to stay in business. I believe the reason our water has been so cheap for so many years is that it is partially subsidized by property taxes. Our water rates in Lubbock are lower than in many other parts of the country. Were our water utilities to become completely self sufficient and funded solely by the rate payers, rates would undoubtedly go up. I think part of the reason Lake Meredith is almost out of water is that we have subsidized the consumption of a commodity, which leads to shortages. If the free market was truly in play, prices would go up, which would then naturally lead to conservation and the creation of new supplies, just like we see in the energy industry. I think the main reason we are seeing a level of efficiency with our electric utility is the fact that we have competition between LP&L and Xcel Energy. A water utility on the other hand, is a natural monopoly. Whether it is owned and managed by a municipality or owned by a municipality and managed by a private corporation or owned and managed by a private corporation, it is still going to be a monopoly. I am not opposed to water privatization, in fact, I think that particularly in Third World countries, private water companies have helped a lot of people gain access to clean drinking water who might not otherwise be able to. On the other hand, there have been a number of abuses. While I do not agree with the fear tactics at this web site, they do illustrate some of the problems associated with water utility privatization. I don't think it hurts to try to find some new ways to introduce competition into our water utility, but I do think we need to be careful, have absolute transparency when it comes to any transactions, and have regulatory oversight to prevent potential abuses. We do have a Water Advisory Commission made up of private citizens who advise the City Council on water issues. I enjoyed your piece and look forward to future reports on water, a vital subject that is certain to attract attention.
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