Letters for Sunday — December 04, 2005

• Calling President Chavez

Calling President Chavez

As recently reported in the mass media, poor residents of Boston will receive 12 million gallons of discounted home heating oil, and poor residents of the South Bronx will receive 8 million gallons of discounted home heating oil for an expected savings of $20 million for tens of thousands of people.

The discounted oil comes from Citgo, the Houston-based American subsidiary of Venezuela, a state-owned oil company under an agreement signed between Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, Congressmen Jose Serrano of New York and Congressman William Delahunt of Massachusetts.

Although we don’t use home heating oil here on Kaua’i we do use oil for electricity. In fact, KIUC members do pay the highest electric rates in the nation. While KIUC is the only electric co-op in Hawai’i, members still pay more than customers of the investor-owned electric utilities on other islands. KIUC members have written to The Garden Island newspaper complaining about these high electric rates, and of the increasing hardship paying their electric bills. KIUC chairman Gardiner’s mantralike response to suffering KIUC members is that our high electric bills are solely due to the increasing price of oil over which the KIUC board has no control.

Has Chairman Gardiner and the KIUC board even considered contacting President Chavez to work out an agreement for some of that discounted Venezuelan oil for Kaua’i in an effort to bring much- needed relief to distressed KIUC members?

  • Ed Coll

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