I could not help but be skeptical as I read of Attorney General Mike Hatch's actions against CenterPoint Energy. Before people look at Centerpoint as the big bad gas company turning off people's gas, Ã la Scrooge, some questions need to be addressed. First, Hatch is probably going to run for governor next year. One must at least ask if politics are involved -- Hatch looks as if he is sticking up for "victims" who lost heat last winter.
Second, CenterPoint is a company, not a charity. Most people work hard and budget their money and pay their bills on time. Some do not. If I do not pay my gas bill in November and the next four months, should I just assume that I can continue to have gas services provided for the winter?
It is hardly fair to the company, its shareholders, and those who pay their bills. If the company does nothing and has no penalty for people who decide not to pay a gas bill from Oct. 15 through April 15, how can CenterPoint go on without passing along higher costs to consumers? And if there's no penalty for ignoring a gas bill for six months, what is the incentive to pay the bill?
Thousands of CenterPoint customers pay their bills on time. If people do not pay their bills, or if CenterPoint is fined heavily, who'll be fronting the burden of the cost of this lawsuit and who'll get free gas service half the year?
Paul Kammen, St. Paul, is a seminary student.
Sweet Jesus, keep Spottie out of this guy's flock. Apparently, he thinks that the only reason a person doesn't pay a bill is because he doesn't want to. Hey Katherine Kersten, I have a promising young preacher for you!
What our unctuous judgmental little scrub needs is a good dose of economic hardship, or maybe a lingering illness. Nothing serious of course, a titanic case of hemorrhoids perhaps, or persistent torrential diarrhea.
Spottie cannot imagine how someone so devoid of human empathy would even want to be a minister. I tell you what Paul, why don't you spend some time on the social gospel of Jesus rather than majoring in the book of Revelation or wherever the hell else you get your poisoned view of mankind and your relationship to it.
And oh by the way, the cold weather shut off rule wasn't dreamed up by Mike Hatch. It has existed for a long time, and it was passed by the Legislature at a time when Minnesotans cared more about each other than they seem to today.