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Bibbs holding forums on ElectriCities
District 8 candidate says it's the No. 1 issue




In the past 12 years since Kirsten Gillespie moved to Wilson, she has seen her electric bill increase significantly, she said.

"I expect there to be increases in rates, but not the increases I have seen at my house,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie lives in a two-bedroom duplex with about 11,000 square feet of space. She said her power bill has gone from $175 per month to well over $500 per month.

Mark Bibbs, Democratic candidate for state House District 8 seat, said when he commissioned policy polls asking residents what is most important to them, more than 80 percent cite high utility bills.

Bibbs held a public forum talking with residents about their power bills in Wilson recently, and said he is planning more across the district before the election.

On Thursday night, he held a similar forum in Farmville.

Bibbs faces Republican Susan Martin in November.

He said he is not a one-issue candidate, but is forced to talk about power bills often because it is on the minds of residents.

"Registered voters believe utility bills are far too high, and it’s the number one issue prohibiting jobs from coming to Wilson and Pitt County and from staying here. It’s on their minds because it’s relevant,” Bibbs said. "It is something they want to hear the candidates talk about, They want to know what someone is going to do to solve the problem.”

Bibbs said it’s the top issue in the region.

"Nothing else can be done until you tackle the region’s number one problem,” Bibbs said.

Bibbs has made a big promise if he is elected to office.

"On day one, if I’m elected, the first bill that I file will be to eliminate this ElectriCities problem,” Bibbs contends. "The bill won’t be passed in the first two or three days, but in the first session I intend to have some form of legislation passed that’s going to alleviate our problem.”

Bibbs said Progress Energy owns the majority of the five power plants.

"Progess Energy’s predecessor, CP&L, is the one who came, hat in hand, begging local governments to take out loans to help them pay for their own power plants,” Bibbs said. "They sat by and raked in billions while the municipalities all struggle and the citizens suffer.”

But Bibbs said there are people who are in both parties who want ElectriCities ended.

Bibbs said his friend Leo Daughtry, who is a Republican and represents Smithfield, filed the first bill that was put into a study committee addressing issues related to ElectriCities.

Bibbs disagrees that the debt owed by the cities can’t just disappear by the power company swallowing the debt.

"The private investor owned utilities asked the cities for the money when they were flat broke in the 1980s,” Bibbs said. "They couldn’t build the power plant with their own money, so they come in begging the cities to help. If they had not asked for the help, the cities wouldn’t have this debt. The cities made the mistake of buying the pig in a poke.”

Bibbs said they issued revenue bonds without voter approval to obligate themselves to a debt to buy something they don’t own or can’t sell.

"Duke Power and Progess Energy constantly need things from the General Assembly – constantly,” Bibbs contends. "As a matter of fact there is a whole committee dedicated to them called the pubic utilities committee. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out if you start saying no, we’re not going to do this for you. You pass legislation directed at the utilities commission, not to approve of them building a new power plant, not to approve rate increases, and tighten the noose around them, they’re not going to have any choice but to do it.”

He said that would be government protecting citizens because the private sector has tried to "get over” on municipalities.

"They are the ones reaping billions of dollars in profits while these municipalities suffer under the oppression of this debt with no relief in sight,” Bibbs said.
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View Comments:Show/Hide(7 comments)
Two face said...

Bibbs,
How many faces are you going to show? There is nothing you can do about the rates. The only way to reduce the rates is to get more people to start paying that don't need free power or electritcty at a reduced rate. You know your plan is not to do this because all you want is votes. Giving the freeloaders free utilities will keep them voting for you. This is the plan of just about all democrats! Face it. If you talked down to the people the way you did when you got arrested at the courthouse what makes voters believe you care about utility rates?

Friday, October 19, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Mark Bibbs said...

I attended the Fike-Hunt High School football game this evening. I watched a good part of the game, but I spent most of my time discussing the issue of electricities and how the legislature can resolve the issue. To those of you who have not studied this issue, in great detail, as I have, you would not visualize a path to normal electric rates. To those of you who don't understand the legislative process, of course you don't see a solution to the problem we, and the other 31 cities and towns struggle with. I understand both. If elected, let me show you how. I'm holding more Town Hall Forums on this from now until the election, feel free to attend one, ask questions and fully participate.

Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 12:16 AM
wilson said said...

Wake up Mark everyone who runs for office in this town runs on they will reduce electric rates. You cannot do anything about it. Even if you introduce a bill it will not pass.

Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:09 PM
11,000 sq ft said...

They made a typo. My house is 1,100 sq ft, not 11,000 sq ft

Friday, September 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM
heheh said...

Only a fool would try to convince someone(a fool), that the NC Congress can force a company to eat a foolish town(s) loan.

Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Yea right said...

What makes him think he can do anything about our electric bills? Nice way to fool people but if it could be done, it would have been done back a year or so ago. False hope....Sorry, Bibbs. You need to find some other way to get my vote.

Friday, September 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM Anonymous said...

11,000 square feet is huge!

Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:11 AM
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