FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2023
ICYMI: Kansas City Star Exposes Chiefs Tickets Gift Giving to Public Officials from Utility Companies with Pending Legislation
Consumer Coalition Urges Kansas Lawmakers to Reject a Right-of-First-Refusal (ROFR) Bill that Would Lead to Higher Rates for Consumers.
TOPEKA – Consumer groups are urging lawmakers to reject a right-of-first refusal bill that would lead to higher electricity rates for Kansas households and businesses. Incumbent utilities have been pushing legislators in Topeka to support SB 68, which would eliminate the competitive bidding process for new transmission lines putting the profits of incumbent monopoly utilities over the interests of consumers.
According to The Kansas City Star, companies have been gifting Chiefs tickets to lawmakers, calling out utility giant Evergy for being “responsible for much of the gift giving” – even as lawmakers are considering legislation that would shield those very same companies from competition.
“Evergy is currently advocating for a bill in the Kansas Senate that would provide them and other existing energy companies in the state with a right of first refusal on any new energy transmission infrastructure projects. The measure would restrict the ability of potential new competitors to enter the market.”
In a statement Paul Cicio, Chair of the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition said, “The Kansas Senate should reject SB68. Without transmission competition, incumbent electric utilities like Evergy can gold-plate new transmission lines and pass those costs on to consumers. Hundreds of millions of dollars of cost savings are at stake. Kansas lawmakers can stand with monopoly utility companies or consumers, but they can’t have it both ways.”
Electricity transmission competition leads to more affordable and reliable electricity services for consumers and could save the Sunflower state as much as 40%.
About the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition
The Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition (ETCC) is a broad-based, nation-wide coalition committed to increasing competition in America’s electricity transmission infrastructure. We advocate for common-sense policies and solutions that result in competitively priced transmission projects, which reduce energy costs for all ratepayers – from large manufacturers to residential consumers. The ETCC represents a diverse group of more than 86 companies and organizations from all 50 states, including manufacturing groups, retail electric consumers, state consumer advocates, public power representatives, think tanks, and non-incumbent transmission developers.
For more information, visit: www.electricitytransmissioncompetitioncoalition.org.
 Brattle Group: Cost Savings Offered by Competition in Electric Transmission, https://www.brattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/16726_cost_savings_offered_by_competition_in_electric_transmission.pdf