More tax reform bonuses: Cuts in utility rates, 50 percent staff reduction at EPA

by WorldTribune Staff, January 10, 2018

Several U.S. utility companies announced they are cutting rates as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was signed into law on Dec. 22.

Effective on Jan. 1, the TCJA decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Washington, D.C.’s Pepco is one of several utility companies pledging to pass on tax savings to its customers.

Energy suppliers like Washington’s Pepco, Baltimore Gas and Light, Pacific Power, Rocky Mountain Power and Commonwealth Edison said they plan to give hundreds of thousands of customers a rate cut due to tax reform.

Pacific Power said, “The benefit of this tax cut should be passed on to our customers – and we will work with our regulators and stakeholders on the best way to do that.”

Baltimore Gas & Electric said it will get $82 million worth of tax savings, resulting in lower gas and electric bills for customers.

Pepco announced plans to provide annual tax savings to more than 296,000 electric customers in the District of Columbia.

“The tax law will result in lower bills for our customers and lower taxes for Pepco,” said Dave Velazquez, President and CEO, Pepco Holdings, which includes Pepco.

Rocky Mountain Power says it plans to pass some of its federal tax savings on to customers.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) said it is passing on $200 million worth of tax savings to its customers.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it is on track to fulfill President Donald Trump’s promise to significantly cut the bloated agency’s staff by the end of his first term.

“We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.

As of Jan. 3, the EPA has 14,162 employees, a staff level not seen since the Reagan administration.

In the next five years, 47 percent of EPA staff will be eligible to retire with full benefits, which would reduce the agency’s staff to below 8,000.

“Under Pruitt, the agency has gone ‘back to basics’ in protecting the environment while shucking former President Obama’s political agenda focused heavily on climate change,” columnist Paul Bedard wrote for the Examiner on Jan. 9.


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