Illinois attorney general voices concern over $300 million spending approval for Peoples Gas

 Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is criticizing a recent vote by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in which they declined to act on issues related to Peoples' Gas Accelerated Main Replacement Program (AMRP) after a two-year investigation by the commission.

Madigan expressed her disappointment in the recent vote by the ICC, which oversees the safe and affordable delivery of public utility services to consumers in the state, which leaves Peoples Gas's request to increase AMRP spending to $300 million per year intact. In its decision, the ICC concluded it lacked the authority to manage the AMRP's annual spending.

“The commission’s decision allows Peoples Gas to continue excessive, unchecked spending for a program that has been mismanaged from the start,” Madigan said in a news release. “Peoples Gas customers already pay the highest natural gas delivery service rates in the state. By failing to exercise its regulatory authority, [the] ICC decision guarantees that Peoples Gas’ customers will continue to pay unfairly high rates for the company’s poorly run program.”

Madigan, who in 2015 filed a petition designed to slow the AMRP's spending which prompted the ICC's two-year investigation of the program, proposed the AMRP reduce spending to $130 million per year and target the replacement of vulnerable mains.  

According to the attorney general's office, experts predict the current plan approved by the ICC, will more than double the average residential heating consumer's total bill by 2045.