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October 03, 2002

Regarding Missouri Public Service Commissions Approval of Laclede Gas Rate Hike Increase - only $1.80 A Month

Statement from Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr.
Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Heat-Up St. Louis

While we are very concerned about the anticipated increase of natural gas prices this winter, the timing of this small non-gas hike will make the difference between the needy affording their high prescription drugs, or heating and eating.  This small rate hike gives some temporary relief for those working class and needy households struggling with their very tight budgets. We believe the Missouri Public Service Commission took a very hard look at the initial $36.1 million increase and they responded to public comment.  The typical residential heating customer will now only face an increase of about $1.80 per month and this is far more livable that $4.40.  There is still much work to be done in keeping a cap on administrative and natural gas costs, because as the utility companies'earnings climb they always succeed on the backs of the needy and working class people.  We pray that there are no more significant natural gas, or non-gas rate increases in this St. Louis region for a long time to come.

Heat-Up St. Louis, a regional non-profit energy assistance and advocacy charity opposed the original non-gas rate hike and testified before the Missouri Public Service Commission.

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