A Nebraska state lawmaker is criticizing a request for a rate increase by natural gas provider Aquila in light of millions of dollars in bonuses to be paid to the company's top executives.
State Sen. Chris Beutler of Lincoln, Neb., sent a letter Wednesday to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which is considering Aquila's request.
Beutler cited recent news reports that said nine Aquila executives would receive bonuses totaling $3.4 million in the next year. That, and skyrocketing natural gas prices, are reasons to deny the increase, Beutler said.
"Not out in the cold this winter will be nine Aquila executives," Beutler said.
Kansas City, Mo.-based Aquila is seeking permission to charge its residential and commercial customers an additional 47 cents per month, and Aquila spokesman Al Butkus said the rate request and bonuses were unrelated.