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ASPA’s response to soaring utility costs unacceptable to faipule

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —The Chair of the House ASPA Committee, Faipule Vailiuama Steve Leasiolagi said he’s not satisfied with the response provided by representatives of the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) who testified before the committee this week regarding the high utility costs in the territory.

For that reason, Vailiuama said that there would be a second hearing regarding this issue when the Fono returns to work on September 6.

He told faipule that he still believes ASPA can do something to eliminate the high cost of electricity.

Saole Faipule Titiali’i Kitara Vaiau said ASPA rates are the result of management decisions.

Young told a house hearing this week that the July power bills, which will soon be out, include the highest costs ever for electricity. The per kilowatt hour is 52.3cents.

Young explained the fuel surcharge is what has driven up the cost of electricity. The base rate of 9.74 cents kwh, he said has remained the same for 10 years.

House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale agreed and told the House ASPA committee chairman that it’s good to reschedule a second hearing with ASPA once the Fono returns to work in September because the people are suffering from the high cost for electricity.

At the conclusion of Friday’s session the Fono is now on a five-week recess. A resolution approving the mid session recess was approved by both the house and Senate this past week.

According to the resolution, the Legislature, finds that in order to preserve legislative session days so that there is sufficient time to review the annual budget, and properly review and dispense pending matters, it is appropriate to temporarily recess the business of the Legislature.