Thurs 2/25: Quick Action to stop utility shut-offs!

Email letters to Senate staffers to add a utility shutoff clause in the American Rescue Act.

Those Texans with multi-thousand-dollar power bills are just the tip of the utility debt iceberg. People who’ve been barely hanging on financially during this pandemic will be facing huge debt (“arrearages”) of their own when their local or state moratoriums lapse and months of utility bills come due. This will cripple the nation’s economic recovery as well as create dangerous conditions for COVID to exploit.

Create some quick emails to your senator’s legislative aides to ask that they support adding a nationwide moratorium on utility shutoffs that also addresses arrearages to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Staffer contact information is below.

SUBJECT: Please sign Dear Colleague Letter to stop utility shut-offs & address arrearages! 

Hi [STAFFER’S NAME];

I am [YOUR SENATOR’S NAME]’s constituent and part of the nationwide #NoShutOffs coalition to stop utility shutoffs during COVID. In the wake of the Texas outage crisis and the dozens of deaths, we NEED you to please pass a shutoffs moratorium and address the arrearages crisis in the next COVID package to save lives across the country. 

Our ask: Please sign onto a Dear Colleague letter to pass a nationwide moratorium on utility shutoffs and address arrearages in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The deadline to sign-on is at noon, Friday, 2/26.To sign on, please contact Ben Schreiber at Sen. Merkley’s office: ben_schreiber@merkley.senate.gov or 202-558-8563.

Thank you so much for all you do!

[YOUR NAME]

Senate staff contact information:

[CA senators’ staff listed below for both Sens. Feinstein and Padilla. If these aren’t not your legislators, look up email and names here for other senators

  • For Feinstein:
    • Andrew Fuentes (Legislative Assistant) – andrew_fuentes@feinstein.senate.gov
    • Lorenzo Rubalcava – (Health Policy Adviser) – lorenzo_rubalcava@padilla.senate.gov
    • Rishi Sahgal (Legislative Assistant/Climate-Change Adviser) rishi_sahgal@feinstein.senate.
    • Alexiz Segal (Water and Environment Legislative Assistant) – alexis_segal@feinstein.senate.govalexis_segal@feinstein.senate.gov
    • Rachel Bombach (Legislative Director) – rachel_bombach@feinstein.senate.gov
  • For Padilla:
    • Josh Esquivel (Legislative Director) – joshua_esquivel@padilla.senate.gov

More reading on this issue:

  • (Bloomberg CityLab) There Could Be an Energy Bill Debt Tsunami, Too – Unpaid utility bills have been piling up since the coronavirus crisis began, prompting fears that winter shutoffs of water, power, and heat could worsen Covid’s toll. 
  • (Nicholasinstitute.duke.edu) There Could Be an Energy Bill Debt Tsunami, Too
  • (CalMatters) ‘The most basic form of PPE’: 1.6 million households face water shutoffs
  • (nrdc.org) Customers Need Debt Relief: Commissions, Utilities Can Help
  • (NCLC) COVID-Driven Utility Debt Fuels a Looming Crisis in Shut-offs in Massachusetts and the Nation

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