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Gas Bills Soar in Winter Chill

January 29, 1988

I just received my gas bill for the mid-December to mid-January period. Like most residents of the Los Angeles basin, my reaction to the more than triple tariff was somewhere between a cardiac arrest and an apoplectic fit! Happily, I can afford to pay the bill without taking out a second mortgage, but what of the hundreds of thousands for whom this represents a major budgetary catastrophe?

The Public Utilities Commission and the state Legislature must review a seriously flawed billing system that penalizes anyone who exceeds the magical 72 "base-line" therms to such an extent. For starters, who determined that base-line limit? Even in a normal winter one would have to live in a very well-insulated windowless closet and/or pad about in a parka and mukluks in order to comply. Corporate greed and political indifference may well bring about another Proposition 13 reaction, and I, for one, am ready to sign the petition!

JOSEPH R. RUTH

Los Angeles

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