Power Hikes 

In the last year, electric rates have jumped up by 6% because of a federal surcharge on Maine industries.

Workers, business leaders, and policy makers got together Tuesday at the Hutamaki paper plant to talk about that federal fee.

Hutamaki’s plant manager says the charge costs them $65,000 every month.

As a result, they’ve had to move two of their paper machines out of state, where it’s cheaper to run them.

On Monday, the Maine Public Utilities Commission filed an appeal challenging the ISO-New England electricity fee in federal court.

The fee could jump to 10% by 2010.

P.U.C. officials estimate this federal mandate will cost Mainers an extra $300,000,000 dollars over the next four years.