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Iowans Testify Against MidAmerican Rate Hike

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Two people have testified in Des Moines against a $135 million base rate increase sought by MidAmerican Energy Co.
   Bob Wessel and Jerry Bridgeman, who are both retired, asked at the Iowa Utilities Board hearing on Monday in Des Moines whether the rate hike is justified.
   MidAmerican officials say the utility hasn't had a base rate increase since 1995. The company has 640,600 Iowa customers.
   Bridgeman is a former accountant for the Iowa Utilities Board who retired in 2009. He suggests a mandatory audit for MidAmerican to make sure that customer costs are appropriate.
   He also says the state board should ensure that MidAmerican will "stay healthy, but not become wealthy."

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