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    Residents in Malden, Missouri, are banding together to challenge utilities' higher electricity rates, which they say are increasing without cause.

    According to ABC affiliate KFVS, resident John Amon is one of many residents complaining about the electricity rate increases, and like his neighbors, doesn't understand how utilities are justifying the price hike.

    "I talked to people from the coffee shop on out all suffering big bills ways bigger than we have ever seen," said Amon in an interview with the station. "Some people say they can't afford their medications. Mine has gone up by the hundreds and I don't know what else to do."

    City administrator Ted Bellers said he is aware of the anger among residents, but that the problem dates back five years, when it purchased enough electricity to power Federal Mogul – its largest industrial customer – shortly before the company moved, footing city utilities with the bill.

    Energy deregulation laws can help remedy similar situations that have arisen around the country. With more competitive energy providers in the energy arena, electricity rates often fall. This is especially pronounced in Texas, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, where dozens of independent electric providers have set up shop.