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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Thursday, June 19, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Lance: To the PUC. It continues to attack the free market and make a mockery of “public purpose” with its continuing assault on the Lyft and Uber ride-sharing services. The Pennsylvania State Public Utility Commission's investigative arm, not content with hefty fines, now wants the PUC to issue cease-and-desist orders against each. The state Legislature created the PUC. If it has any guts, it will issue its own cease-and-desist order (in the form of corrective legislation) and intervene to stop this unbecoming episode of monopoly preservation.

Laurel: To Bill Peduto. Pittsburgh's mayor is taking the PUC to task for its “overbearing enforcement activities” against Lyft and Uber. “The role of government is to facilitate innovation and growth, not to stand in its way.” Mr. Peduto says he uses the ride-sharing services “frequently” and that they “are not going anywhere anytime soon because the people, through their wallets and smartphones, have demanded it.” Hear! Hear!

On the “Watch List”: Michael Lamb. Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak wants the city controller to conduct an audit to determine how much the city benefits from PNC Park, Heinz Field and Consol Energy Center. It's a great idea. But it won't be an accurate audit unless the taxpayers' debt service is factored in, as well as what was lost with their construction — namely property taxes on the PNC Park and Consol sites and what was lost in the sweetheart deal with the Pirates and Steelers to develop 25 acres between PNC Park and Heinz Field.

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