FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jeanne K. Clark
July 28, 1998 412/421-6072
Pittsburgh, July 28 -- Citizen Power, the Western Pennsylvania consumer and environmental watchdog group, today welcomes the decision of the Board of Directors of DQE Inc., parent company of Duquesne Light Company, to pull the plug on their proposed merger with Allegheny Energy Inc. of Maryland.
David Hughes, Executive Director of Citizen Power said, “While the Company’s reasoning differs from ours, we can all agree that the proposed merger was ill-advised. Duquesne Light’s decision to stop the merger is a good first step for consumers and competition.
“This merger was about restricting access to the customers, by locking in control of the area’s transmission lines under one giant company,” continued Hughes. “But whether the lines are under the control of one company or two, we must still protect these arteries of competition. That means the Duquesne Light and Allegheny’s subsidiary West Penn Power must provide open access to the transmission lines to all electricity suppliers. The best way to do this is to turn control of the lines over to an Independent System Operator (ISO).
“We intend, as always, to fight for real competition, with real choices for consumers. We intend to make sure that the law guaranteeing electricity competition is observed and enforced. We will also be monitoring any other merger or acquisition offers made to Duquesne Light -- to ensure that competition and the consumers are protected. And most important, we will be watching the Public Utility Commission to make sure it does not bow to political pressure, but represents the interests of all Pennsylvanians, “concluded Hughes.
Citizen Power, a Pittsburgh-based public policy, research education and advocacy organization, is an officially designated Public Interest Intervenor in all the Western Pennsylvania cases on electricity restructuring under the Electric Generation Customer Choice Competition Act of 1996.
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