For Immediate Release                                                             Contact:    Jeanne K. Clark

October 5, 1998                                                                                                      412/421-6072

                                                                                                                     or        412/687-0549


Citizen Power Lauds DQE’s Decision to Pull the Plug

on DQE/Allegheny Energy Merger


Time for Both Companies to Stop Delay and Move to

True Competition


            Citizen Power, Inc., the Western Pennsylvania consumer and environmental watchdog group, applauded Duquesne Light Company’s formal announcement today that the Company was terminating the planned merger between Duquesne Light and Allegheny Energy, and urged both companies to move on to true competition without further delay.


            David Hughes, Executive Director of Citizen Power said, “It’s time for both companies to stop wasting their customers’ money and everyone’s time and finally move to true competition.


            “So far, Western Pennsylvania electricity customers have been willing but unable to shop for alternative suppliers.  Most potential competitors to Duquesne and Allegheny have been unable to guarantee lower prices because both companies have failed to open up their transmission lines to competition.  If competition is to work the companies must immediately and fully open the transmission system to all suppliers.


            “The companies must also stop their legal footdragging on their restructuring cases.  The Public Utility Commission considered these cases fully and their rulings should stand.  Further litigation by Duquesne and Allegheny, as they attempt to sweeten the pot and get more customer-funded bailouts, only serve to harm customers and delay competition,” continued Hughes.


            “The PUC must now approve an auction plan for Duquesne’s generation plans that enhances competition and does not increase the company’s customer-funded bailout of so-called stranded costs,” added Hughes.  “Competition can only occur if the plants are sold to multiple buyers, who have open access to the transmission systems currently controlled by Allegheny and Duquesne.”


            “The companies have enjoyed their monopolies for nearly a century, concluded Hughes.  “But enough is enough.  It’s time for Duquesne and Allegheny to face the marketplace, and make competition a reality for Western Pennsylvania Electricity customers.


Citizen Power, Inc. is a public policy, research, education and advocacy group, which is an officially designated Public Interest Intervenor in all the Western Pennsylvania cases on electricity restructuring.

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