FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Contact:  Jeanne K. Clark

April 23, 1998                                                                                                              412/421-6072







            Pittsburgh, April 23 – Allegheny Energy, Inc. (NYSE: AYE) this week expanded their campaign to pressure the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to support the proposed competition-killing merger of AYE with Duquesne Light (DQE) by shamelessly preying on workers’ fears through company-supported full-page newspaper ads and a demonstration on the steps of the State Capitol.


“We totally share the workers’ concerns about job loss, said David Hughes, Executive Director of Citizen Power.  “And that is one major reason to oppose this merger.  While the company is practicing scare tactics in the media with one hand, they are planning the job cuts with the other.


“Pittsburghers are very familiar with this practice.  We’ve watched larger out-of-state companies swallow up local industry, crushing jobs and hope in the process.  Just today, Mellon Bank is fighting a merger with Bank of New York because the loss of jobs and corporate headquarters would cripple our region’s economy.  It would kill jobs, and destroy local philanthropy and leadership.


“Yet Allegheny – another out-of-state company – persists in shamelessly preying on workers’ fears.  They are now claiming the merger will protect jobs, even though they said they would cut jobs when they announced the proposed merger in April 1997.


“Allegheny and Duquesne have consistently refused to deal honestly with the public, hiding behind their paid ads and slick campaigns.  They have refused to engage in public debates, appear on talk shows and defend their position publicly.  And this week’s full page newspaper ads and demonstration are more of the same – the corporate bosses paying the freight and manipulating the issue, hiding behind the workers they victimized with their scare tactics.


“The choice is clear.  On April 30, the PUC can listen to the voice of the people and protect jobs, competition and our wallets by denying the merger and the Companies’ outrageous demands for consumer-paid bailouts.  Or they can fall for the corporate-controlled public relations charade and ship our jobs and our money out of state,” continued Hughes.


“We urge all Western Pennsylvania citizens to stand up to the corporate charade and call the PUC (1-888-782-3228), Governor Ridge (1-800-932-0784) and their own legislators and demand fair play for both workers and electric consumers,” concluded Hughes.


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