Public Policy Research Education and Advocacy




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Contact: David Hughes

September 2, 1997                                                                                              412/421-4163






            Pittsburgh, September 2—Today, the following organizations have filed a formal complaint at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the Duquesne Light and West Penn Power Restructuring cases: Citizen Power, Alliance for Progressive Action, Just Harvest, the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, The Group Against Smog and Pollution, Sierra Club, Citizens Organization on Utility Policies, Clean Water Action, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, and the Rainbow Coalition.


            These organizations are extremely concerned that the utility companies’ restructuring proposals (1) do not include rate reductions as promised by the Governor and the Chairman of the PUC, (2) fail to meet the need for low income customer assistance, and (3) are bad for the environment.


            The intervening parties have secured legal counsel and intend to wage a serious fight on behalf of Duquesne Light and West Penn Power ratepayers to insure that the promised benefits

Of deregulation are delivered.


            “We call upon all customers in the companies’ service territories to join us in this effort,” said David Hughes, Executive Director of Citizen Power. “We will have to work hard to prevent a settlement similar to the terrible deal reached in the PECO restructuring case, “ Hughes said.


            Also today, Citizen Power, PennPIRG and the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee filed a formal complaint at the PUC opposing the Duquesne Light-Allegheny Power merger. A formal protest will also be filed opposing the merger at the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC). “This merger will kill competition,” said Paul Lodico of the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee.


            David Hughes noted that the Pittsburgh Post Gazette also opposed the Duquesne Light-Allegheny Power merger in an August 27 editorial.


            The restructuring proceedings at the PUC are expected to last about 9 months. A final decision in the case is expected in late April.


            “Duquesne is asking for a $1.7 billion bailout for its nuclear construction debt. If the PUC makes ratepayers pay for that bad investment once competition begins, there won’t be enough savings to make it worth the effort to find a new supplier,” concluded Hughes.