Customers urge congress to exclude electricity provisions from any final energy legislation

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 26, 2002 — A diverse group of twenty- nine stakeholders composed of consumer advocates, membership organizations, trade associations and individual corporations on Wednesday issued a letter to Congress urging the removal of electricity provisions from any final federal energy legislation.

This action comes after months of work and growing tension over the conflicts that are marked by regional, substantive and political differences highlighted by the very different House and Senate proposals.

“Congress and the Administration have worked hard to find an acceptable combination of reforms regarding the electricity industry and we greatly appreciate the effort,” said Robert Tongren, Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. “However, we find ourselves confronting the likelihood of a legislative package that would remove important consumer-driven protections in current federal law at a time when recent experience indicates that these protections need to be applied more vigorously,” he added.

“The views reflected by this group are similar to those that have been expressed by a group of 34 Senators, the 300,000 member Citizen Action Coalition of Indiana, the Consumer Federation of America, the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and many other leaders, policy makers and stakeholder groups,” said Paul Cicio, Executive Director of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America.

“We would much rather be sending a letter announcing our strong support for an electricity title and we have offered numerous suggestions over many months for this purpose,” said Sam Randazzo, General Counsel for the Industrial Energy Users-Ohio. “We have concluded that there is insufficient time to make the changes required to address the price and service needs of consumers and feel compelled to communicate this view to our elected representatives,” he added.

The letter was signed by a number of groups:
Abbott Laboratories
Ag Processing, Inc.
AGA Gas, Inc.
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Appleton Papers Inc.
Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE)
California Portland Cement Company
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce
Citizen Power
Delphi Automotive Systems LLC
Dow Corning Corporation
Florida Industrial Cogeneration Association
Florida Industrial Power Users Group
Illinois Industrial Energy Consumers (IIEC)
Industrial Energy Consumers of America
Industrial Energy Users-Ohio
International Steel Group Inc.
Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC
Missouri Office of the Public Counsel
Ohio Consumers’ Counsel
Ohio Council of Retail Merchants
Ohio Grocers Association
Ohio Manufacturers’ Association
Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation
The Timken Company
Weyerhaeuser Company
Whirlpool Corporation
Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group

Source: Industrial Energy Consumers of America; Industrial Energy Users-Ohio; Ohio Consumers’ Counsel

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