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Special Report

Fortnightly Magazine - July 1 1997

problem.

Power purchase contracts make up $42 billion of the total with utility purchases, many made well above market, topping $53 billion. Of that amount, cooperatives purchase $20 billion.

McMahan says utilities want a regulatory system designed for administrative simplicity. "I was just speaking to someone from Pacific Gas & Electric who told me since the California law was passed, he now has 10 people dedicated full time to the stranded cost issue and they're making on the order of one filing a day."

Small shareholders own 62 percent of electric utility stock, according to the testimony. In addition, some 81 percent of utility investors are retired, 75 percent have owned the stock for at least 10 years and more than 40 percent have annual incomes of less than $40,000.

Joseph F. Schuler is associate editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY. E-mail: schuler@pur.com.

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