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Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1999

in each one?


Don't give up subsidies for deserving rate classes. Rates in many states violate even the most widely accepted

cost-of-service principles. Inadvertent subsidies are a disservice

to the public; when intentional, they're simply bad policy.


Wait for the "win-win." Politicians want change with no change. But it can't be done.


Maintain tax revenues. Property taxes are either ad valorem or they are not. Face facts:

Tax shifts may be unavoidable under restructuring.


Save all jobs. Keeping employees on board to do unnecessary jobs doesn't

help them or society. A healthy economy offers the best

route to new jobs.


No plant closures. Running obsolete plants will boost costs, stifle innovation and

discourage new investment in research and development.


Mandatory ISOs to run transmission. Our natural gas pipelines are investor-owned. The system works

well and is increasingly competitive. Why not a "for-profit" or

"competitive" sector for electric transmission?*


Only with a guaranteed rate cut. I say, "Rate cut today, then we talk."


Not without tax funding for "public benefits." Do we really need an entirely new round of targeted programs

to favor demand-side management, environmental pork or

other technologies loaded onto electric and gas rates as

a hidden tax or a price exacted for doing what's right?

* New ultra-high-voltage DC cryogenic lines in pipeline corridors may be able to compete against established, above-ground high-voltage systems. In fact, even the wireless transmission of electric power was proposed by the turn-of-the-century inventor and electrical genius Nikola Tesla before his death during World War II. (I understand that some of Tesla's papers are still classified as "secret" by the U.S. government.)


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