Failed Muni Fight Shut Anchor's Door

Fortnightly Magazine - March 1 1996
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Anchor Glass Container closed its Aberdeen, NJ, manufacturing plant on January 15, after a failed effort to municipalize the township's electric system. Anchor also closed its Houston, TX, plant the same day. Walter J. Schaffer, the company's energy director, says energy costs were one of the reasons for the Aberdeen closing, which left most of the 326 workers unemployed. He also admits that the fight with Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) (see, "Anchor Glass vs. JCP&L," PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY, 2/1/96) did little to strengthen Anchor's economic position. Anchor's annual electric bill in Aberdeen was about $4.5 million.

"The key issue is the high cost of energy in Jersey Central territory," he says. "Not that they're a monopoly. Not that we're trying to abandon their system. . . . We wanted them to offer us customer choice. We wanted to bring competition to the marketplace."

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