MAINE YANKEE PRUDENCE. The Maine Public Utilities
Commission will investigate the prudence of Maine Yankee Atomic Power Co.'s decision to close its nuclear plant permanently.
The PUC said Oct. 22 that unrecovered investment in Maine Yankee combined with the loss in plant value could cause additional stranded assets for plant owners Central Maine Power Co., Bangor Hydro-Electric Co., and Maine Public Service Co. If imprudent action is found, the PUC said it would take steps to ensure that Maine's electric ratepayers do not bear any related costs. The investigation is expected to conclude in mid-1998.
A PUC-ordered management audit of Maine Yankee in September found that $95 million of the costs from January 1994 through June 1997 were imprudent.
ENTERGY COMPETITION PLAN. The Texas Public Utility Com-
mission has directed Entergy Gulf States Inc. to use an outside mediator to resolve issues concerning its transition to competition plan and rate requests filed with the PUC.
According to PUC Chairman Pat Wood, mediation will provide one last chance to settle the case, after a failed attempt in September 1997.
Entergy had asked to reconcile and recover fuel costs, set revised fuel factors and establish new base rates, increasing revenue from fuel and purchase power by $14 million. It also wants a surcharge to recover $41.4 million it believes was not recovered on fuel expenses, and a rate increase of $19.6 million.
Entergy's plan, filed Nov. 27, 1996, promises full retail competition in 2004.
WATER UTILITY MERGERS. The California Public Utilities
Commission has invited comments on its proposal to change its rules and guidelines for water utility mergers and acquisitions.