ELECTRIC RETAIL PRICES. The Energy Information Administration has released a new report finding that the average retail price of electricity has declined for the third year in a row and remained stable for the first nine months of 1997. According to Electric Sales and Revenue 1996, average residential electric prices declined slightly in 1996, the first drop for that consumer class since the EIA began collecting data in 1984. Overall average prices of electricity were down nearly 0.5 percent nationwide between the end of 1996 and 1997, while industrial prices were down more than 1 percent. In California, residential prices dropped by 2.4 percent in 1996. The EIA believes three reasons account for the lower prices: falling fuel prices; decreasing labor costs; and lower interest rates on money borrowed. The report is available online at www.eia.doe.gov.
LONG-DISTANCE REVENUE. The Federal Communications Commission released a staff report, Long Distance Market Shares, which shows that as of the third quarter of 1997, 83 percent of long-distance revenues went to the four largest long distance carriers: AT&T, MCI, Sprint and WorldCom. The report can be downloaded from the FCC-State Link Internet site at www.fcc.gov/ccb/stats.
NUCLEAR WATCH LIST. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released its revised watch list of 13 nuclear power plants that warrant increased attention. Illinois Power Co.'s Clinton plant was the only plant added to the list; Maine Yankee Atomic Power Co.'s plant, which is being shut down, was the only plant removed from the list.