"Sensible Approach" or Misguided Meddling?
The proposal by Reps. Franks and Meehan to sell federal power at market rates provokes conflicting responses from readers.
I am writing in response to an article written by Reps. Franks and Meehan entitled, "The Sensible Approach: Federal Power at Market Rates," published in the Nov. 1, 1999 edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly (see pp. 44-47). I agree that it is outrageous that electricity services for people in the Northwest are subsidized (regardless of the customers' ability to pay) by the rest of the people in this country.
I must note that similar unjust subsidies exist in the telecommunications industry as well. As a direct result of orders issued by the Federal Communications Commission, taxpayers in high-density areas like Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts are forced to subsidize telecommunications services in so-called "high-cost" areas. In the March 1, 1999 edition of this magazine, my executive legal assistant, Joe Donovan, and I co-authored an article proposing to revise one of the most egregious examples of these unjust subsidies - the High Cost Loop portion of the Universal Service Fund.