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   Open Letter: Say No to Proposed $50b Taxpayer Bailout for Utilities

Open Letter to the Public:

Say No to Proposed $50b Taxpayer Bailout for Utilities

Dear American Public,
Call The Committee on Energy and Commerce at (202) 225-2927. TELL THEM "NO $50 BILLION BAILOUT FOR UTILITIES!"

Electricity "deregulation and competition" were supposed to benefit consumers--not cost more. President Bush, Sec Abraham, and electric utility organizations are using the blackout to push their energy bill, and a $50 billion bailout for utilities who chose not to upgrade their systems. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) has announced two days of public hearings set for September 3 and 4.

I managed the US National Power Grid Study, and the National Electric Reliability Study for the US Dept of Energy. Since 1987 I've consulted internationally in the electric power sector. I set up and directed the Operations Review Division at the Iowa Commerce Commission which, among other things, persuaded Iowa utilities to better coordinate operations for savings of $67 million annually. I also worked for 12 years at Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.

Essentially, the blackout and needed transmission investments are two separate issues. The two important questions are:

  1. why did schemes designed to protect the system ("island" operation as a last resort) fail?

  2. why should taxpayers pay for needed investments in transmission?
My assessment of the blackout appeared as an OP-ED in the Christian Science Monitor, and here you will find more on my background and qualifications.

Again, CALL The Committee on Energy and Commerce at (202) 225-2927. TELL THEM "NO $50 BILLION BAILOUT FOR UTILITIES!"

Enver Masud
The writer is founder and CEO of The Wisdom Fund.



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This story was published on August 22, 2003.
  
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