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35 News: Q. Rep. Members Sec. Pub. Util. Comm. & Transp. L. A.B.A. 1 (1996)

handle is hein.journals/infrastr35 and id is 1 raw text is: ., B -E TO  OF  PU LI  UTLIY   C-M U IA IO  AN  TR NS OR A IO4-

A Quarterly Report to the
Members of the Section
of Public Utility,
Communications and
Transportation Law of the
American Bar Association
VOL. 35, NO. 1


Electric Utilities Catch
Merger Fever, Embrace Competition
A flood of mergers InVolving investor-owned elecstic utilities was proposed dur-
ing late Summer and early Fall 1995. In addition, several industry-sponsored ini-
tiatives began, fav6ring customer choice for retail utility service (in much the
same way as telephone caller's select their long-distance carriers),
A Merger Mania. At press time, proposed mergers were pending between (1)
Baltimore Gas & Electric' Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co., (2) CIPSCO, Inc.
(Central Illinois PublicService Co.) and Union Flectric Co. (to form Ameren
Corp.), (3),Public Service Co. of Colorado, and Southwester Public Service Co.,
(4) Northern Staes Powe'r Co. and Wisconsin Energy Corp. (C'Primergy), (5)
Sierra Pacific R& ources and The.Washington Water Power Co. (AlttS), and (6) a
three-way comlbination between'WPLHoldings, Tnc. (parent company of
Wisconsin Power & Light Co.), itidttwo Iowa utilities, Interstate Power Co. and
IES Industries lnc,(to frn Interstate Energy Corp.)., PECO Energy had
announced a hostile tak'eover.of Pennsylvania Power & Light Co., but backed off
when the latter show~d littlelAnterest The Prinmergy, Interstate, and l'SC-SWPS
deals are particularly iioteworthy, irihat they Would combine companies that
operate with differerhi reiability councils.
A Retail Wheeling; Aericarn Electric Power Corp. proposed a plan for retail
wheeling on October'26, AEP announced only one day after similar moves by
the New York Power At ftloriity and Equitable Resources. Several weeks earlier
Niagara Mohlawk Corp. ind Central Illinois Light Co. had announced retail wheel-
ing plans called, respectively, Pou'erC1.oice and Pow'er Quest.
With Power Quest, CILCo would offer retail choice to eigh! large-volume
industrial customers and create geographic open access sites in which snmaller
commercial and residential users could choose their own suppliers for full-
requirements service. Niagara Mohawk Corp. has reportedly threatened a Chapter
11 bankruptcy filing if its PIouv r'boice plan doesn't help it get out from tnder
costly purchased power contracts with independent power producers.
A Fleeing Customers. Motorola reportedly will build a new $100 million cellular
phone plant in Harvard, Illinois, bt1t use a privately owned, seven-mile transmis-
sion line (like a long extension cord) to link up with Wisconsin Power & Light
Co., which offers a cheaper price than Commonwealth Edison, which ordinarily
serves the Harvard area. Reports at press time indicated that Edison might have
squelched the bypass threat by offering a special rate discount to Motorola under
its economic development tariff. Local employer Whirlpool has convinced the
city of Clyde, Ohio, to terminate service with Toledo Edison and forn its own
mriunicipal utility to supply cheaper electricity. Frito-Lay reportedly has also asked
West Valley City, Utah, to municipalize, to allow the snack company to get its
power elsewhere than from Utah Power & Light, the local franchisee.

Section Plans
2nd Annual
Two-day program set for
April 18-19, 1996 in
Washington, D.C.

U What Affre6d Kahn
say s aboit
* R1,eports on regulqitory,
communicati o ,ns, -and
transportation law:


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