Since we're in danger of traveling the same path in Michigan, I thought this would be of interest to many of the environmental groups on this list. Sorry for any cross-posting. -- Phil Shepard firstname.lastname@example.org (517) 332-0761
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- Subject: FWD: Ratepayers for Afford. & Green Electricity Info.
- From: Special CMEP Account <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 12:57:00 -0400
- Organization: Public Citizen
- Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org============================================== Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project ============================================== Below is an email version of our official sign-on sheet that explains the issues. Please email me the bottom of the message if you would like to join with us. There are two items that are of major interest to us anti-nukers. The legislation that we will introduce: 1) will not mandate deregulation and 2) will prevent any bailout of the utility industry's nuclear investments. I am sending this information along to the cmep-list, elect-list and nirsnet with the hopes that I am reaching groups who haven't heard about this important new national coalition on electric utility deregulation. Please excuse the cross postings. I hope that you can sign-on!!! Jessica. email@example.com ******************************** We've Got The Power! Ratepayers For Affordable & Green Electricity Global Warming.... Billion dollar bailout... Nuclear waste nightmare... Skyrocketing electric bills... Unsafe nuclear power plants... Mercury poisoning of rivers & streams... Giant unregulated monopoly energy companies... Jeopardized electric service for low-income & rural consumers... The electric utility industry is undergoing a massive reorganization that will create long-term affects on our health, safety, environment, and pocketbooks. The changes in the industry are supposed to make electric companies competitive businesses, resulting in lower prices and consumer choices. But, across the nation, the opposite is occurring. In most of the states where the industry has been deregulated, existing electric utilities are using their political clout to mandate an outrageous bailout that may cost consumers as much as $300 billion. Even worse, these energy companies are gaming the system by rewriting the laws to become unregulated monopolies that will stifle competition. Consumers Must Be Protected 1) Bailouts: The existing utilities have invented a cash cow: a bailout for their uneconomic investments, including nuclear power plants. Despite warnings from citizens that nuclear power would be expensive and dangerous, the electric industry invested billions of dollars in these high-cost plants and other expensive energy sources. Now the utilities want consumers to pay for their bad judgment. Unless citizens are vigilant, the utilities use their political clout to force a bailout onto consumers that is twice the size of the S&L scandal. 2) Higher Prices: Some of the major forces behind the reorganization of the electric industry are giant corporations who want to buy the cheapest electricity available. Even though many of these big companies argued in favor of building expensive power plants, they now want no responsibility for paying off power plant mortgages. Because these large companies use large amounts of electricity, they are in a position to obtain the cheapest power on the market. This will result in cost-shifting to residential and small business consumers who who will have not choice but to buy expensive power. In the states where deregulation has already occurred, energy companies are reluctant to market to these consumers. 3) Loss of Reliable, Affordable Service: The least desirable customers for energy companies are low-income individuals and rural residents. Today, the monopoly utility that serves a particular area must offer electricity to all consumers in its service territory. Many states protect their least fortunate residents from service disconnections during severe weather. However, these guarantees of universal service will be lost if they are not incorporated into the new laws governing a deregulated electric industry. Our Families' Health & Safety Must Be Assured 4) Dirty Air and Toxic Chemicals: Nationwide the electric industry is responsible for: M One-third of smog-forming pollution, which causes health problems including lung disease, emphysema, cancer, asthma, and premature deaths; M One-third of carbon dioxide emissions, which is leading to global warming; M Two-thirds of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain and deadly fine-particle pollution; M Over 20% of toxic metal emissions, including mercury, which pollutes our waterways and has caused 20 states to issue warnings against eating fish. Utility deregulation is driving energy companies to sell the cheapest, dirtiest electricity. It also creates an incentive for selling more electricity, rather than encouraging more efficient energy use. Six hundred coal and oil burning plants have been exempted from the strict emission limits that newer plants must meet under the Clean Air Act. This exemption makes it cheaper to run these older, dirtier plants and rewards their owners for creating more pollution. 5) Nuclear Disaster: Nuclear power is still a threat to our economy and our environment: M It creates 95% of the nation's lethal radioactive waste, which is being stockpiled around the country and for which no safe method of disposal exists; M The nuclear industry is attempting to force Congress to open a temporary storage facility, permitting 100,000 shipments of nuclear waste to be moved through 43 states over a period of 30 years, exposing 50 million Americans to radioactivity; M The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) testified in 1986 that there was a 45% chance of a meltdown at a U.S. reactor in the next 20 years, with radioactive releases on a scale comparable to Chernobyl; M In 1994, former NRC Chairman Ivan Selin acknowledged that economic pressure was providing utilities with an "incentive to cut corners" including those "corners" that ensure safety. Unfortunately, state deregulation laws are providing a bailout for the nuclear plants that subsidizes their operation. This means more nuclear waste and more safety threats from aging plants. 6) Clean, Safe, Affordable Energy is at Risk! Over the last two decades, cost-effective and non-polluting energy alternatives have become available and affordable, but deregulation is threatening to marginalize them. New energy efficiency technologies can reduce the amount of electricity we need in the U.S. by one-third to one-half, saving consumers $60-$100 billion. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power generate electricity with virtually no pollution. But, large energy companies are green washing their products or reselling renewable energy that has already been paid for by ratepayers. Renewable energy is in danger of becoming a gourmet option on the nation's energy menu. We Must Act Now! All around the nation, citizens are joining together to ensure that we have a sustainable energy future where affordable, non-polluting electricity is available to all consumers. Federal legislation must be passed that prevents a bailout of the electric industry and provides far-reaching protections for consumers and the environment. ******************************** Campaign Members National American Local Power Project Institute for Local Self Reliance Public Citizen Nuclear Information and Resource Service Safe Energy Communication Council US Public Interest Research Group ******************************** Regional/State People's Alternative Energy Service (CO) Nuclear Energy Information Service (IL) Don't Waste New York (NY) Access to Justice (Ohio) Cape & Islands Self-Reliance (Mass.) Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy Ohio Citizen Action People's action for Clean Energy (CT) ************************************ Yes! My Group Wants to Join the Campaign! To sign onto the campaign please fax this sheet to: Jessica Vallette Organizer Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project phone: 202-546-4996 fax: 202-547-7392 Name: Signature: Title: Organization: Address: Phone: Fax: E-Mail: ============================================== Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project 215 Pennsylvania Ave., SE phone: 202-546-4996 Washington, DC 20003 fax: 202-547-7392 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org HomePage: www.citizen.org/cmep
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