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E-M:/ [Fwd: FWD: Ratepayers for Afford. & Green Electricity Info.]



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
shepard@pilot.msu.edu
(517) 332-0761

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==============================================
 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.
vallette@citizen.org
********************************
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:  cmep@citizen.org
HomePage: www.citizen.org/cmep


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