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CONSUMERS POWER DEAL PUTS MICHIGAN JOB PROVIDERS AT A COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE, ACCORDING TO ABATE

 LANSING, Mich., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released by the Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity:
 Consumers Power Co.'s electric customers will pay far too much for electricity under a proposal approved yesterday (March 31) by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), according to a group of the utility's industrial customers.
 "This action puts industrial and commercial customers of Consumers Power at a competitive disadvantage. Even with its modifications to the proposals, the PSC is allowing Consumers to charge more for electricity from the Midland Cogeneration Venture (MCV) than the cost of power available elsewhere in the marketplace," said Rick Coy, an attorney for the Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE).
 "It's simply unreasonable to force Consumers' customers -- residential, business and industrial -- to pay such a high price for power when there is much cheaper power available on the open market," Coy continued.
 ABATE noted that no utility customer groups supported the proposal, and that it was developed by Consumers Power, the MCV, a group of power sellers and the MPSC technical staff.
 "How can this be called a 'settlement' proposal when the major groups impacted by it did not support it? Customers' interests were given a much lower priority here than power sellers' interests," Coy said.
 "This higher than necessary rate hike sends a bad message about Michigan's business climate. It's ironic that it comes just a week after a University of Michigan study found that Michigan's utility rates were a concern cited by auto industry executives in determining plant locations," Coy added.
 "ABATE maintains that if new electric generating capacity is needed, competitive bidding offers the best way to determine who supplies it and at what price," Coy said.
 ABATE is a non-profit coalition of 29 major Michigan employers who consume large amounts of gas and electricity. ABATE works to make Michigan's utility rates competitive with those in other states.
 -0- 4/1/93
 /CONTACT: Rick Coy, attorney for ABATE, 517-487-3700/
 (CMS)


CO: Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity;
 Consumers Power Company; Midland Cogeneration Venture ST: Michigan IN: UTI SU:


SM -- DE026 -- 2288 04/01/93 17:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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