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ABATE REPEATS REQUEST FOR HEARING ON MIDLAND SETTLEMENT

 ABATE REPEATS REQUEST FOR HEARING ON MIDLAND SETTLEMENT
 LANSING, Mich., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of Consumers Power


Company's largest electric customers asked the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) again today to hold full public hearings on a proposed resolution of longstanding disputes over the utility's abandoned Midland nuclear plant and the gas-fired plant it built on the site, the Midland Cogeneration Venture (MCV).
 "The joint resolution filed a month ago asks for a full public hearing so that all the public benefits of this proposal can be recognized. Today we're repeating that request," said Roderick S. Coy, legal counsel for the Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE).
 "Critics of the proposal are trying to stop the MPSC from holding a hearing to consider the proposal. We find it difficult to understand their objection to an open public discussion of this proposal," Coy continued.
 ABATE, Consumers Power and the MPSC staff signed and filed the proposed joint resolution with the MPSC on March 3.
 Hearings would reveal that the proposal would save all Consumers' electric customers a total of $1 billion over the life of the utility's contract to buy power from the MCV, ABATE said in a pre-hearing conference at the MPSC.
 The savings would result from several changes in Consumers' rate structure which would have customers paying less for MCV power under the joint resolution than they would under existing MPSC and Court of Appeals orders, ABATE said.
 If approved by the MPSC, the joint resolution would resolve eight years of litigation between these three entities in at least 21 outstanding MPSC and court cases. The disputes stem from financial difficulties Consumers encountered after abandoning construction of a nuclear plant in Midland in 1984 and the utility's contract to buy electricity from the MCV.
 Numerous MPSC and court cases were filed to determine how much Consumers could charge its customers for its lost investment in the nuclear plant and for the power it bought from the MCV. The proposed settlement would result in ABATE, Consumers and the MPSC staff withdrawing from these cases and related court appeals.
 "These issues have been -- and continue to be -- the subject of intense litigation before the MPSC and the courts. They've consumed vast amounts of time and resources. Without this resolution, we fear the issues will remain unresolved for several more years and Michigan's energy future will go unaddressed while we fight on about the mistakes of the past," Coy continued.
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Rick Coy or Hill Lewis, 517-484-4481, for ABATE/ CO: Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity;
 Consumers Power Company; Michigan Public Service Commission ST: Michigan IN: UTI SU:


ML -- DE004 -- 3266 03/31/92 09:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1992
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