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DUQUESNE LIGHT ISSUES STATEMENT ON TRANSMISSION PROJECT

 PITTSBURGH, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Duquesne Light Company today issued the following statement:
 "During recent weeks, the GPU-DQE Transmission Project has become an issue in the political campaign for mayor of the City of Pittsburgh. This is unfortunate because politics should not play a role in such an important initiative for our city and region.
 "Nevertheless, as a consequence of this political controversy, it is imperative that Duquesne Light reiterate and emphasize that is has provided information regarding the transmission project and its effect on customer rates to all public officials and citizens through a variety of communications during the last three years.
 "In fact, we believe that our record of communications about this project has been exemplary.
 "The rate paid by Duquesne Light customers has been made the central issue in this controversy. The real issues, however, are the thousands of much-needed and well-paid jobs that this project will create; the $500 million improvement to the state's infrastructure, which will eliminate a major electric transmission bottleneck; and the reduction of rates that will result from the GPU-DQE Project.
 "The real question is: Do we want this major infrastructure project in order to provide jobs and reduce rates?
 "With regard to rates, the reactivation of two Duquesne Light power plants and the construction of a transmission line to enable the sale of power to General Public Utilities is an important regional project which will result in lower rates for Duquesne Light customers. This project is particularly important to our region because, with the 60 percent loss of its industrial sales in the mid-1980s, Duquesne Light has not been able fully to utilize its surplus generating capacity.
 "The GPU-DQE Project is the best way for Duquesne Light to put these resources back to work. If the siting of the transmission line is approved, the company will capture savings for customers of nearly $1 billion over a 20-year period starting in 1997.
 "Based on current revenues, this savings would result in a 5 percent average reduction in customer costs for the 20-year period of the power sale compared to prices without the sale of power to GPU. Duquesne Light customers will only be able to receive these cost saving benefits if the siting of the transmission line is approved.
 "Duquesne Light rates are relatively high. This is largely due to:
 "-- The unique loss in the 1980s of the company's industrial sales;
 "-- Its enormous investment (more than $600 million over 20 years) in environmental controls to provide power in a manner that meets the clean air requirements of Allegheny County, which are some of the stiffest air regulations in the nation;
 "-- And operation of an urban system, with an extensive and expensive underground electricity delivery system. (It is important to understand that Duquesne Light rates are comparable to those for customers in other major cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Cleveland.)
 "Customers are beginning to realize positive rate results from Duquesne Light's significant environmental investments. During the 1990s, while other utilities will be passing on to their customers the cost of new clean air compliance regulations, Duquesne Light is in a position to meet these new sulfur dioxide standards without investing in additional environmental controls.
 "As a company, we are committed to reducing costs that we can control for customers.
 "On April 1, 1993, Duquesne Light reduced prices for customers by 2 to 5 percent.
 "On April 1, 1994, Duquesne Light will reduce base rates by 8 to 10 percent. These reductions will improve the company's competitive position and will become effective independent of the transmission line project.
 "We are committed to controlling costs and making our service more\ competitive. However, other decisionmakers are in a posiiton to have an impact on our costs. We do not claim to be able to control every rate impact on customers. For example, Pennsylvania's state legislators recently increased taxes on electric utilities. Our customers would be affected by such actions in the future. Similarly, the federal government is weighing special taxes on energy. Customers would be faced with this cost if enacted.
 "The transmission project is a key element of our strategy for reducing costs for our customers. It also offers a major benefit by using the strength of this region's energy resources to create thousands of jobs.
 "Business, labor and political leaders support this major investment in Western Pennsylvania's energy infrastructure, and more than 300 organizations and associations throughout Pennsylvania are supporting it, along with more than 22,000 individuals who have signed petitions in favor of the project.
 "These Pennsylvanians recognize that this project is the only major new private investment being proposed in Western Pennsylvania that will create thousands of jobs for the people of this region."
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Dennis E. O'Neil, general manager, public affairs, of Duquesne Light, 412-232-6848/
 (DQE GPU)


CO: Duquesne Light Company; General Public Utilties ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI OIL SU: PDT

DM-MA -- PG016 -- 2362 04/28/93 18:55 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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