Statement of Walt Bussells

Statement of Walt Bussells, Chairman
Large Public Power Council

July 11, 2000

Today marks a memorable occasion for public power systems and investor-owned utilities alike. The Large Public Power Council, along with the American Public Power Association, has reached an agreement with the Edison Electric Institute on how Congress can most fairly address tax issues related to electric industry restructuring. The agreement reflects years of hard work and sometimes difficult discussions between the public power community and the investor-owned utilities. I am pleased that the entire utility industry has demonstrated its ability to look beyond individual interests and recommend to Congress the right course for the benefit of all of our customers and the American consumer.

The industry is jointly sharing this agreement with the jurisdictional tax committees in Congress. We are asking Congress to enact legislation that captures the agreement this year so that all industry participants can more fully engage in competition.

I would like to thank Senators Slade Gorton (R-WA) and Robert Kerrey (D-NE) and Congressmen J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) and Robert Matsui (D-CA) for their early recognition that Congress must address tax issues that affect the ability of public power systems to participate in the competitive market that has emerged and continues to evolve. Their dedication to finding a resolution that is fair for public power customers and the entire utility industry has helped to ensure that we would reach this milestone.

There are many others to thank for this agreement as well, and I will be personally sharing my appreciation with everyone involved. It is my hope that the foresight and cooperation reflected in this agreement will carry over to other tough decisions that will be made in the electric industry restructuring debate.

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