San Diego Union-Tribune

August 8, 2001

Joint task force will decide power issues


PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- One day after clashing over whether the federal government should be given authority to site new power lines, the nation's governors and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham yesterday announced a joint task force to tackle the issue.

The panel will also explore ways to streamline the construction of new power generating plants and to improve multi-state cooperation on managing electricity markets.

Abraham and the governors announced the task force at the National Governors Association meeting here.

Electricity issues have become a pressing concern for the nation's governors, given the power crisis in California and the spring unveiling of President Bush's energy policy.

The governors are wary of a federal power grab, especially since states traditionally have taken the lead role in managing local electricity systems. An energy policy adopted by the governors yesterday opposes Bush's proposal to let the federal government site power lines and warns Washington not to
force deregulation plans on the states.