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Joint Electricity Task Force Receives Progress Report, Final Report Due in October

The Oklahoma Legislature's Joint Electricity Task Force met today to receive a progress report of activities and to hear a presentation on possible suggestions which have been from the United Kingdom's experience with electric restructuring.

Senator Kevin Easley, Task Force Chairman, said he is impressed by the continuing level of interest in restructuring Oklahoma's electric business.

"The Task Force Working Groups established in September 1998 have held approximately 50 meetings. More than 300,000 manhours of work has already been put into the Working Group process and we expect an additional 50,000-75,000 manhours to be spent by the completion of this phase in June. We are on schedule to have a report for the Legislature October 1999," said Easley.

At today's meeting, Mike Madison, President of Southwestern Electric Power Company, Shreveport, LA, provided Task Force members insights from experience in the United Kingdom. Madison pointed out problems which were experienced when the requirements to use a mandatory power pool system was implemented.

He also noted the advantages of allowing bilateral contracts between retail electric supplies and businesses generating electricity. The British experience has demonstrated the need for development of a "provider of last resort" for customers who may be eligible for that type service.

The Joint Electric Utility Task Force Working Groups will continue to meet through May, 1999. In June, the Task Force will begin the development of its final report which is due October 1, 1999.

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Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5605