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Power companies bring fragile coalition to climate debate

Source:  Copyright 2009, ClimateWire
Date:  March 20, 2009
Byline:  Darren Samuelsohn
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The electric utility industry is clinging to an agreement for global warming legislation that puts 60 of the country's biggest investor-owned companies on record supporting a complex credit allocation system that bridges the historic divide between generators of coal, natural gas and nuclear power.

It is a fragile coalition with a steady supply of skepticism among its members as they gear up for a high-stakes political battle with Congress and the Obama White House.

"I think we're still together," Ralph Izzo, the president, chairman and CEO of New Jersey-based Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., said in an interview last week. "I'd love to know if we're not."

Sure enough, there are signs the group's consensus position (pdf) -- organized by the Edison Electric Institute trade group -- may be in trouble.

Michael Morris, the president and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power Corp., triggered some headaches among his rivals ...

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