(Harrisburg) -- As state officials mull would-be tools to assist consumers in a deregulated electricity market, the concept of a Pennsylvania Power Authority is drawing mixed reactions. Supporters say such a body would create an independent state agency for all Pennsylvanians to purchase cheaper electricity through long-term contracts and trigger development of in-state power plants. But, three of four commissioners of the state Public Utility Commission oppose the idea -- including chairman James Cawley. "Under a Pennsylvania Power Authority if there are cost overruns or inefficient operations, then the rate payers are the tax payers picking up the tab," he says. "I can never support that. I think it's dumb." Meantime, "Bud" George, a Clearfield County Democrat, has proposed legislation in the House. The measure is awaiting action in the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
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