The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 03, 1986, Image 9
i Wednesday, December 3, 1986/The Battalion/Page 9
by Scott McCullar
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DURING THE MY5TEKY
by Kevin Thomas
I HOP£ she
Louisiana utility panel
rejects GSU rate hike
d noi it
rt of •
I .Tu \
hopeMATON ROUGE, La. (AP) —
isalfil Gull States Utilities, which has
thiratened to go bankrupt if not
roadc, liven a $100 million rate increase,
)tattr. ias turned down Tuesday by the
Jana [state Public Service Commission.
■Gulf States President Linn Draper
on sai said that without a rate hike, the util-
I ditkiI by March will w ind up without
justHough cash to operate. Draper said
the utility probably will appeal the
itelyn Commission’s 3-2 vote in court,
heooliHlhe company, which serves about
ork wHO.OOO customers in Louisiana and
lienn fexas, is struggling to pay for its
said!) $4 4 billion nuclear generator at St.
getinii jfrandsville, a facility originally pro-
Hted to cost about $380 million.
■The utility also is asking the PSC’s
counterpart in Texas for a $144 mil
lion rate hike to help pay for the
River Bend generator.
HCommissioner Louis Lambert told
'GSU officials,“I warned you in the
1970s to stop that construction, to go
The utility constructed both nu-
[earand coal-fired plants to service
expected boom in the petrochem-
industry that never materialized,
he industry has been depressed in
|£cent years and several chemical
ants are generating their own elec-
icity because of high energy costs.
The PSC was not swayed by Gov.
ISN'T THAT AN
AWFUiLY BIG ZIT
ON YOUR NOSE7
in Texas City
TEXAS CITY (AP) — An explo
sion apparently set off by a ruptured
tank car ripped through a dock com
plex in this industrial Gulf city Tues
day, injuring several people before it
was brought under control, officials
At least six fire departments bat
tled the blaze for more than an hour
at the Stan-Trans Inc. marine distri
bution terminal, where the explo
sion went off about 4 p.m., authori
Authorities sealed off the area
near the company and evacuated
The explosion and fire occurred
in a tank car in a heavily industrial
area of Texas City, officials said. It
was controlled shortly before 5:30
p.m., officials at the scene reported.
At least one company building
caught fire, but firefighters were
able to prevent the flames from
spreading to the other tank cars, of
Authorities did not know the
cause of the explosion, but said the
tank cars reportedly carried gaso
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Rates starting at
Edwin Edwards, who strongly urged
approval “to avert disaster.”
“As governor, it’s appalling to me
that a utility, any utility, would be al
lowed to go into bankruptcy,” Ed
wards told the commission.
“Bankruptcy could hurt this
state’s image,” he said.
Draper has said that without
higher rates, Gulf States is threat
ened with becoming the nation’s first
public utility to go bankrupt since
the Great Depression.
A majority of the commission felt
the utility could overcome a deficit
of over $240 million in March by
selling some of its assets, a move that
could keep GSLJ going until the
commission decides on an original
rate hike request of $200 million.
Within the next few years, GSU is
expected to ask for roughly $900
million in rate hikes to offset the cost
of the plant — increases that would
be phased in over several years.
“I’m not interested in putting any
one into bankruptcy,” said Lambert,
who led the move to deny the re
“The utility can find ways to
downsize, to sell off some assets. It
has four gas-burning units in Port
Neches, Texas, that are sitting there.
GSU was offered $40 million for
(Continued from page 1)
in the world to be bitter about his
situation. Yet he speaks excitedly
and proudly of the things he has
kept going and the new programs
he has implemented since coming
to Brazos County in February.
“We started the first hay asso
ciation in the state,” Mazurkie-
wicz says. “I re-formed the live
stock judging team and took it to
“Next week, the T-H kids are
having the first pecan show in
Brazos County. We also had the
fire ant program. That’s pretty
good for someone who has only
been here for seven months.”
Another problem Mazurkie-
wicz faces is trying to replace two
agents who were in Brazos
County — one for 26 years and
the other for six years. He says
this has not eased his work load.
“I came here at a time when
the budget cuts were going into
effect,” Mazurkiewicz says. “It
was a bad time to start in a new
place. The people kind of stood
back and said, ‘Let’s see what this
guy can do.’
“The key to extension is volun
teer leadership and volunteer
help, and the volunteer help
comes from getting to know the
people, but I just haven’t had the
time for the one-on-one
relationships. It’s going to be a
while before people come in and
say, ‘Hey Jim, we’re here to help
you with this problem.’ ”
Despite the problems he and
his staff are facing, Mazurkiewicz
says it’s all worth it because he be
lieves in the extension program.
He says he just wishes the day had
“I love adult education,” he
says. “I think it is rewarding and
worthwhile. I also enjoy the kids
and working with the 4-H pro
“However, extension is like
anything else; you get out of it
what you put into it. I don’t think
there’s a service in the state that
offers as much as extension does,
both for adults and the youth. We
have something for everybody.”
While he is dismayed about the
present situation, Mazurkiewicz
refuses to look at it in a negative
“The good old days are gone
and we’re just going to have to
make what we’ve got better,” he
says. “I much prefer getting out
and meeting the people and cre
ating the personal, bonds, but for
now, it just can’t be like that.
“Of the 40,000 people my posi
tion affected in some way last
year, most only knew me from
large, general meetings. They
don’t know how sincere I am
about helping them or how I
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