The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 70, No. 35, Ed. 1, Friday, February 4, 1983 Page: 11 of 19
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Lawyer says new PUC
AUSTIN (AP) The Public Utility
Commission's new rule barring electric
companies from automatically charging
customers for increased fuel costs is
"more Illusionary than real" says a
lawyer who fights utility rate increases.
"If one wished to abolish the fuel ad-
justment clause It didn't take a 15-page
rule to do it" said Don Butler lawyer for
the Texas Municipal League.
PUC Chairman Moak Rollins defended
the new rule as valuable but conceded It
would not lower rates.
PUC members voted 3-0 Wednesday to
replace the automatic fuel adjustment
clause with a complicated process in
which companies must estimate fuel costs
one year in advance.
The process however still allows for
adjustments If electric companies face
changing fuel costs. The big difference is
AUSTIN AP) - The Texas Senate
Thursday confirmed Jack Pope as chief
justice of the state Supreme Court
ending weeks of speculation about his
Pope's future had been In doubt
because he was appointed by Gov. Bill
Clements after Clements was defeated '
by Mark White in November.
Fourteen of the 31 senators had sent
Clements a letter asking him not to
make any "lame duck" appointments.
It takes only 11 senators to block a
White had asked senators to reject
nominations made by Clements after
the election. The Senate returned to the
governor's desk most of the late
nominations made by Clements giving
White the opportunity to make his own
At a news conference Thursday
White said he told senators he did not
oppose Pope's confirmation. Shortly
after the White news conference
senators voted 29-2 to approve Pope.
Sen. Kent Caperton D-Bryan called
Pope the "right man at the right time"
to serve as chief justice.
White said "I think that letter (to
Clements) served a very good purpose
because I think it put Gov. Clements at
that time on notice that any ap-
pointment would be strictly scrutinired.
"I now believe that because of the
letter having served its purpose well
the appointment of Jack Pope was an
appointment of a very outstanding
public servant an outstanding jurist"
said the governor.
Pope a 69-year-old Democrat was
selected by Republican Clements after
Joe Greenhlll resigned as chief justice.
Pope was a Supreme Court member
when Clements elevated him to the top
spot on the state's highest court.
There are two years remaining on
GrccnhlH's unexpired term. The chief
justice post is an elected position but
Clements was allowed to make the
appointment because of GreenhlH's
resignation to go into private law
that with the new rule those changes
would have to be approved by the com-
mission. Rollins said Texans still will pay the fuel
"I think peoplo will see differences in
their bills but only in the manner the costs
are expressed. They'll know In advance
what those costs are going to be. Tliey will
know that those costs have been examined
in public hearings" said Rollins.
Commissioner George Cowdcn asked the
PUC staff to draw up the new rule after
Gov. Mark White made the fuel ad-
justment clause a major plank in his 1982
campaign. Bui White in a brief statement
issued by his office Wednesday evening
questioned the changes.
"I am glad to see the problem has at last
gotten the attention of the Public Utility
Commission. I am concerned however
CBS announces last episodes
new 'After MASH' spinoff in fall
NEW YORK (AP) There will be life
Three characters in the current "M-A-S-H"
series Col. Sherman Potter played
by Harry Morgan; Cpl. Max Klinger
played by Jamie Farr and Father
Mulcahy played by William Christopher
will star in a fall scries Harvey
Shephard CBS senior vice president for
programs told The Associated Press in a
The series set in a U.S. veteran's
hospital will focus on how the three "M-A--S-H"
regulars and their patients adjust to
peace while struggling with their
emotional social and physical war
"M-A-S-H" ends Its 11th season Feb. 28
wltha 2&-hour movie. "Whatever happens
to the characters at the end of 'M-A-S-H'
will be continued in the new series" said
The new comedy tentatively titled
Stockman Regan hint at budget
WASHINGTON (AP) Top Reagan
administration officials told Congress
Wednesday there may be room for com-
promise In two budget areas military
spending and the 10 percent tax cut.
Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan
indicated the administration might be
willing to compromise with Democrats
seeking repeal or delay of the tax cut
scheduled to show up In pay checks this
"If you show us your cards we will show
you ours" Regan said under hostile
questioning from Democrats on the House
At the same time budget director David
Stockman hinted at a possible compromise
In the administration's proposed $30 billion
increase for defense in fiscal 1984.
Appearing before the Senate Budget
Committee Stockman said "If you can
find things In there that you can persuade
the administration aren't needed I'm sure
people will listen."
about whether the new rule docs enough"
the governor said.
Butler said the PUC effort was wor-
thless. "I think the governor got their attention.
But it's obvious they didn't abolish the fuel
adjustment clause" he said.
He opposes periodic reviews of a specific
business expense such as fuel. Under
similar logic utility companies could seek
increases when It costs more to buy a
vehicle according to Butler.
"We might have the 'pickup truck ad-
justment clause'" he said.
Several lawmakers joined White in
calling for an end to the automatic fuel
adjustment clause which is often more
than half of a customer's bill.
"I certainly hope it will satisfy many of
the concerns legislators have expressed to
us. That's been our objective" Rollins
"After M-A-S-H" will be blessed with
some creative talent from "M-A-S-H"
Including executive producer Burt Met-
calfe and series creator Larry Gelbart
who also was co-writer on Dustin Hoff-
- man's hit movie "Tootste."
"M-A-S-H" In reruns is currently the
most popular syndicated program ac-
cording to the A.C. Nielsen Co. This
season's original episodes on CBS have
averaged a 22.9 rating (the percentage of
all homes with televisions) and a 33 share
(percentage of TV homes with their sets
on) making "M-A-S-H" the No. 3 show for
The other "M-A-S-H" spinoff "Trapper
John M.D. borrowed only a name and
doesn't have any legitimate links to the
original. In contrast "After M-A-S-H"
with solid connections to a rich past would
seem to be in most capable surgeons'
hands to continue the high standards of
In contrast Defense Secretary Caspar
Weinberger said Tuesday on Capitol Hill
that no cut was possible in the ad-
ministration's proposed military budget
without endangering national security.
The reduction In withholding scheduled
for July Is the third under President
Reagan's broad tax-reduction measure
enacted in 1981. Many Democrats have
said they will reek to delay or kill it to
reduce the $298 billion deficit expected this
Regan said the tax cut will reduce
revenues by $27 billion but is needed to
encourage both saving and spending by
consumers that will sustain the economic
recovery now just beginning.
Democrats say the cut is applied
unevenly. And they say the reduction in
federal deficits that would result from
repeal would do more for economic growth
because interest rates would come down
encouraging Investments in new business. '
Testifying two days after the president
"AH of today's action was a result of that
political rhetoric" he said.
The new rule Includes a formula for
bringing the charge to customers In line
with the actual cost to companies. The
utilities would add surcharges if the
estimate turned out to be too low and
would make refunds If the estimate were
T.L. Baker Dallas Power & Light vice
pre I dent said the automatic pass-through
system "is the best for both the company
and our customers." &
"This may not be the lowest cost method
of doing things for the customer" he said
of the new rule.
The rule was adopted on an emergency
basis effective Immediately. Another
hearing will be held before It becomes
Bristol-Myers recontly Introduced a
new tamper-resistant container for
some of its products. The container In-
cludes a pull-top which cannot be re-
placed. (Photo courtesy ol the AP and Abfleno
sent his fiscal 1984 budget plan to Capitol
Hill Regan was asked repeatedly why the
administration refuses to budge on the
income tax cut tax indexing due to take
effect In 1985 and proposals for a standby
tax to take hold in 1986 if the federal deficit
continues to shoot upward.
"Why can't you put it (the tax issues) on
the table?" Rep. James Jones D-Okla.
chairman of the budget panel asked
"This is day two of the budget and
already you want suggestions that we
change It" said Regan but he added
"This might be possible when we see what
you want to compromise to."
The Treasury official urged Democrats
to prepare a tax proposal of their own
which might be negotiated for a com-
The administration also opposes any
new big jobs bill but Republican and
Democratic leaders are going ahead with
plans f or a public works.
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 70, No. 35, Ed. 1, Friday, February 4, 1983, newspaper, February 4, 1983; Abilene, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth96043/m1/11/?q=: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.