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33.43 - 0.56
11/19/03 2:46:00 PM ET

DOE chief sees no blackout penalty for FirstEnergy
Reuters, 11.19.03, 3:05 PM ET


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WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said his department would not seek to punish FirstEnergy Corp (nyse: FE - news - people) for its role in the massive August blackout because current U.S. law does not require electric reliability standards.

"The absence of enforceable reliablity standards creates a situation in which there are limits in terms of federal level punishment," Abraham told reporters. He said that while the Energy Department planned no action against FirstEnergy, it would forward its new investigative report into the Aug. 14 blackout to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

A FERC spokesman declined to comment on what the agency will do with the report.

Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service

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