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The Power Cartel

When Metropolitan Edison had to raise money shortly after being embarrassed by its nuclear tinker toy at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, the premier psychic semiologist Doctor John McManmon joked that they offered to sell used matches as an alternative power source.

In a far more deadly vein, Eddie Gast doesn’t regard the giant utility companies as public services. He sees them as powerful monopolies who buy legislators, judges, and commission officials as human investments toward larger profits for the big stock holers.

“They don’t deserve mere dirty tricks,” says Gast. “Out-and-out sabotage is all they understand. The ecotage raiders had the answers — cut power lines and blow up towers.”

Gast also advocates shooting insulators, trashing vehicles and other power-company equipment, and terrorizing their service workers.

“I also show people how to doctor their home meters to cut way back on the amount of money paid for electricity. Anyone can learn how — a guy even has a book out on it [John Williams, STOPPING POWER METERS, available from Loompanics]. Do unto them before they do unto you, I say.”

Asked if this doesn’t inconvenience and even hurt innocent people, Gast says it does, but they must learn who the enemy really is.

Other tricksters are less radical. Osborn Milteer suggests that most of the tricks pulled on the telephone and oil companies will work as well on the power giants.

“Leave the small rural co-ops alone, though,” says Milteer.

Surprisingly, Gast agrees, adding, “The rural co-ops are the way things should work. The people really do own them. I want to destroy the mammoth corporations — the monopolies who own nuclear plants and oil companies and act as if they own our government, too.”

For example, J.W. Burke, Jr., writes from Virginia to explain the monopoly between the State Corporation Commission and the VEPCO (the Virginia Power Company). He explains that in the middle of May 1979 VEPCO filed for a rate increase of nine million dollars citing financial losses caused by the temporary shutdown of two nuclear units by the federal government. They had already just had a huge increase in March. Without a whimper, the Virginia “regulatory” agency gave in.

According to Burke, that’s not the end. Less than a week after getting the nine million, the VEPCO powers came around asking for an additional nine million.

A mite upset, Burke exploded, “They [VEPCO] don’t give a shit about public relations, and they don’t need to, because the newspapers here won’t even squeak about this. VEPCO also has the State Corporation Commission in their pocket.

“It’s worth noting that the SCC has never turned down a VEPCO rate-increase request. We have a lot of getting even to do here in the Old Dominion.”

The power cartel is as vulnerable to the same getting-even tricks as are deserving institutions and persons mentioned in other sections of this website.

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