Newspaper: The Sentinel

Date: April 6, 1979

Article: Med - Ed: Cold, hard, uncaring

Author: Unknown


In total disbelief, Metropolitan Edison officials continue with their arrogance and self-serving attitudes they blatantly exhibited during this country's worst nuclear power plant crisis at Three Mile Island.

In short, they just don't seem to give a damn about the people they're serving.

In astonishingly self-interested testimony at a Congressional hearing Thursday, company of officials said the consumers should bear the brunt of the costs for the Three Mile Island accident, certainly not the company stockholders.

On Wednesday, Met-Ed coldly told company employees who are pregnant that they wouldn't be paid for staying off the job at the nuclear plant, despite the dangers of the fear of personal safety.

Perhaps we shouldn't expect anything less from a company which lied to the public about the potential disaster at Three Mile Island, or one which fed us so much confusing and conflicting information as to fan the flames of potential panic and chaos in and around the nuclear facility.

But Met-Ed's attitudes and actions not only have caused a serious - some say fatal - blow to the nuclear power industry, but the company is driving another nail in the coffin of public opinion against big business.

Instead of coming out with the truth and having compassion for its employees and its customers, the company is wrapping itself and its stockholders in a mantle of protection. They're showing us they're out to save their own hides first.

Why should the consumers bear the brunt of the accident costs? They had nothing to do with it and those people who are served only by Met-Ed have no choice about buying their power. Certainly the stockholders take a risk when they buy stock and have built-in tax advantages the consumers do not.

In the end, the consumers may have to help defray the costs, to keep the company from going bankrupt, but every other alternative should come first: insurance, the federal government and Met-Ed itself.

Despite the outcome over who'll pay for what, Met-Ed may never recover from it's blackened image of the past few days - but it was one of the company's own making.