Research Center Investigates Proposed AP&L Power Plant

The Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), the research organization Harvard helped found last year, is preparing a report on Arkansas Power and Light's proposed Arkansas River power plant, Stephen B. Farber '63, the Center's chairman, said yesterday.

Expressing "hope that the IRRC study will be totally objective and will provide all the necessary information," the Arkansas citizens' group which has spearheaded opposition to the plant announced the establishment of a Harvard ad hoc committee on the issue.

In a letter to President Bok, the Arkansas Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) said the committee would try to "make sure that the issue of the AP&L power plant does not become a dead issue until Harvard has responded adequately to ACORN's requests."

The 14-member committee includes both undergraduate delegates to the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR), the chairman of the undergraduate student ACSR, the president of H-R Afro, the co-presidents of Harvard Ecology Action, two members of the New American Movement, and a number of undergraduates interested in shareholder responsibility or Arkansas or both.

The group's chairman is Donald J. Bouey '74, who worked for ACORN last summer.

The ACSR asked the Investor Responsibility Research Center to prepare its report, which Farber said will be ready by mid-December.

Farber, who is an assistant to President Bok as well as the IRRC's chairman, said the ACSR will probably meet before Christmas to consider the report, in time to make recommendations before the Arkansas Public Service Commission starts hearings on the proposed plant in January.

Farber said the report will be available to interested non-ACSR members as well.

Harvard is the largest single shareholder in Middle South Utilities, a holding company which owns AP&L. In its letter yesterday, ACORN said that if IRRC's study is "lacking in any respect," it will ask Harvard to set up a student-faculty committee to investigate the need for the proposed plant--which ACORN says is slight--and its probable environmental effects.

ACORN maintains that sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant would damage Arkansas farmers' crops and hurt the state's ecology.