WASHINGTON - The public power industry, pummelled by the recession like the rest of the municipal bond market, plans to seek federal assistance this year both to help issuers access the market and enable them to use more tax-credit bonds to finance projects, market participants said in recent interviews.

The American Public Power Association, which represents roughly 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, sent Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a letter last month asking him to ensure financial guarantors are available to issuers in the public finance market.

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