FACT: AB 1890 was implemented in 1998. California became the FIRST US State to deregulate.
FACT: Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE), and the energy industry forced the "deregulation" through the California Legislature.
FACT: They reaped financial rewards for years. Then the companies and their shareholders bore the consequences.
FACT: Until June 2000, California deregulation was a license to steal. It froze residential and small business electricity rates at record high levels through 2002.
FACT: It forced customers to pay off over $20 billion in the utilities' bad debts ($9 billion for PG&E alone).
Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights FTCR
|FACT: PG&E, SCE, and SDGE are the nation's first, second and sixteenth largest investor-owned electricity utilities. |
FACT: PG&E declared bankruptcy - but the third largest utility bankruptcy in American history didn't have to happen.
Its parent company (created to take advantage of deregulation) has over $30 billion in assets. Much of this money was siphoned out of the utility subsidiary. PG&E even gave raises and bonuses to over 6,000 employees hours before filing bankruptcy.
It could have bailed itself out, but chose not to. Bankruptcy was a political choice.
FACT: The state of CA reached a $2.76 billion deal to buy SCE's transmission wires. It's a costly ratepayer-funded bailout of Edison. The price is 230% times the assessed value of the lines.
FACT: California utilities CHOSE to sell off most of their power plants. These plants were built over previous decades with ratepayer money, and have been sold to energy companies based in other states.
FACT: California's energy crisis was MANUFACTURED by a handful of private companies in the name of higher profits.
FACT: PG&E made radical cuts to their energy CONSERVATION and demand-side management (DSM) program. One of the world's leading technical and implementation entities for energy efficiency with over 400 employees now only has a handful of employees dedicated to this activity.
FACT: Electricity rates in California have increased between 30% and 150%. Places in CA with municipal utilities (not subject to deregulation) have had NO rate increases and NO blackouts.
FACT: CA still leads in RENEWABLE ENERGY with:
FACT: The cost of producing solar power has been plummeting. The market for solar cells grew 44 percent in 2000.
FACT: CA is invested $850 million to boost conservation efforts in 2001. The money beefed up existing conservation programs.
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