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Protecting Against the Next Energy Crisis

To keep our society running, we need affordable electricity and gasoline. FTCR works hard to watch utilities, energy producers and oil companies in order to tell the public about the true costs of their energy and of government plans to bailout and help the industry. FTCR has exposed manipulation of the electricity and oil markets and challenges the industry and politicians who support it to provide consumers with reliable and affordable energy.

Download San Diego KGTV's investigation into high gas prices. (66 bytes)

Click Here for the latest news on the Gasoline and Energy Crises

Read about how domestic refiners, not OPEC, are largely responsible for the recent runup at the pump:
Read FTCR's reports on Electricity and Gas Prices:
Read about the efforts to deregulate California's electricity once again:
Power Play in California -- Deregulation Deja Vu




During the California Energy Crisis of 2000 and 2001, FTCR was California's leading critic of energy industry profiteering, utility bailouts and the administration of Gray Davis. Below is information about FTCR's work during that energy crisis and links to related information.:

First we had the deregulation rip-off - California's deregulation law - sponsored by California's utility companies, Enron and other energy companies. Greased with millions in campaign contributions, the 1996 legislation forced all residential and small business ratepayers of Edison, PG&E or SDG&E to pay the three utilities nearly $20 billion in extra electricity charges through 2000. This was to cover their mismanagement, cost overruns, multi-million dollar executive salaries and bloated corporate bureaucracies from the 1970s and 1980s. That was Bailout #1. FTCR challenged deregulation with a ballot initiative in 1998, trying to warn the public of its dangers. But no one knew about deregulation at the time, and the utilities defeated Prop. 9 with a $45 million campaign.

Then came the phony electricity crisis: blackouts in the middle of the winter of 2000-2001, as the energy companies took advantage of the deregulation law they wrote to artificially manipulate the supply of electricity, creating shortages that boosted electricity price by as much as 3000%. The energy industry claimed Californians were using too much electricity and scape-goated environmental protection laws. FTCR's analysis proved that the crisis was phony, but it wasn't until the collapse of Enron that FTCR was proved right.

Heads the Utilities Win, Tails the Public Loses

Then, consumers and small businesses were once again left with the bill: another $15 billion to cover the money the utilities lost over the last two years plus another $43 billion in long-term energy contracts extorted from the state of California and other expenses. This is Bailout #2. FTCR blocked it in the Legislature, but Gov. Davis's Public Utilities Commission went ahead and, in violation of California law, has given Edison and PG&E billions of dollars of our money.

Deregulation has failed, and the utility companies that pushed deregulation -- and prospered from it -- now want California ratepayers to bail them out.

And even though deregulation has been a disaster, our energy system is still in the hands of greed-driven private firms, most of them out-of-state, who can reap profits only by squeezing down our supply of electricity.

FTCR is lobbying to protect taxpayers and ratepayers against the campaign for further deregulation in Sacramento and in the U.S. Congress; and we've proposed a plan for returning California to a stable and reliable electricity system.
You can learn all about the deregulation disaster here -- and what you can do about it.

» FTCR's Bailout Watch - Read FTCR's newsletter that keeps an eye on the energy industry and the politicians.

• Read a copy of FTCR's April 11th, 2002 lawsuit against the PUC, asking the California Supreme Court to order the PUC to obey state laws. Read the news release.
• Read the PUC's April 17th, 2002 response to FTCR's lawsuit.
• Read FTCR's reply to the PUC, filed on May 9th, 2002.

California's Two Power Crises by Harvey Rosenfield and Doug Heller
Utility Bankruptcy v. Bailout by Harvey Rosenfield

» Factsheets about deregulation and the energy crisis Read about FTCR's Proposition 9, and other reports and materials on the phony energy crisis and the deregulation debacle.



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