Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights Corporateering
  Home | Volunteer | Donate | Subscribe | FTCR Websites | Books | Site Map   
Main Page
Press Releases
In the Media
Bailout Watch
 - Corporate Accountability
 - Healthcare
 - Insurance
 - Citizen Advocacy
 - The Justice System
 - Billing Errors
 - About FTCR

home / utilities / in the media

In The Media - 2002

San Jose Mercury News - Dec 30, 2002   
California to hand back energy purchasing to utilities
The move to return power buying to utilities is largely symbolic, said consumer advocate Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "It's like giving a prisoner yard privileges when it's raining -- you can't use it."... more

Sacramento Bee - Dec 27, 2002   
$2 gas on horizon?
Experts differ over cost of ethanol switch
Californians could pay $2 a gallon -- or higher -- for gasoline early in the new year when the state makes the transition from gas additive MTBE to ethanol, some energy experts say.... more

The New York Times - Dec 22, 2002   
Legacy of Power Cost Manipulation
Two years ago this month, a record was set at the height of the West Coast energy crunch: an hour of electric power was sold for $3,250 -- more than a hundred times what the same small block had cost a year earlier.... more

The Associated Press - Dec 20, 2002   
Deregulation writer to head up governor's budget team
Gov. Gray Davis' choice of Steve Peace - a former lawmaker and key architect of the state's failed electricity deregulation plan - as his top budget adviser during the state's worst fiscal crisis is being called bold by some and baffling by others.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Dec 13, 2002   
Hefty power bill looms;
Governor 'outraged' at stance FERC took
Gov. Gray Davis angrily denounced federal energy regulators yesterday, saying they "rigged the rules" and led a judge to conclude that California owes generators money -- not the other way around.... more

LA Weekly - Dec 06, 2002   
Governor Gray Davis let slip away a key solution to California's continuing electric-power mess last summer and spring when he refused to take up several companies on their offers to turn over generating plants to the state, the Weekly has learned.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Nov 24, 2002   
Audiotape Is Called 'Smoking Gun' in California Utility Market-Rigging Probe
It's been called the "Smoking Gun of the Month Club." Nearly once a month this year if not even more often fresh evidence has emerged of market rigging during the California electricity crisis.... more

Sacramento Bee - Nov 21, 2002   
State Supreme Court to take PUC's utility bailout case
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday took over a dispute in which federal judges appeared ready to slap down plans by the state Public Utilities Commission to rescue the state's two biggest utilities. ... more

Associated Press State & Local Wire - Nov 21, 2002   
California Supreme Court enters energy deregulation fray
David Kravets, Associated Press Writer
The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether power regulators unlawfully authorized a utility to use money generated by record-high electric rate hikes to pay its debts.... more

Associated Press - Nov 18, 2002   
PG&E yet another piece in California's electric rate puzzle
Teams of lawyers and consultants representing Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and state power regulators will head back into federal bankruptcy court Monday to start a grueling, weeks-long process to argue in favor of their plans which will determine the fut... more

Sacramento Bee - Nov 16, 2002   
Report: Firms exploited energy crisis with nudges and winks, suppliers kept plants closed, regulators say.
In the early days of California's power crisis, innuendo and nuance were enough to keep a power plant offline, driving up electricity prices by at least $10 million, according to a report released Friday by federal regulators.... more

San Jose Mercury News - Nov 13, 2002   
Consumers won't soon see lower bills from reworked energy deal
The recent reworking of some of California's long-term energy contracts has shaved nearly $5 billion from the more than 50 deals, but consumers won't immediately see the savings on their own energy bills.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Nov 12, 2002   
Commentary; From a Power Crisis to a Crisis of Power;
PUC decisions by Davis appointees are costing the state's taxpayers billions.
The Public Utilities Commission stole $7.5 billion from California consumers last week. The money will be used to bail out both utility companies and big businesses from their losses during the energy debacle.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 10, 2002   
How PUC sold out public, saved utilities
Just hours before thousands of Northern Californians lost power the other day -- albeit from storm damage, not Enron\'s shenanigans -- state regulators voted to keep socking ratepayers with some of the highest electricity bills in the nation.... more

Associated Press - Nov 08, 2002   
Calif. power regulators could use rate money to pay past debts
California power regulators voted to enable themselves to use some of the money generated from record rate hikes last year to settle the lingering debts of the state and two major utilities.... more

The Daily News of Los Angeles - Nov 02, 2002   
Edison's opponents working to stop a bailout agreement between Edison and the California Public Utilities Commission took exception to the fact that Edison earned money. ... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Nov 01, 2002   
Potential Buyers Eye California's Energy Bonds for Decent Income
The California electricity crisis may have cost state consumers billions of dollars, but it becomes an investment opportunity today at least for some.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Oct 28, 2002   
Edison Field's Halo Effect
Sponsor of the Angels' home ballpark is getting plenty of free publicity, which irks its critics
"It's particularly sour to see Edison's name in lights because consumers in Southern California are shelling out billions of dollars to bail it out," said Heller, senior consumer advocate at the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer... more

San Jose Mercury News - Oct 28, 2002   
Gadfly Stands Front, Center;
Activist Criticized By Some As An Opportunist
If there's a march, a rally or a sleep-in -- whether it's about solar power, sweatshops or the prospect of war in Iraq -- San Francisco activist Medea Benjamin will probably be there.... more

Greenwire - Oct 17, 2002   
More than a year removed from the worst part of California\'s power crisis, the state has the highest power rates in the nation, no clear direction on how to fix the problem and is swamped in legal battles over who to blame.... more

Orange County Business Journal - Oct 14, 2002   
Regulators propose surcharge on third-party electric bills
State regulators, looking to help repay California\'s power debt, have proposed levying a hefty surcharge on thousands of companies and public institutions that rushed to sign third-party electric power contracts last year.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Oct 13, 2002   
So much for Wall Street cleaning up its act
"Sen. Phil Gramm excused Enron for punishing California and mocked state officials, but the CPUC has agreed to pay his company millions to tell us how to solve the problems Enron and lawmakers like Gramm created," said consumer crusader Doug Heller... more

Contra Costa Times - Oct 11, 2002   
A consumer group asked California Gov. Gray Davis to fire UBS Warburg LLC as investment banker for Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s reorganization, saying the bank has conflicts of interest.... more

Los Angeles Business Journal - Oct 07, 2002   
Regulators propose surcharge on third-party electric bills; Up Front
State regulators, looking to help repay California's power debt, have proposed levying a hefty surcharge on thousands of companies and public institutions that rushed to sign up third-party electric power contracts in the summer of 2001.... more

Sacramento Bee - Sep 24, 2002   
Edison rescue plan may be illegal
The 9th Circuit Court also casts doubt on the PUC's proposal to rescue PG&E
A federal appeals court said Monday it doubts the legality of a deal struck by California regulators to rescue the state's second-largest utility from the brink of bankruptcy in 2001.... more

BCD News and Comment - Sep 19, 2002   
PG&E suffers setback on plan, but wins right to spin off companies
Since the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. filed for bankruptcy in April 2001, creditors have been critical of both reorganization plans offered up by either PG&E or the California Public Utilities Commission.... more

Institute for Public Affairs - In These Times - Sep 16, 2002   
Low on Energy; Will the administration bail out puttering power producers?
With several key players in the energy industry facing a financial meltdown, federal energy regulators and members of the Bush administration have been meeting behind closed doors to discuss emergency measures should some of these companies be forced into... more

Utilities Industry Litigation Reporter - Sep 15, 2002   
Summary Judgment Denied in PG&E Suit For Relief from Calif. Rate Freeze
A federal judge has denied summary judgment in a suit filed by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. alleging that a California law is unconstitutional insofar as it prevents recovery of the uti... more

Utilities Industry Litigation Reporter - Sep 15, 2002   
Calif. High Court Rejects Claim That PUC Improperly Devised Bankruptcy Filing
PG&E Bankruptcy: Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights v. California PUC
The California Supreme Court has dismissed a consumer group\'s claim that the California Public Utilities Commission violated the state open-meeting law by preparing a reorganization plan in closed session and submitting the plan in a bankruptcy proceedin... more

Oil Daily - Sep 06, 2002   
Group Says California Consumers Overpay by $2 Billion for Gasoline
Californian motorists are overpaying by billions of dollars annually in fuel prices at the pump because West Coast refiners manipulate supplies to keep the retail cost of gasoline artificially high, according to report released by a consumer watchdog grou... more

Associated Press - Sep 02, 2002   
Governor, federal regulators fight over who's in charge of energy
Despite evidence of price manipulation by energy companies and findings by federal energy regulators of unfairly high power prices, California has yet to see the first penny in refunds it has been demanding for 14 months.... more

Financial Times (London) - Aug 30, 2002   
Ratepayers to suffer from light-speed deal
Energy politics in America took a crucial turn in favour of debt holders and generators last week, with implications that are not yet fully priced in by capital markets.... more

The Houston Chronicle - Aug 29, 2002   
Briefcase: Regular is Premium Enough
Regular is premium enough: A consumer group in California is proposing that only regular gasoline be sold to help deal with the state\'s chronic gasoline price increases, the Los Angeles Times reported this week.... more

The Los Angeles Daily News - Aug 29, 2002   
Santa Monica, Calif.-Based Consumer Group's Study Knocks Gas-Grade Choices
Selling a single grade of gasoline at the pump would put a cap on incessant price spikes in California, ending refiners' ability to manipulate supplies, according to a study released Wednesday.... more

Associated Press - Aug 28, 2002   
California Consumer Group Says One Gas Grade Could Curb Prices
Californians could save billions of dollars if oil companies were forced to offer only a single grade of gasoline, a consumer group estimated Wednesday.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Aug 28, 2002   
Group Has Answer for Gas-Price Volatility;
Energy: Restricting sales to a single grade could free up space for reserves to cushion against spikes.
A consumer group in Santa Monica is proposing a novel solution to chronic gasoline price spikes in California: sell only regular gasoline.... more

KGO-TV (ABC) - San Francisco - Aug 28, 2002   
Labor Day Weekend Gas Prices
A long weekend is coming up, does that mean you'll pay more at the pump? Many drivers will argue that gas prices go up during peak travel times. And today a report was released that agrees with them.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Aug 23, 2002   
PG&E's Creditors Side With PUC
State utility regulators and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. creditors announced a deal Thursday that would raise electricity rates, if necessary, to pay the company's debts and restore California's largest utility to financial health.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 23, 2002   
PG&E creditors, PUC regulators make deal;
Consumer groups divided on whether plan benefits ratepayers
State regulators announced an agreement Thursday with major creditors of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that could keep the utility intact and under state regulation after bankruptcy.... more

The San Jose Mercury News - Aug 23, 2002   
Embattled PG&E Corp. lost some ground Thursday as creditors of its bankrupt utility announced they were siding with state power regulators against the corporation's plan to break up its utility and wrest it from state control.... more

Associated Press - Aug 23, 2002   
Consumers to Help Bail Out PG&E
Consumers would pick up the costs of helping Pacific Gas and Electric Co. pay its debts under an agreement reached by California power regulators and the bankrupt utility's creditors.... more

Associated Press - Aug 22, 2002   
Regulators, PG&E Creditors OK Deal
California power regulators have reached a deal with creditors of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that could force millions of customers to continue paying among the nation's highest electricity rates for years.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 15, 2002   
State justices reject challenge to PUC plan; Consumer group contested proposal to revamp PG&E
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a consumer organization's challenge to state regulators' plans to bring Pacific Gas & Electric Co. out of bankruptcy.... more

Sacramento Bee - Aug 15, 2002   
Court won't hear PG&E's rate appeal
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. lost another round in its attempts to impose a multibillion-dollar retroactive rate increase when the California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to step into the case.... more

Minnesota Public Radio - Marketplace AM Report - Aug 14, 2002   
FERC finds evidence of energy price manipulation in California
Federal energy regulators are out with a report on what looks a lot like manipulation of prices during that little energy crisis we had out here in California, oh, 18 or so months ago. Jason Lopez reports from San Francisco.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Jul 30, 2002   
Power Plants Put on Hold;
Lower demand, changing circumstances have companies pulling back from crisis plans.
Power companies have delayed or canceled more than half the new plants proposed during California\'s energy crisis, citing lower demand, falling electricity prices, Wall Street\'s reluctance to finance projects and stifling regulations.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 27, 2002   
Power supplier says deal at hand; Williams hails tentative pact in contract dispute
One of the largest providers of electricity to California during the electricity crisis said yesterday it reached a tentative agreement to resolve a thicket of crisis-related legal disputes and rework its controversial long-term power contract with the st... more

Foster Electric Report - Jul 24, 2002   
FERC Adopts New Western Market Mitigation Tools and Orders Changes to California's Revamped Market Design
Citing the lack of sufficient infrastructure and proven rules needed to make Western wholesale power markets sufficiently competitive, FERC on 7/17/02 adopted a new market mitigation strategy that will go into effect October 1 for those markets and remain... more

The Los Angeles Times - Jul 18, 2002   
FERC Raises Energy Price Caps;
Limit jumps to $250 per megawatt-hour under plan. Panel moves to cut Davis' authority over state electricity grid.
Federal regulators Wednesday more than doubled the top price at which energy generators can sell electricity in California and moved to sharply reduce Gov. Gray Davis' authority over the state's power grid.... more

Sacramento Bee - Jul 18, 2002   
Energy Price Ceiling Jumps
Re-igniting a debate that burned during last year's energy crisis, federal regulators nearly tripled the price ceiling on electricity in California on Wednesday, saying it's needed to ensure the flow of power into the state.... more

The Orange County Register - Jul 18, 2002   
Federal commission increases limits on Calif. energy prices
Federal energy regulators Wednesday capped wholesale electricity prices in California at $250 per megawatt hour and adopted other measures designed to permanently avert the price spikes, shortages and rolling blackouts of a summer ago.... more

The Charlotte Observer - Jul 12, 2002   
Duke Prices In California Soared
As California reeled toward blackouts early last year, Duke Energy Corp. raised its wholesale power prices, some nearly sixfold in just weeks.... more

Orange County Business Journal - Jul 07, 2002   
State's Energy Loose Ends Coming to a Head
With federal price caps due to expire on Sept. 30 and the state's authority to buy power set to end three months later, a battle is brewing over the future shape of the California's dysfunctional power market.... more

A California appeals court stayed a lower court ruling that would have immediately ousted PUC Commissioner Henry Duque from office because of a financial conflict of interest. The California Court of Appeals for the First District issued the stay without... more

Power Markets Week - Jul 01, 2002   
The California Public Utilities Commission Tuesday retained UBS Warburg to arrange the financing needed to implement its reorganization proposal for Pacific Gas and Electric... more

Merced Sun-Star - Jul 01, 2002   
Consumer Group Becomes Feared Force
Nobody elected Harvey Rosenfield or Doug Heller or Jamie Court. But on pocketbook issues from insurance rates to electricity policy and health care, their Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights has now emerged as one of the most significant players i... more

The Los Angeles Times - Jun 30, 2002   
No Relief on Rates as Power Costs Fall
California: Increases remain in place despite a sharp drop in market prices. State panel predicts a $2.7-billion windfall for the utilities.
Despite assurances from the state 15 months ago that electricity customers could expect lower bills when power prices fell, relief is still many months away, even though blackouts have ended and wholesale prices have dropped... more

Communications Daily - Jun 28, 2002   
Telecom Update: CPUC Commissioner Duque Case Stayed
Cal. appeals court stayed lower court ruling that would oust PUC Comr. Henry Duque from office because of financial conflict of interest. Cal. Court of Appeals for First Dist. issued stay without comment.... more

The Sacramento Bee - Jun 25, 2002   
Banished PUC panelist gets a break in court
Henry Duque, who was kicked off the California Public Utilities Commission three months ago for violating state conflict of interest laws, has received a legal reprieve that could allow him to serve the last six months of his term.... more

San Jose Mercury News - Jun 17, 2002   
PG&E Decision To Mark Milestone In Deregulation;
Creditors Can Vote To Split Utility, Keep It Under State Control, Or Both
This week, more than 70,000 creditors of Pacific Gas & Electric will receive a 600-page packet as gripping as a phone book to help them decide the fate of PG&E by choosing between two rival plans to bring the utility out of bankruptcy.... more

The Sacramento Bee - Jun 16, 2002   
Creditors set to vote on PG&E's new form
They are faced with two proposals for how the company should emerge from bankruptcy protection
For the past 14 months the powerful have held the stage - the banks and energy companies, the Wall Street lawyers and Harvard law professors.... more

Computerworld - Jun 10, 2002   
The March Through the Crisis
September 1996: Gov. Pete Wilson signs a bill to open the state electricity market to competition.... more

Associated Press - Jun 03, 2002   
A look at the dueling plans for PG&E's future offered by the utility and state
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2001, driven into debt in part by soaring power prices it could not recover from its customers because of a freeze on electric rates.... more

Platts Retail Energy - May 31, 2002   
Lawyers for California Public Utilities Commissioner Henry Duque have asked a state appellate court in San Francisco to overturn a superior court ruling that would remove him from office.... more

Megawatt Daily - May 28, 2002   
Calif. PUC member Duque appeals removal
Lawyers for California Public Utilities Commissioner Henry Duque have asked a state appellate court in San Francisco to overturn a superior court ruling that would remove him from office... more

Greenwire - May 23, 2002   
Five major power generators told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday that their energy trading practices during the California power crisis of 2000 and 2001 were not based on controversial Enron strategies, even if some actions shared \"cha... more

The Houston Chronicle - May 23, 2002   
Suppliers deny using Enron tactics; Power firms answer FERC questions
Power suppliers have told federal regulators their behavior during the California electricity crisis was dramatically different from that of industry pariah Enron.... more

TV SHOW: The Nightly Business Report - May 23, 2002   
Trancript RE: Enron Memos
California's biggest energy companies say that they didn't manipulate the state's power market last year. The firms are telling state officials their behavior was legal and they played according to the rules of California's electricity markets, but no... more

Time Magazine - May 20, 2002   
California Scheming;
Internal documents describe the amazing, code-named ways that ENRON rigged the state's energy prices
Many Golden State residents, including Governor Gray Davis, believed that traders had manipulated the complex rules for maximum profit regardless of the effect on consumers. And now they have evidence.... more

USA Today - May 16, 2002   
Energy deregulation: Is it friend or enemy?
California's electric power crisis reverberated on Capitol Hill Wednesday as attorneys for fallen energy giant Enron acknowledged deception in past electricity trading practices, and a key federal regulator vowed to make Western energy markets fair.... more

Electric Utility Week (formerly Electrical Week) - May 13, 2002   
California Public Utilities Commissioner Henry Duque may be out of a job within a month unless he can successfully appeal an April 30 San Francisco Superior Court decision that removed him from his post over a violation of state conflict of interest laws.... more

Electric Utility Week (formerly Electrical Week) - May 13, 2002   
Pacific Gas & Electric charges that the Public Utilities Commission's bankruptcy reorganization plan for PG&E contains many uncertainties, most prominently whether the agency will have the ability to change the plan after approval by a U.S. Bankruptcy Co... more

The Buffalo News - May 12, 2002   
If federal law doesn't afford the justice system an opportunity to throw some Enron executives into a 6-by-8-foot cell with stainless steel plumbing, then the law desperately needs updating.... more

Associated Press - May 09, 2002   
A look at the dueling plans for PG&E's future offered by the utility and the state
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2001, driven into debt in part by soaring power prices it could not recover from its customers because of a freeze on electric rates.... more

Megawatt Daily - May 08, 2002   
PG&E says Calif. PUC should detail risks of its plan
Pacific Gas & Electric wants the California Public Utilities Commission to tell the bankruptcy court the risks inherent in the regulators' reorganization plan for the utility, according to a PG&E objection filed to the court.... more

BCD News and Comment - May 08, 2002   
Court approves PG&E's disclosure; alternative plan contested
Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali (N.D. Calif.) has approved the disclosure statement of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., but the utility company's biggest challenge lies in a competing alternative reorganization plan filed in April by the California Public U... more

The Los Angeles Times - May 07, 2002   
Serve Interests of All in Power Politics
In arguing for regulated electricity for small consumers and a deregulated system for big business, Bill Ahern and Michael McCauley get it half right...... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - May 04, 2002   
Reprieve for utility regulator; Duque may stay longer on PUC
Embattled state utility commissioner Henry Duque can remain in his position for at least four more weeks, despite a judge's ruling removing him from office for investing $27,000 in a wireless telephone company his agency regulates.... more

Los Angeles Times - May 03, 2002   
Edison, PG&E File to Resume Power Purchases
Utility: Move key to getting state out of electricity-buying business. PUC showdown is expected.
Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric told state utility regulators that they must be able to sign long-term contracts and pass electricity price spikes on to customers if the utilities are to resume power purchases that the state has been... more

PR Newswire - May 03, 2002   
PG&E Files Objections to CPUC's Disclosure Statement
PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company today filed objections to the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.... more

Foster Natural Gas Report - May 02, 2002   
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco, with jurisdiction over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure and reorganization of Pacific Gas & Electric Co., has before it two contradictory reorganization proposals from PG&E and the California Public Utility... more

Power Markets Week - Apr 29, 2002   
California has finally started the process of renegotiating $43-billion worth of long-term power contracts and the state announced early last week that the Dept. of Water Resources reworked eight new deals with five companies to cut its contracts costs by... more

Natural Gas Week - Apr 29, 2002   
Davis, Calpine find positives in power contract renegotiation.
California Gov. Gray Davis is riding high on successful power contract renegotiations on eight of the state's 32 long-term power contracts, cutting what had been total valuations of $ 15 billion by 23% -- to around $11.4 billion.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Apr 29, 2002   
State GOP Sought Donations From Enron;
Politics: Requests brought in $50,000 during probe of the energy firm.
Republican legislative leaders solicited tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Enron Corp. even as the state government was investigating the company and other producers suspected of price gouging and market manipulation during last year... more

Megawatt Daily - Apr 25, 2002   
Calif. consumer group blasts reworked Calpine deals
A California consumer group criticized the announced state savings by Gov. Gray Davis' renegotiated power deals with Calpine, and other companies, that cut the state's $43 billion long-term contract bill by $3.5-billion as "vastly overstated."... more

San Jose Mercury News - Apr 24, 2002   
Contracts called a wash for ratepayers;
Renegotiated Power Deals Include $200 Million Trade-off In New Payments To Calpine
The state's renegotiated power contracts include more than $200 million in new upfront payments to San Jose's Calpine in exchange for an agreement to shorten two high-cost deals, a trade-off consumer advocates said does little to benefit ratepayers.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 24, 2002   
Critics lambaste new energy deals;
Worth more politically, they say
Eight reworked energy contracts unveiled this week won't save California consumers much money and still lock the state into needless round-the-clock power purchases, consumer advocates said yesterday.... more

Megawatt Daily - Apr 24, 2002   
Calif. PUC seeks public input on PG&E reorganization
The California Public Utilities Commission will begin seeking public comment next month on its alternative bankruptcy reorganization plan for Pacific Gas and Electric, under a resolution approved by the PUC Monday.... more

San Jose Mercury News - Apr 23, 2002   
State energy contracts reworked;
Davis Sees $3.5 Billion Saved In Decade; Effect On Consumer Bills Unclear
Under fire for overpriced electricity contracts, Gov. Gray Davis announced eight renegotiated deals Monday with San Jose's Calpine Corp. and four other energy companies that he said will shave $3.5 billion off the state's power bill over the next 10 yea... more

Electric Utility Week (formerly Electrical Week) - Apr 22, 2002   
Pacific Gas & Electric stockholders will ''bear a significant portion of the burden'' of returning the utility to solvency under the alternative reorganization plan filed at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco April 15 by the California Public Util... more

Megawatt Daily - Apr 17, 2002   
Calif. PUC Republican asks court to stay dismissal
Henry Duque, the sole Republican on the five-member California Public Utilities Commission, said he would appeal a San Francisco Superior Court ruling that found him in violation of the state's conflict-of-interest laws and ordered him to leave the PUC.... more

The Contra Costa Times - Apr 16, 2002   
PUC plan would make PG&E sell off big stake
Regulators Present Their Proposal, But The Bankrupt Utility Quickly Dismisses It As "Illegal"
California regulators presented a plan Monday that would force PG&E Corp. to raise money to pay its utility creditors by selling outsiders a $1.75 billion stake in its crown jewel, the nation's largest regulated utility.... more

Energy Daily - Apr 16, 2002   
CPUC Unveils PG&E Bankruptcy Proposal
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Monday unveiled its version of how PG&E Corp. should get itself out of bankruptcy, using $2.7 billion in power payment overcollections, $1.6 billion in foregone dividends, issuing $1.75 billion in shares o... more

The Los Angeles Times - Apr 16, 2002   
PUC Unveils Plan for PG&E;
Bankruptcy: Customers would pay $4.7 billion to help restore utility's fiscal health. The firm, activists are both critical
State regulators unveiled a reorganization plan for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on Monday that calls for customers to pay $4.7 billion--or $1.4 billion more than the stockholders would--to restore the company to financial health.... more

San Jose Mercury News - Apr 16, 2002   
State files plan to rescue PG&E;
Bankrupt Utility Opposes Proposal
State utility regulators Monday filed their official plan for repayment of the $13.5 billion that PG&E\'s bankrupt utility owes, paving the way for creditors to vote on rival plans this summer.... more

The Associated Press State & Local Wire - Apr 15, 2002   
PUC files its plan for PG&E to emerge from bankruptcy
State regulators proposed a plan Monday they said would allow Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to emerge from bankruptcy by January, without raising customers' electric rates.... more

Electric Utility Week (formerly Electrical Week) - Apr 15, 2002   
California Public Utilities Commissioner Henry Duque on Friday was set to announce an appeal of a court order to remove him from office before his term ends in December.... more

Megawatt Daily - Apr 15, 2002   
PG&E bankruptcy plan threatened by consumer suit: Calif. PUC
A California consumer group's lawsuit challenging the state Public Utilities Commission's authority to reach court-sanctioned wholesale power-debt recovery deals with utilities may jeopardize the commission\'s plans to submit an alternative restructurin... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 13, 2002   
Group moves to keep PG&E in bankruptcy
A consumer group asked the state Supreme Court yesterday to block a plan by state regulators to bring Pacific Gas and Electric Co. out of bankruptcy, saying it would saddle customers with illegally high rates.... more

The Riverside Press-Enterprise - Apr 13, 2002   
Utilities chief stays on, files objection
The California Public Utilities Commission member ordered out of office by a San Francisco judge won't be giving up his post anytime soon, his legal adviser said.... more

CA State Telephone Regulation Report - Apr 12, 2002   
CA Court Orders Ouster of PUC Commissioner Duque, Appeal Probable
A California court ruled PUC Commissioner Henry Duque must be removed from office for financial conflict of interest.... more

The Daily Deal - Apr 12, 2002   
Court approves PG&E bankruptcy plan
The reorganization of California's largest utility seeks to create three new companies that fall primarily under federal regulation.... more

Contra Costa Times - Apr 12, 2002   
State's plan for PG&E challenged
Skirmishing continued Thursday in the protracted battle over how to reorganize PG&E Corp.'s bankrupt utility unit. A consumer advocacy group challenged a state-sponsored plan to tap electricity users to pay debts, and a judge approved the wording of a PG... more

San Jose Mercury News - Apr 12, 2002   
Consumer rights group sues PUC
A consumer rights group is suing the California Public Utilities Commission, saying the agency is "out of control" and illegally trying to force ratepayers to foot PG&E's huge bankruptcy bill.... more

The San Francisco Recorder - Apr 12, 2002   
Group Throws Wrench in PG&E Plan
A consumer advocacy group has sued the California Public Utilities Commission in state Supreme Court, threatening the commission's plan to restructure the bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric Co.... more

USA TODAY - Apr 12, 2002   
Calif. officials: Enron is key in energy 'fraud'
Witnesses at a Senate hearing Thursday pinned much of the blame for California's electricity crisis last year on Enron Corp. Chaos in the state's deregulated energy market produced scattered power outages. A year later, rolling blackouts are gone, but... more

The Los Angeles Times - Apr 12, 2002   
Regulators Broke Law, Suit Claims;
Courts: A consumer group takes on PUC over settlement with Edison, PG&E plan
A consumer group asked the California Supreme Court on Thursday to declare that state regulators violated the law when they entered into a settlement with Southern California Edison and proposed a reorganization plan for Pacific Gas & Electric Co.... more

Alameda Times-Star Online - Apr 11, 2002   
Taxpayer funds pay Duque's legal bills
Activists say public shouldn't pick up tab
A consumer watchdog group doesn't think taxpayers should have to pay attorney bills for state Public Utilities Commissioner Henry Duque in a conflict-of-interest lawsuit that could result in his ouster from office.... more

Energy Info Source - Apr 11, 2002   
Calif Consumer Group Files Suit Versus PUC Over Utilities 'Bailouts'
A California consumer group Thursday filed a lawsuit against the state Public Utilities Commission that could derail the commission's alternate plan of reorganization for bankrupt PG&E Corp.... more

Associated Press - Apr 11, 2002   
Consumer group sues power regulators in state supreme court
Consumer advocates sued state power regulators in the California Supreme Court Thursday in hopes of ensuring the public has a say in how much utilities charge for power and gas.... more

Foster Electric Report - Apr 10, 2002   
A California court has tentatively ruled that Commissioner Henry Duque should be removed from the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) because of a conflict of interest stemming from his ownership of stock in a telecommunication company regulated b... more

Energy Daily - Apr 08, 2002   
Calif. Court Ruling Would Boot CPUC Commissioner Duque
A California court issued a tentative ruling last week calling for the removal of Commissioner Henry Duque from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) because of a conflict of interest arising from his ownership of stock in a telecommunications... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 05, 2002   
Stock buy may cost official's PUC seat
Judge tentatively ousts commissioner
A San Francisco Superior Court judge tentatively ordered that one of the state's top utility commissioners be removed from office and pay a $5,000 fine for buying stock in a wireless telephone company his agency oversees. ... more

The Los Angeles Times - Apr 05, 2002   
Judge Orders Removal of PUC Member
Court: Henry Duque bought stock in phone firm with business before panel. He denies wrongdoing.
A judge ruled Thursday that Henry M. Duque, the lone Republican on the California Public Utilities Commission, should be removed from office because he violated conflict-of-interest laws by buying stock in a telecommunications company regulated by the com... more

San Jose Mercury News - Apr 05, 2002   
Calpine deal seen as near
After four months of closed-door talks, state officials are close to agreement with Calpine on what would be the first and most important deal to cut the cost of the controversial multibillion-dollar electricity contracts the state signed last year at the... more

Associated Press - Apr 05, 2002   
Judge orders PUC Commissioner Duque removed from office
Just days after he filled a sudden vacancy at the Public Utilities Commission, it appears Gov. Gray Davis already needs to find another replacement regulator.... more

Post-Newsweek Newsbytes - Apr 05, 2002   
Calif. Utilities Commissioner Ousted In Nextel Stock Scandal
California Public Utilities Commissioner Henry Duque will resign from his post next week amid findings that he bought 700 shares of stock in Nextel Communications, a wireless telecommunications provider regulated by the commission.... more

Greenwire - Apr 05, 2002   
California and Calpine Near Deal On Power Contracts
California Gov. Gray Davis (D) and Calpine Corp. are close to an agreement to rework four long-term power contracts worth $11.7 billion the state signed during the height of its energy crisis last year.... more

San Francisco Daily Journal - Apr 05, 2002   
Stock Ownership Conflict Costs PUC Commissioner His Seat
The judge finds that Henry Duque was not dishonest but rules he should have known of the conflict of interest.
In a tentative ruling, a San Francisco judge has ousted a state utility commissioner from office because he owned stock in a company regulated by the commission.... more

Associated Press - Apr 04, 2002   
Judge orders PUC Commissioner Duque removed from office
A state judge ordered California Public Utilities Commission member Henry Duque removed from office Thursday for investing $10,000 in a mobile phone company regulated by the commission.... more

The Bond Buyer - Mar 25, 2002   
California PUC Action Boosts $11B Power Deal Plans
In a closed session late Thursday, the commission decided not to reconsider its approval of a rate agreement that spells out how the bonds will be paid off by customers of the investor-owned utilities for which California has purchased power since January... more

Associated Press - Mar 24, 2002   
California likely won't see lower bills, despite end of freeze
When the natural gas and electricity bill arrives each month, Jenny Lovrin splits the cost between herself and five roommates. She used to rip open the envelope and find they owed less than $100. This winter's bills have hit $225, making her cringe.... more

San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 22, 2002   
Centerpiece of deregulation has fallen off the PUC's table
In a contentious vote, state utility regulators Thursday terminated what was once the centerpiece of California's electricity deregulation plan - a customer's right to choose a power provider - but allowed a loophole through which large customers could... more

The Riverside Press-Enterprise - Mar 22, 2002   
PUC ruling aids business, could hurt residents
Inland companies that bought electricity on the open market last year will be allowed to keep those contracts for cheaper power under a plan approved Thursday by California power regulators. Some lawmakers and consumer advocates criticized the decision,... more

Associated Press - Mar 22, 2002   
California power regulators continue electricity competition
California power regulators will allow large businesses and institutions with pre-existing contracts to continue to bypass their local utilities and buy cheaper electricity from competing energy sellers, which critics say disregards the intent of a 2001 s... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 20, 2002   
California Attorney General to Challenge Federal Agency over Utility Refunds
Opening a new front against electricity suppliers, California\'s attorney general will today challenge the refusal by federal regulators to consider refunds for overcharges paid by SDG&E customers during the summer of 2000.... more

Electric Utility Week - Mar 18, 2002   
Pacific Gas & Electric in an attempt to assuage concerns expressed by a U.S. bankruptcy court in San Francisco that its reorganization plan may not be legally viable, filed a modified plan March 7th, following a decision by Judge Dennis Montali...... more

Megawatt Daily - Mar 14, 2002   
PG&E Corp. awards millions in bonuses despite bankruptcy
Eleven PG&E Corp. executives received more than $ 4.6-million in 2001 bonuses, according to a proxy statement the company issued Wednesday in advance of its April 17 shareholder meeting. The bonuses as well as salary increases and restricted stock awards... more

Associated Press - Mar 12, 2002   
Attorney General sues energy concerns alleging double-billing
The lawsuits say the out-of-state power generators reaped millions by being paid to hold power in emergency reserve but then selling the power instead on the open market.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Mar 07, 2002   
Energy Lawsuits Imminent, Lockyer Says
Electricity: Attorney general says the actions will allege antitrust violations, breach of contract by power producers during crisis.
As he traveled California Wednesday with other leading Democratic officeholders and candidates, Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer said he will soon file major lawsuits against independent energy producers who profited from last year's energy crisis.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 06, 2002   
PG&E earned $1.1 billion last year; Bulk of profit came from its bankrupt utility
PG&E Corp. reported yesterday stunning profit of $1.1 billion for 2001, as a huge increase in electricity rates and a drop in power purchasing costs reversed the fortunes of a company that sent its largest division to bankruptcy court less than one year a... more

Contra Costa Times - Mar 06, 2002   
Davis' PUC pick jolts consumer activists
In a move that sent angry consumer activists racing for their fax machines, Gov. Gray Davis named former Southern California Edison President Michael Peevey to the state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Mar 06, 2002   
Davis Names Former Edison Chief to PUC
Energy: Consumer groups are angered by appointment of industry insider. Governor defends his choice.
To a chorus of protests from consumer groups, Gov. Gray Davis on Tuesday appointed Michael R. Peevey, a former head of Southern California Edison, to the state panel that oversees utilities.... more

San Jose Mercury News - Mar 06, 2002   
PUC choice draws fire
Critics Condemn Davis' Appointment of Energy Insider
Gov. Gray Davis turned to an energy industry insider Tuesday to fill a vacancy on the state Public Utilities Commission, angering top consumer groups who accused the governor of "making the fox the head of the henhouse."... more

The Associated Press State & Local Wire - Mar 05, 2002   
Davis names Michael Peevey new power regulator
Gov. Gray Davis appointed a former Edison International and Southern California Edison executive Tuesday as the newest member of the Public Utilities Commission, the state agency that regulates Edison and other investor-owned utilities.... more

The Boston Globe - Mar 03, 2002   
Price-gouging Inquiries Target Enron Overcharges in California May Exceed $40 Billion
The practices of Enron Corp. and other energy companies that designed California's energy-deregulation bill resulted in $40 billion to $70 billion in utility overcharges and ancillary costs,... more

Associated Press State & Local Wire - Mar 01, 2002   
Edison sends creditors $5.5 billion to repay debts
As one of California\'s major utilities settled its debts Friday, another remained mired in bankruptcy, which Gov. Gray Davis said is proof that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. should have chosen to work with the state to resolve its financial troubles.... more

Electrical Business Magazine - Feb 28, 2002   
Dereg Dead [according to US foundation]
The U.S.-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said the bankruptcy of energy giant Enron could trigger an end to electricity deregulation in California and the rest of the United States.... more

Los Angeles Times - Feb 26, 2002   
Davis Seeks Cuts in Power Deals
Energy: FERC is asked to reduce cost of long-term contracts by $21 billion. Suppliers, analysts call the request a long shot.
Gov. Gray Davis is seeking help from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission--the same regulators he blamed for letting power sellers charge sky-high prices and not immediately lending a hand to prevent rolling blackouts last year.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 26, 2002   
Move to void power pacts could backfire
Financier warns attempt may feed market uncertainty and cost consumers
The hired Wall Street gun who served as Gov. Gray Davis\' top financial manager during the energy crisis said yesterday that the state\'s move to nullify its long-term power contracts could end up costing California consumers more in the long run.... more

Associated Press - Feb 25, 2002   
Calif. Wants Cheaper Power Contracts
Gov. Gray Davis on Monday asked federal regulators to trim back the cost of long-term energy contracts the state scrambled to sign at the height of last year\'s energy crisis.... more

The Bond Buyer - Feb 25, 2002   
Rate Pact But First Step - DWR Faces Myriad Steps in Calif. Bond deal
The long-awaited approval last week by the California Public Utilities Commission of a rate agreement with the state's Department of Water Resources is only the first in a chain of events that must occur before the agency can issue up to $11.1 billion in... more

The Associated Press - Feb 22, 2002   
Long road remains before state can sell $11.1 billion bonds
California power regulators no longer stand in the way of the state issuing $11.1 billion of bonds to settle its looming power-buying debt, an expensive souvenir from last year\'s energy crunch.... more

San Diego Union-Tribune - Feb 22, 2002   
SDG&E able to escape a rate boost
PUC action, shrinking bill help avert increase
The state utilities commission yesterday spared SDG&E\'s electricity customers from another rate hike, but consumer advocates say a separate action by the commission that clears the way for the state to complete an $11 billion bond offering will cost util... more

Electric Light & Power Magazine - Feb 22, 2002   
California, Pennsylvania deregulation falls into legal limbo
The headlines have been screaming for over a year about the pros and cons of deregulation, and no two states have held more symbolic positions in that debate than Pennsylvania and California -- the alpha and omega of electric restructuring.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Feb 02, 2002   
Deal to end PUC review of power purchases opposed
Consumer advocates yesterday said a proposal for the California Public Utilities Commission to relinquish review of state electricity purchases would amount to an historic loss of consumer protection in the state.... more

Los Angeles Times - Feb 02, 2002   
Region's Gas Price Hikes Expected to Slow
Fuel: Ample West Coast supplies should help keep the average per-gallon cost well below $2, analysts say.
The surge in average gasoline prices around Southern California--nearly 30 cents a gallon in January--isn't over yet, analysts said Friday. But they predicted that increases would moderate soon, holding costs at the pump well below the $2 level... more - Feb 01, 2002   
From Enron to Cheney to California
Golden State politicians are on the warpath after a leaked memo reveals Kenneth Lay's instructions on how the White House should handle last year's electr...
The release of a memo from then-Enron CEO Kenneth Lay to Vice President Dick Cheney that included recommendations for how to handle the California energy crisis is encouraging the state's top politicians to call for more hearings and investigations into... more

Contra Costa Times - Feb 01, 2002   
Davis, PUC come to agreement to let state go into bond market
A high stakes poker game was drawing to a close this week when Gov. Gray Davis and utility regulators reached a tentative agreement that would allow the state to fill a gaping, $6 billion hole in the budget.... more

The Associated Press - Feb 01, 2002   
State regulators issue plan to pay state's power debt
California's governor praised a proposal from state regulators that would allow the state to issue billions of dollars of bonds and funnel money from utility rates to pay its power-buying debt.... more

San Diego Union-Tribune - Feb 01, 2002   
PUC, Davis break impasse on energy bond; fall rate cut might be possible
State electricity regulators ended a four-month deadlock with the Davis administration yesterday, paving the way for a $12.5 billion bond to repay the state for power purchases and a possible rate cut before the November election.... more

The Associated Press - Feb 01, 2002   
State regulators issue plan to pay state's power debt
California's governor praised a proposal from state regulators that would allow the state to issue billions of dollars of bonds and funnel money from utility rates to pay its power-buying debt.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 01, 2002   
PUC loses power to set rates in deal
Energy bond plan buoys investors, but angers consumer advocates
The state Public Utilities Commission would lose its authority to set electric rates under a tentative deal announced yesterday that would transfer that power to the state Department of Water Resources.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 31, 2002   
Boxer, Feinstein seize on 'smoking gun' note
White House actions mirrored Enron's ideas
California's two senators pledged yesterday to turn up the heat on the White House after seeing what one called a "smoking gun" memorandum that highlights the close ties between Enron and the Bush administration.... more

The Associated Press - Jan 28, 2002   
GOP contenders wrestle with California's energy woes
After following the energy crisis for more than a year, Davis resident Dobey Fleeman has had enough. He's installing a solar system on his roof, determined to cut his electric bill this year.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 26, 2002   
Boxer tries to broaden inquiries into Enron; Role in California is focus of request
Sen. Barbara Boxer will move this week to broaden the bevy of federal investigations targeting Enron Corp. into the company's conduct in California's electricity crisis.... more

The Christian Science Monitor - Jan 22, 2002   
Enron collapse fans debate over US regulators' role
The Enron fiasco has a positive side.... more

Los Angeles Times - Jan 20, 2002   
State May Be Re-Energized, but Powerful Questions Remain
It's remarkable to recall, one year later, how bleak it all seemed at the time. In the third week of January 2001, after months of worrisome forecasts, the energy crisis finally appeared to crash down upon California.... more

San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 18, 2002   
Enron role in state's crisis due 2nd look
Firm's energy trading, lobbying roles of interest
Allegations of accounting chicanery at Enron Corp. are causing California regulators and consumer advocates to reconsider the role played by the once-dominant company in the state deregulation debacle.... more

The Associated Press - Jan 17, 2002   
Consumer advocates call power shortage a hoax; ISO disagrees
On the anniversary of last year's rolling blackouts, consumer advocates, energy suppliers and state power officials disagreed on the causes of the energy shortage - or if a shortage even existed.... more - Jan 16, 2002   
Enron's California smoking gun
Did the Bush administration do the disgraced company's bidding during the state's electricity crisis?
Remember the California energy crisis? As the implications of the collapse of Enron spiral ever wider, increasing attention is being paid to the close connections between the White House and the Texas energy trader.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 11, 2002   
State seeks $4 billion from PG&E
Suit says firm's actions led utility to bankruptcy
State Attorney General Bill Lockyer yesterday charged that Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. drove its regulated utility business into bankruptcy by engaging in illegal and fraudulent business practices.... more

Contra Costa Times - Jan 09, 2002   
California regulators, intent on preserving their authority to set utility rates, asked a bankruptcy judge Tuesday to let them file their own proposal for paying off the creditors of PG&E Corp.'s utility unit.... more

Los Angeles Times - Jan 09, 2002   
PUC Seeks OK to File New PG&E Reorganization Plan
Agency aims to keep the utility under its thumb, halting effort to transfer transmission and generation facilities to new corporate entities.
State utility regulators asked a federal bankruptcy judge Tuesday for permission to file an alternative plan for reorganizing financially ailing Pacific Gas & Electric Co., saying it could reduce electricity rates for millions of Northern and Central Cali... more

The Associated Press - Jan 08, 2002   
Power initiative off for now
A consumer rights group has scrapped plans for a ballot initiative to overturn the proposed government bailout of troubled utility Southern California Edison.... more

The Associated Press - Jan 08, 2002   
State power regulators protest PG&E bankruptcy plan
California's largest utility has amassed $4.9 billion in cash and should use that money to pay its debts and emerge from bankruptcy, the state Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday in a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.... more

Cal. state court is expected to decide by end of Jan. on lawsuit over Cal. PUC Comr. Henry Duque\'s ownership in 1999 and 2000 of stock in wireless carrier Nextel.... more

Los Angeles Business Journal - Jan 07, 2002   
Activists will not pursue ballot measure on state edison bailout
Remember all that talk last year of an energy initiative on this November's ballot? Well, it's been quietly dropped.... more

The Bond Buyer - Jan 04, 2002   
Looking for Commitment
While the California Public Utilities Commission\'s proposed plan to set rates that would back up to $13.4 billion in power bonds is a step in the right direction, many legal questions must still be answered before any debt can be sold, market participant... more

State Legislatures - Jan 01, 2002   
Out of the Frying Pan: The energy crisis that dominated the California Legislature's 2001 session subsided as the year came to a close,
but it left behind a debilitating financial hangover that could hamper the state's economy for years to come.
The blackouts that were predicted for the summer never materialized. California's second largest utility did not, as many lawmakers feared, slip into bankruptcy. And prices on the volatile electricity spot market not only leveled off, they declined... more

Gas Marketers: Oblivious to All the Fuss
New mega-marketers, niche players emphasize opportunity.
THE NATURAL GAS TRADING BUSINESS HAS been on a roll since the mid-1980s, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order 436, giving birth to the concept of gas marketing companies.... more

Contra Costa Times - Jan 01, 2002   
With the lights no longer flickering and power once again cheap and abundant in the West, most California energy users probably woke up today without a hangover -- at least of the energy variety.... more

In The Media - 2001

back to top

©2000-2004 FTCR. All Rights Reserved. Read our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy | Contact Us