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Jul 28, 1997

Consumer Ad Campaign Against $28 Billion Utility Bailout Tax Continues

Utility Company Commences Own Ad Campaign
"CUT" -- Californians against Utility Taxes -- continued the public education campaign begun last week warning consumers about new žderegulationÓ legislation backed by the utility industry. The bill, expected to be voted on later this week in Sacramento, would lock utility ratepayers into backing new žbailout bonds,Ó paying $10 billion in a new, ten-year utility tax to cover part of the $28.5 costs of uneconomical nuclear power plants and other utility company mistakes.

In the latest maneuver to grease passage of the utility bailout bonds, the politicians have hijacked separate legislation which contains modest utility consumer protections -- AB 360 -- and amended the bailout bond requirements into that bill, to give increasingly reluctant legislators cover to vote for the bonds.

And at least one company, Southern California Edison, has begun its own radio ad campaign promising ratepayers a rate cut if the bond legislation goes through.

Attached is a copy of the latest ad by CUT, along with a fact sheet describing whatŪs wrong with the žderegulationÓ legislation, part of which was approved with virtually no public scrutiny during a three week ram job in the legislature last year.

Consumer groups opposed to the legislation include Consumers Union, TURN, and CalPIRG.


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