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NEWS RELEASE
Dec 07, 2000


CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309

State Must Takeover Power Plants To Ensure Reliability in Wake of Stage Three Emergency

Advocates with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights called for the state to takeover power generation plants to ensure that consumers do not suffer rolling blackouts as a result of the current deregulation crisis. After a week's worth of Stage One and Stage Two Emergencies, California is currently in a Stage Three Emergency, which may subject ratepayers to blackouts this evening. Consumer advocates blame the deregulated electricity system, created by 1996 legislation, for endangering the public safety.

"This deregulation experiment has gone too far and is now jeopardizing more than just Christmas lights, it is endangering the public safety. The Governor should direct state authorities to immediately take over power plants that are off-line and safely get them on-line and producing energy," said Douglas Heller, consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "Deregulation creates the economic incentive to keep our energy supplies on the brink of shortage. We have reached the brink and must now turn around and end this fiasco. This emergency alert should mark the death knell of deregulation and move our elected officials to create a state power agency that will have its own not-for-profit power plants that can protect us from future disasters."

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