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Dec 13, 2000
CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309
Edison Throws in the Towel on Deregulation
Advocates Warn Against Another BailoutLos Angeles--In a dramatic turnaround, Edison International CEO, John Bryson called for the re-regulation and re-integration of the California electricity system. Consumer advocates with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) criticized Mr. Bryson for ignoring his company's role in creating the current energy crisis and warned that Edison wants ratepayers to pick up the tab for its mistake.
"Edison wrote the law that created this mess, and, while it is appropriate that they stand up and admit they were wrong, Edison and the other power companies should be held responsible for the failure of deregulation," said Doug Heller, consumer advocate with FTCR. "The ratepayers are the innocent victims of deregulation and should never pay for another bailout of the utility companies."
Through a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign, Edison and PG&E were the chief architects of California's 1996 deregulation law that has led to the present energy crisis. Edison lobbied for the rate freeze that Mr. Bryson now contends may cause rolling blackouts for Edison customers. Mr. Bryson failed to note that Edison and PG&E have collected $17 billion in overcharges, according to a report by TURN, from ratepayers as a result of this rate freeze.
FTCR has introduced a series of proposals to end the deregulation experiment in California and establish a reliable and affordable energy system. The plan has been submitted to the Governor and members of the state legislature. It calls for:
FTCR, which has filed an initiative campaign committee, Californians for the Protection of Ratepayers, says that if elected officials do no act, voters will enact a public power measure at the ballot box.
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