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NEWS RELEASE
Dec 31, 2002


CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309

Davis Names Energy Executive New PUC President

Consumer Group Decries Move; Calls on Senate to Reject Peevey's Nomination
Santa Monica, CA -- Governor Davis announced today that he has named Michael Peevey the President of the Public Utilities Commission. Peevey is a former Edison executive who left the utility to run one of the nation's largest deregulated energy companies during the nineties. As an interim Commissioner, Peevey has consistently sided with energy firms and big business interests and against the needs of consumers, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).

"Making Mike Peevey the head of the PUC is like asking Kenneth Lay to run the SEC," said FTCR's senior consumer advocate Doug Heller. "After what the energy industry did to California it is shocking that Davis would give an energy company executive such a prominent position. Not only has Davis failed to place an independent consumer voice on the Commission, he is letting the energy industry run the agency"

Michael Peevey, who was never confirmed as an interim Commissioner, must still be confirmed by the State Senate to maintain his appointment. Consumer advocates with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) called on the California State Senate to reject Peevey's nomination.

"Instead of rejecting Peevey's nomination earlier this year, the Senate let him remain at the Commission as a test of whether or not he would shake his energy industry ties and protect consumers. He failed that test," said Heller.

Davis Appoints Member of His Inner Circle to Commission

Also today, Davis announced the appointment of one of his chief advisors, Susan Kennedy, to fill the vacancy on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) created by the departure of Henry Duque. Ms. Kennedy was a key advisor to Governor Davis during the energy crisis, when the Governor's chief policy position centered around providing a consumer funded bailout of Southern California Edison. Although the Legislature rejected Davis's bailout scheme, Davis appointees at the PUC orchestrated a secret settlement to bail out Edison.

"Governor Davis is cloning himself at the PUC to make sure he can get whatever he wants out of that agency," said Douglas Heller, the senior consumer advocate at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). "The Governor tries to keep his distance whenever the PUC raises rates, yet he continues to appoint people from his inner circle. There is no distance between the Governor and the PUC."

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