||Home | Volunteer | Donate | Subscribe | FTCR Websites | Books | Site Map|
home / utilities / press releases
Apr 19, 2004
CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309
Consumer Group to Lawmakers: Do Not Try Energy Deregulation Again
Utility-Sponsored Deregulation Plan, Authored by Speaker Nuņez, Heard in Assembly Committee TodaySacramento, CA -- Consumer advocates testified today in opposition to an energy deregulation proposal by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuņez and sponsored by Southern California Edison. The legislation would put California back on the path to the unwarranted price spikes and unreliable electricity service brought on by the energy industry's last deregulation scheme, said the advocates.
AB 2006 (Nuņez) would re-introduce a central aspect of deregulation, "direct access," and give the largest companies in California exclusive access to some of the state's most efficient, inexpensive power. It was heard in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee this afternoon.
"Under this proposal, the biggest businesses in the state will have access to the cheapest power while average consumers pay higher rates. With predictions of electricity shortages, AB 2006 sets the stage for the next energy crisis where residential and small business ratepayers will again be forced to subsidize the big companies that re-enter the utility system in desperation," said Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). "Whether or not there are shortages, consumers are sure to pay higher rates under this bill."
Heller noted that a series of agencies and state officials have taken actions or presented analyses in recent months that help explain why any attempt to re-deregulate the state's energy system would be infeasible, costly and dangerous for the public:
"California's unregulated electricity marketplace was rife with manipulations, gaming and profiteering at the expense of the consumers, businesses and taxpayers of California. The most important lesson from the disastrous deregulation experiment is that electricity is too vital to our economy and public safety to leave in an unregulated marketplace. AB 2006 does not heed that lesson and instead would recommit California to a misguided faith in electricity markets," said Heller.
back to top
©2000-2004 FTCR. All Rights Reserved. Read our