EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
UPDATE: PG&E FILES MOTION TO REQUIRE CAISO TO FOLLOW FEDERAL LAW
San Francisco, CA -- Pacific
Gas and Electric Company has filed a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court asking the court to direct the California Independent System
Operator (CAISO) to comply with bankruptcy law, its Tariff, and
a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling, and
stop billing the utility for wholesale power purchased.
Pacific Gas and Electric
Company's motion, which includes a request for a preliminary injunction,
asks the court to enjoin the CAISO from requiring the utility to
pay costs the CAISO has incurred and continues to incur to purchase
wholesale power on its behalf, unless the utility can fully recover
Bankruptcy law imposes an
automatic stay to prevent parties from making certain claims or
taking certain actions that would interfere with the estate or property
of the estate of a Chapter 11 debtor. By purchasing power at costs
higher than existing retail prices, and then sending the bill to
the utility, the CAISO is violating the automatic stay provision
and could be reducing the value of the company's assets by potentially
hundreds of millions of dollars per month, depending on the average
retail rate, the wholesale price, and the amount of power purchased
by the CAISO. Recently, the CAISO sent Pacific Gas and Electric
Company a bill for January and February spot market purchases that
totaled nearly $1 billion.
The action alleges that
requiring the utility to pay more than it can collect in its existing
generation-related rates would be improper under federal Bankruptcy
Code because it is not in the best interest of the estate, would
be an unauthorized post-petition use of Pacific Gas and Electric
Company's property, and would force the utility to undertake credit
on onerous terms.
In addition, on April 6,
2001, FERC ordered the CAISO to comply with its February 14 order,
in which FERC ordered that the CAISO could only buy power on behalf
of creditworthy entities. Both Pacific Gas and Electric Company
and Southern California Edison Company are no longer creditworthy
companies. By continuing to purchase power on behalf of Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the CAISO is in violation of its own Tariff,
FERC orders, and federal law.