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.
STATEMENT ON SETTLEMENT BETWEEN CPUC AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON
(SAN FRANCISCO) - Pacific
Gas and Electric Company today issued the following statement on
the legal settlement reached today between Southern California Edison
(SCE) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC):
"We are pleased that Southern
California Edison has reached an agreement with the CPUC to resolve
the debt it was forced to incur to pay its customers' energy costs.
Anything that would return utilities to financial health is a positive
step in bringing stability to the state's year-long energy crisis.
"While the same forces and
regulatory failures created the financial crisis for Edison and
PG&E, the companies are now in different situations. PG&E's Plan
of Reorganization is the best and fastest way to resolve our creditor
issues, without seeking a rate increase from our customers.
"While we have not had time
to fully analyze this settlement, the framework as described by
the CPUC appears to be remarkably similar to the Rate Stabilization
Plan which PG&E and Edison proposed to the Commission back in November
2000, giving rise to obvious questions about why the CPUC couldn't
have agreed to this framework 11 months ago.
"Since that time, the CPUC
has been saying that it could not possibly do exactly what it agreed
to do today. In the meantime, California's two largest utilities
have been stripped of their credit ratings, the state began buying
power at inflated prices, millions of our customers suffered days
of power outages, and the state's economy has been damaged.
"The relative ease with
which this agreement appears to have been reached in the past few
days suggests that the upheaval and damage of the past year might
have been avoided."