Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE CALIFORNIA ENERGY CRISIS

Power Points

February 22, 2001

Background

The state Legislature approved electricity deregulation with a unanimous vote in 1996. The move was expected to lower power bills in California by opening up the energy market to competition. Relatively few companies, however, entered that market to sell electricity, giving each that did considerable influence over the price. Meanwhile, demand has increased in recent years while no major power plants have been built. These factors combined last year to push up the wholesale cost of electricity. But the state's biggest utilities--Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison--are barred from increasing consumer rates. So the utilities have accumulated billions of dollars in debt and, despite help from the state, have struggled to buy enough electricity.

*

Daily Developments

* The state's buyout negotiations with Edison and SDG&E went well, but talks with PG&E stalled, and that utility could get cut out of the deal, the governor's office said.

* Warm weather and better electricity reserves kept the state at a low-level alert after 39 straight days of moderate-to-critical power emergencies.

* More than half of the financial firms overseeing the state's bond deal said they had ties to utilities and energy companies, but the state treasurer said there is no conflict.

*

Verbatim

"The reality is, we need people who have financial strength, depth and breadth, and the fact is that any company that has that has numerous relationships."

--State Treasurer

Phil Angelides

Complete package and updates at www.latimes.com/power

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|