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Orange County

Letter Proves Its Innocence, Anaheim Utility Says

March 12, 2003|Kimi Yoshino | Times Staff Writer

Anaheim Public Utilities officials, who are accused along with other municipal power producers of manipulating the energy market during the state's power crisis, on Tuesday offered what they said was proof of their innocence.

The city released a letter from the California Independent System Operator, the state power grid controller, saying it has no evidence to corroborate the allegations or conclude that Anaheim acted improperly.

The letter confirms the city's belief that the allegations, made by state officials, are false, said Marcie Edwards, general manager of Anaheim Public Utilities.

"Some of the conclusions are so erroneous and so negative I felt we were obligated [to seek clarification]," Edwards said.

But Cal-ISO's position may have little bearing in the state's case against Anaheim and more than a dozen public utilities and energy generators, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The filing against the energy providers was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by a coalition of state agencies, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric. The 1,000-page sealed document alleges that the utilities manipulated the market to raise prices. The coalition, which includes the state attorney general, state Public Utilities Commission and Electricity Oversight Board, is seeking $9 billion in refunds for alleged overcharges.

"California ISO has no authority to clear the city of Anaheim.... Only the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has that authority," said Tom Dresslar, spokesman for state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer.

The city maintains that the accusations contained in the state's filing are based on outdated Cal-ISO data, which Cal-ISO confirmed in a March 7 letter to Anaheim.

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