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Government Deregulation

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2001 | NANCY VOGEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was a year ago this month that the meltdown of California's deregulated energy market hit crisis stage. Gov. Gray Davis plugged in the official state Christmas tree last December, then had it turned off 30 minutes later as a message to Californians to go easy on the strained electricity grid. "Tonight while some Californians are going without power," the governor said at the time, "let the light in our hearts represent the true spirit of the season."
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BUSINESS
December 2, 2001 | James Flanigan
California was the beginning of the end for Enron Corp. One of the company's first real failures in the marketplace occurred in California as electricity deregulation began in 1998. The big energy trading firm came barreling into California prepared to sell electricity to retail customers at lower prices than local companies could. Enron invested at least $250 million preparing to expand in California, including ads on the Super Bowl telecast in '98.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2001 | NANCY RIVERA BROOKS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Branded as lawless cowboys by California politicians and consumer advocates, energy merchants rode skyrocketing electricity and natural gas prices to new stock highs during the worst of California's energy crisis. But in recent months these energy companies--names such as Duke, Dynegy, Reliant, AES, Mirant, Williams and El Paso Corp.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2001 | NANCY VOGEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Federal energy regulators have ordered four energy generating companies to refund unspecified amounts of money because their prices in July exceeded federal price limits. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order directs Dynegy Corp., Mirant Corp., Williams Cos. and Reliant Energy to give the refunds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2001 | GEORGE SKELTON
Confused about what's happening with electricity? You're not alone. Most legislators have been confused for months. Actually, years. Truth is, the Legislature, ideally, should never have been mucking around in the nitty-gritty of the electricity mess. "We're not equipped to do that," notes Assemblyman Roderick Wright (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the Assembly Utilities Committee. "That's not our core competency. We should have been making overall policy and getting out."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2001 | DAN MORAIN and TIM REITERMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Once again last week, California Public Utilities Commission President Loretta Lynch gave Gov. Gray Davis help that he badly needed--but left him upstaged. With the governor unable to broker a deal to save Southern California Edison from bankruptcy, Lynch and commission lawyers secretly negotiated a $3.3-billion settlement that was ratified by a federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2001 | NANCY RIVERA BROOKS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric are the doppelgangers of California's electricity crisis, haunting each other down a deregulated road to financial ruin. But in recent months, the state's biggest electricity utilities have chosen quite different paths that will lead to quite different futures. PG&E, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based PG&E Corp., in early April put its faith in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2001 | NANCY VOGEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Chapter by chapter, California is rapidly closing the book on its disastrous experiment in electricity deregulation. As that happens, energy experts say, one thing is becoming painfully clear: Consumers have lost at nearly every turn in the four-year odyssey. One major chapter ended Friday when a federal judge approved a deal to rescue Southern California Edison from bankruptcy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2001 | NANCY RIVERA BROOKS and NANCY VOGEL, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The state Public Utilities Commission is challenging several of the state's long-term contracts with electricity generators because the prices and terms may not be good for consumers, commission President Loretta Lynch said Monday. Also on Monday, two consumer groups called for a state investigation of potential conflict-of-interest violations that the groups said should void some contracts.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2001 | NANCY RIVERA BROOKS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
California's top utility regulator on Monday blasted the bankruptcy reorganization plan filed by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. as a "corporate shell game" designed to avoid state oversight. What's more, the PG&E Corp. subsidiary's claim that customer rates would not rise under the plan is based on a faulty premise about the wholesale price of power, Loretta Lynch, president of the state Public Utilities Commission, said at a news conference in San Francisco.
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