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BUSINESS
December 23, 1997 | From Associated Press
The nation's third-largest utility said Monday it is paying $6.44 billion to create a giant power company serving 11 Midwestern and Southern states. The announcement came as two other big utility deals were falling apart. The failures, however, will not slow the wave of electric and gas company mergers as more states move to loosen regulations and let customers choose their own power providers, as California is scheduled to do starting Jan. 1. "Ultimately, they're all going to come along.
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NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By David Horsey
The Koch brothers have a new ploy to protect the traditional energy business that helped make them the planet's fifth- and sixth-richest humans. They are funding a campaign to shackle solar energy consumers who have escaped the grip of big electric utilities. Of all the pro-business, anti-government causes they have funded with their billions, this may be the most cynical and self-serving. On Sunday, a Los Angeles Times story by Evan Halper outlined the Koch's latest scheme. Along with anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, several major power companies and a national association representing conservative state legislators, the brothers are aiming to kill preferences for the burgeoning solar power industry that have been put into law in dozens of states.
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BUSINESS
July 12, 1996 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Legislation to Restructure Electric Industry Unveiled: Congress gave its first indication that it plans to play a major role in electric utilities' shift from an industry dominated by monopolies toward more open competition. Rep. Dan Schaefer (R-Colo.) unveiled legislation restructuring the industry, calling for consumers to be given the right to buy electricity at the lowest cost available.
NATIONAL
April 19, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - The political attack ad that ran recently in Arizona had some familiar hallmarks of the genre, including a greedy villain who hogged sweets for himself and made children cry. But the bad guy, in this case, wasn't a fat-cat lobbyist or someone's political opponent. He was a solar-energy consumer. Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies. The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Terry noticed that his gas bill was double what he had paid for the same month last year. He called the gas company and was told that his bill had been estimated because no one actually had looked at his meter. Say what? Terry wants to know what the deal is with estimated utility bills. More videos from Ask Laz It's a growing problem. Utilities nationwide are seeing their customer base grow as the population increases but are cutting back on staff to save money. Their solution: estimated bills.
NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By David Horsey
The Koch brothers have a new ploy to protect the traditional energy business that helped make them the planet's fifth- and sixth-richest humans. They are funding a campaign to shackle solar energy consumers who have escaped the grip of big electric utilities. Of all the pro-business, anti-government causes they have funded with their billions, this may be the most cynical and self-serving. On Sunday, a Los Angeles Times story by Evan Halper outlined the Koch's latest scheme. Along with anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, several major power companies and a national association representing conservative state legislators, the brothers are aiming to kill preferences for the burgeoning solar power industry that have been put into law in dozens of states.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 1989
Your editorial "Making Amends" (June 10) perpetuates misinformation regarding excess deferred tax reserves for utilities. Your readers have been led to believe that $19 billion in excess reserves are still outstanding and that utilities will keep this money for as long as 30 years. The misleading 30-year reference applies only to an average depreciation period for certain items of utility equipment, not to the total outstanding reserve. The fact is, utilities are returning this money now and have been since 1986.
OPINION
August 28, 2006
Re "Shedding light on all those blackouts," Current, Aug. 20 The point of Steven Erie's Op-Ed article -- power blackouts during the July heat wave demonstrated "chronic neglect" of the state's transmission grid by utilities -- is inaccurate. In 1998, Southern California Edison launched a major infrastructure replacement and expansion program, recognizing that power demands were growing and that many components in our system would soon near the end of their service. With the exception of the energy-crisis period, investments in our lower-voltage distribution system have grown annually, from nearly $700 million in 1999 to more than $1 billion this year.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2000
Stephen C. Lee ["Power Supply Timeline," Letters, Nov. 12] argues that government's involvement in deregulation is responsible for current power price spikes and increases. Lee is confused. What the government was responsible for, before the existing deregulation, was producing an environment of stable prices with reasonable profits to utilities. That was known as "regulation." Contrary to Lee's claim that "the voters pass[ed] an initiative to regulate the power industry," that deed was, in fact, accomplished by AB 1890, which was passed by the Legislature in the hurried waning moments before its August 1996 recess.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2001
"Part of Utilities' Windfall Went to Dividends, Parent Firms" (Jan. 24) mentions, in passing, that the ratepayer has paid for the construction of most power facilities in the state. This helps to explain why we Californians paid twice the national rate for power. Most ratepayers are unaware that they have subsidized the utilities and, by extension, their shareholders. As these power plants were sold off between 1998 and now, why has no one demanded that the utilities reimburse the ratepayers (us)
NEWS
April 10, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - A key panel of senators investigating the security of the nation's power grid Thursday had mostly softball questions for utility executives and regulators about exposure to assaults like the one by gunmen last year that nearly knocked out electricity in Silicon Valley. Instead, the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee focused its fury on the news media. The media, declared Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), has “served to sensationalize the issue of physical grid security instead of helping protect the grid from attack.” Recent coverage of the April 2013 attack near San Jose, in which a pair of gunmen shot up several transformers at a substation and then escaped into the night, has unnerved utility officials and regulators.
SPORTS
April 6, 2014 | By Lance Pugmire
The loss of Ducks forward Tim Jackman, the team's penalty minutes leader who sustained a broken hand when struck by a shot during his final shift Friday, along with the absence of tough defenseman Mark Fistric, who has a lower-body nerve issue, alters the team's physical nature. “Where we were a big, imposing team, now we're more of a speed team,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We play the same way, so ... ” Jackman required surgery on his hand. Fistric could return next week.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Pacific Gas & Electric Co., indicted by the federal government for criminal behavior stemming from a Bay Area natural gas explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes, still faces more trouble. In the next few months, PG&E will face the likelihood of a fine from the California Public Utilities Commission as high as $2.25 billion for its role in the September 2010 disaster in the city of San Bruno. On Tuesday, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced that a grand jury indicted PG&E on 12 alleged violations of the federal Pipeline Safety Act involving poor record keeping and faulty management practices.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was indicted Tuesday on a dozen felony counts connected to the massive 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people and ravaged a San Bruno, Calif., neighborhood. The utility was charged with violating federal pipeline safety laws, including failing to identify all potential threats to the aging, high-pressure line that sparked the disaster and not maintaining proper repair records, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Thursday it expects federal officials to bring criminal charges against the company in connection with a 2010 gas pipeline blast that devastated a San Bruno neighborhood and killed eight people. PG&E said it was negotiating with the U.S. attorney's office for some type of resolution but provided few details. A spokesperson for the office in San Francisco declined to comment on the investigation or say what if any charges were being considered.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Electricity customers in Southern California would receive $1.4 billion in refunds on their bills over the next eight years as part of an agreement between two utilities and ratepayer organizations over the closing of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The proposed settlement, announced Thursday, still needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. Both ratepayer advocates and executives at Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said they were satisfied with the deal.
NEWS
March 19, 1999 | From Times Wire Services
Tens of thousands of Mexicans took to the streets Thursday in a massive protest against President Ernesto Zedillo's proposal to privatize the electricity industry. The protesters, mostly workers from the Mexican Electricians Union, marched down the capital's main boulevard in heavy rain. Officials say Mexico was forced to act by the certainty that its current electricity supplies would be inadequate to power growth beyond the next couple of years.
BUSINESS
February 15, 2006 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
A Van Nuys lawmaker is pushing a bill that would authorize regulators to hit the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and other municipal utilities with millions of dollars in charges if they fail to meet energy efficiency targets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2014 | By Bob Pool
Officials kept their cool as they turned up the heat to finish construction of a new central utility plant in the middle of Los Angeles International Airport. LAX operators invited retired plant engineers to return and help run the old heating and cooling plant while current engineers were being trained to operate a new $438-million facility. On Tuesday, the retirees will be on hand at noon when 79-year-old former chief building operating engineer Walt Garrick flips the switch to shut down the old plant, which has been in continuous operation keeping airport passengers and workers comfortable since 1961.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | By Catherine Saillant
Despite promises to speed up customer service response times, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's telephone system is still making callers wait an average of nearly 30 minutes on hold, according to a new DWP website. A billing information page was launched this week to coincide with the arrival of Marcie Edwards, the new DWP head selected by Mayor Eric Garcetti to lead the city-owned utility. A chart on the website shows that wait times for customer calls averaged 29 minutes in late February, two minutes less than reported for the second week of November, when city officials vowed to fix an overwhelmed call system.
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