BAILOUT WATCH: Keeping an eye on the energy industry and the politicians
Bailout Watch #78 – Sep 13, 2001
SPECIAL SACRAMENTO LOBBYING EDITION
Tweaked, Morphed, Hijacked, Gutted – A Day (Second to Last) in the Life of the Edison Bailout Bill.
Edison bailout bill SB 78 XX is being tweaked and morphed by pro-industry Senators in closed-door, late-night sessions. The remains – an amalgamation of the original Senate bailout version and the recent, devastating Assembly revisions – are then going to be thrown into the previously obscure Assembly Bill 67 XX, which was hijacked and gutted to provide a vehicle for this final bailout attempt. The result remains a gargantuan handout to SoCal Edison, borne on the backs of ratepayers, plus a massive gift to the business special interests and the out-of-state energy companies that will cost residential and small business ratepayers tens of billions of dollars. Here’s a summary of one version of the Senate plan:
Analysis of Proposed Senate Bailout Bill:
Item: Edison bailout surcharge applies to 125 kW customers.
Impact: $4 billion (with interest) paid by thousands of medium-size businesses
Item: Business bailout – "Direct Access" (Political quid pro quo for bailout). Exact details unknown. Largest industrial users want to bail out of long-term contracts negotiated by Davis, negotiate own deals with generators; leaves small ratepayers to pay off inflated contracts.
Impact: $50 billion+ on residential/small business ratepayers.
Item: Assets in exchange for bailout: 20,000 acres of land and option to buy transmission at twice what it’s worth.
Impact: $1.2 billion. Edison gets bailout with no requirement of repayment in exchange; no requirement if state exercises transmission option
Item: Windfall #1. Edison can keep 25% of any FERC-ordered gouging refund.
Impact: $250 million. Edison gets bailout with no requirement of repayment of refund to ratepayers.
Item: Windfall #2. Guaranteed rate of return on Edison power plants, overriding PUC.
Impact: Up to $300 million.
Item: Environmental Cover. Mandates renewable portfolio standard as political cover for Democrats.
Impact: Worthless. We’ll see at ballot box whether voters will find that a fair deal.
The Last Offensive: Call Your Senators!
The Edison bailout bill’s latest incarnation "AB 67 XX " will have to pass through committee in order to land on the Senate floor tomorrow. Senate phone lines should be flooded with citizen voices of outrage and opposition. Tell them that the People of California can not afford and will not stand for another bailout! (Visit http://www.senate.ca.gov/%7Enewsen/senators/senators.htp and click on your Senator’s name for his/her Sacramento phone number.)
Assembly Strikes Yet Another Blow to Consumers
The "Honorable" California Assembly Members can’t seem to bat an eye without striking a blow to consumers. Windfall Profits Tax bill SB 1 XX was voted down on the Assembly floor today with a 27 – 27 vote — 26 abstained. This critical piece of legislation remains the state’s only tool (aside from the threat of eminent domain, which Governor Davis hasn’t uttered word of since January) capable of sending a message to energy generators that the California legislature will not permit the gouging of its citizens. 26 lawmakers couldn’t even be bothered to make their opinions known! Call them and let them hear yours – SB 1XX has one last chance to pass and protect Californians from the energy cartel. (Visit http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset7text.htm and click on your Assembly Member’s name to find his/her Sacramento phone number.)
FOR INFO ON HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR STOP THE BAILOUT CAMPAIGN IN SACRAMENTO (FRIDAY IS YOUR LAST CHANCE), CALL THE "BAILOUT HOTLINE" at 310-392-0522 EXT 8 — OR EMAIL US: [email protected]
417 Days Until November 5, 2002