Bailout Watch #81 – Oct 01, 2001

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BAILOUT WATCH: Keeping an eye on the energy industry and the politicians

Bailout Watch #81 – Oct 01, 2001

A New Low for Edison. In the days after the attacks on New York and Washington, Edison’s ruthless lobbying for the bailout continued undiminished. Not for a moment did the company pause in its quest to make us pay for its mistakes. But now Edison has sunk to a new low. It has begun a lobbying campaign trying to wrap the American flag around the bailout, arguing that a bailout of Edison is crucial to California’s security and stability in the aftermath of the attacks. FTCR has issued a letter to Bryson chastising him for what has to be just about the most insensitive, if not unpatriotic, action the company could take under the present circumstances.

Read Bryson’s Letter: Page 1, Page 2.

Read FTCR’s response.

Edison offering public money for XXX bailout support.
As part of its campaign to win the bailout, Edison is now systematically negotiating deals with the companies it owes money to. Edison is offering to pay them a percentage of what it owes right away, out of the $3 billion in cash it has in the bank, with the balance to come from the money the rest of us will have to pay under the bailout Edison hopes to get in Sacramento next Tuesday. That’s when Give Away Gray Davis’s XXX rated special legislative bailout session begins.

bail·out — n. a rescue from financial distress. Everyone in California knows that Governor Davis is pushing for an Edison bailout, but some politicians and commentators are looking for new ways to describe it that aren’t so offensive as "bailout." It’s not a bailout, we’re told, it’s a "relief package." We are not bailing Edison out, it’s a "rescue measure." It’s like the "airborne toxic event" that visited the fictional college town in Don DeLillo’s White Noise. It wasn’t an airborne event, it was a deadly pollution cloud, but that’s far too scary to deal with. When the government orders citizens (as taxpayers or ratepayers) to pay off the debts of a corporation to save it from its financial difficulties, IT IS A BAILOUT. Note: The Los Angeles Weekly points out that the Governor’s bailout plan would give the Edison company 20% of the $15 billion that taxpayers are giving the entire airline industry to bail them out after the tragedy of September 11.

mon·o·ma·ni·a — n. Pathological obsession with one idea or subject. Is anyone else alarmed by the governor’s single-minded pursuit of a massive, half-baked bailout for Southern California Edison? (Answer: YES, a recent Field Institute poll reports that 68% of voters oppose an Edison bailout and 50% are not inclined to re-elect Davis.) In the spring, when utility execs argued that blackouts were in store if there would be no bailout, the governor pushed the utilities’ agenda. When PG&E demonstrated that it could keep the lights on without a bailout, Davis persisted in pursuing a ratepayer giveaway for Edison. And, now that the state Senate has rejected a bailout, the governor persists, undeterred, calling for an extraordinary special legislative session to take another shot. Dissatisfied with lawmakers in 1999, Davis declared that the purpose of the California Legislature is to "implement my vision." We call it tunnel vision.

Judgment Day
399 Days Until November 5, 2002

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