Consumer Advocates Criticize Governor’s Lack of Attention to Consumer’s Needs
Governor Davis asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in a letter sent today, to fix the unregulated electricity market and thereby allow his role in addressing the energy crisis to remain “limited in scope.” Consumer advocates were critical of the governor’s willingness to continue on the path to a deregulated electricity system despite the severity of the state’s energy crisis.
“Californians need Governor Davis to end this electricity experiment that has only just begun to wreak havoc on our state’s economy,” said Douglas Heller, consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). “Instead, the governor reaffirmed the deregulation scheme, made no promises to protect consumers from future bailouts and provided no blueprint for affordable and reliable energy service in the future.”
Advocates with FTCR noted that Governor Davis did not provide any assurances that he will resist any attempts to back-bill Edison and PG&E customers the $6 billion that the utilities are seeking. Moreover, Governor Davis does not indicate that he will take any steps to refund San Diego ratepayers who were overcharged hundreds of dollars this summer when SDG&E entered the unregulated market.
“Governor Davis has once again asked the federal commission in Washington to order ratepayer refunds. However, the governor did not offer any solution that he could implement if, as expected, the federal commission fails consumers,” said Heller.