BAILOUT WATCH: Keeping an eye on the energy industry and the politicians
SPECIAL BAILOUT BULLETIN! – WE WIN! Ratepayers Avert Multi-Billion $ Edison Bailout! – Sep 15, 2001
No Dice for Edison Bailout
The California Senate put an end to a multi-million dollar, nine-month campaign by Southern California Edison to force ratepayers to pay off its deregulation debts when the Senate refused to approve bailout legislation late Friday night before it adjourned for the year. The Senate showed common sense in protecting residential and small business ratepayers against being forced to pay at least $6 billion in rate increases. Senators understood that ratepayers had already paid enough for the colossal failure of deregulation. Edison reaped the rewards of the deregulation law it wrote to the tune of billions of dollars. It is only fair that Edison bear the responsibility for its losses.
The volunteer-based campaign of the Bailout Watchdogs in the "War Room" was instrumental in letting the massive public opposition to the bailout be heard loud and clear in Sacramento.
Responding to the statements that the Governor may seek to resurrect the deal, FTCR said, "It’s time to move on. There is much more important work requiring Gov. Davis’s leadership."
Senate Leadership Lauded
FTCR’s Harvey Rosenfield hailed the leadership of Senate President John Burton. "Throughout this difficult year, Burton has been steadfast in his protection of ratepayers against the costly collapse of deregulation. And he successfully shepherded legislation, sponsored by Treasurer Phil Angelides and supported by consumer groups, to create a public power authority that will protect California’s economy against price-gouging in the future. Burton is truly a hero for the state’s taxpayers and ratepayers."
Next Objective: Reducing Rates, Restoring Reliable System
Much remains to be done to restore a reliable and affordable energy system. There needs to be a reversal of circumstances that enabled a handful of private energy companies to reap windfall profits through artificial energy shortages and massive price increases. Bottom line: we need to get electricity rates back down and get the energy system back in our control.