What people are saying about utility’s bankruptcy filing

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The Associated Press

Here’s what lawmakers, residents and others said Friday about Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s bankruptcy filing:

“The regulatory and political processes have failed us, and now we are turning to the court. We expect the court will provide the venue needed to reach a solution.” – Robert D. Glynn Jr., chairman of corporate parent PG&E Corp.

“We at Southern California Edison continue to believe that working out a comprehensive solution to our current crisis is a preferable course to take.” – Southern California Edison statement.

“It should not have come down to this. There is no question that it magnifies the crisis and makes the outlook for this summer even more precarious.” – U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

“This announcement is unfortunate, but not unexpected. Operating under a state system of buy high, sell low, you will eventually have financial regressions. PG&E is a victim of this. Hopefully through steps being taken by the State of California, and steps the federal government may take, we can prevent the need for future bankruptcies of this type.” – U.S. Rep. Joe Barton R-Texas, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality.

“It is essential that all possible measures be taken in the bankruptcy process to assure that California consumers are protected.” – U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

“This was as predictable as night following day, and should serve as a warning to those who want to manipulate the marketplace through price controls. It simply doesnt work. We remain committed to helping California through this ongoing crisis, but phony politically-driven solutions are not the answer.” – U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce.

“We will continue to do all that we can to protect the interests of consumers and to maintain the reliability of our power system.” – Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys.

“The thing to remember here is that by all accounts PG&E‘s filing Chapter 11 will not harm consumers or the company’s employees or retirees.” – State Senate leader John Burton, D-San Francisco.

“Senate Republicans are extremely disappointed that the negotiations between the Davis administration and Pacific Gas and Electric have reached an impasse.” – State Senate Republican leader James Brulte, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

“It’s too soon for us to know what the alternatives are. We were just as surprised as you were.” – Assembly Republican leader Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks.

“Everything’s been handled so poorly, I don’t know if this will make any difference at all.” – Don Meyer, owner of Calistoga Auto Parts.

“I think they’re just trying to get out of paying their bills. If I’m paying this much and everybody else is paying this much, it doesn’t make sense that they don’t have any money.” – Nila Bernstengel, 23, a college student in Davis.

“I think it’s a farce. Our energy (bills) will definitely go up now but I guess you have to roll with the punches. I can stand the extra charges without any problems, but there’s others that can’t. It’s up to the people we elected to do something about this.” – Charles Davis, 75, a retired truck driver in West Sacramento.

“I’m shocked. What is my bill going to look like? It’s scary. If we pay so much to PG&E then what are they doing with it? There must be a way out of this.” – Norma Gomez, 27, a drug-abuse counselor from of Natomas.

“This decision today is simply a business decision that they don’t themselves want to be held responsible for the mistake they made” by backing deregulation in 1996. – Harvey Rosenfield, consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

“The announcement today did come as a shock and we believe it came as a direct result of what the governor said yesterday.” – Nettie Hoge, executive director of The Utility Reform Network.

“As far as I know, the state would just be another creditor, unless they were getting some sort of collateral for what they were advancing. I think they’re limited to coming in and making their arguments in court now.” – John Hansen, chairman of the bankruptcy division at the Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott law firm in San Francisco.

“The Texas boys have California right where they want us – PG&E declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy while they’re eating filet mignons.” – Bob Mulholland, California Democratic Party spokesman.

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