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Soaring bills jolt power industry

July 13, 2000

By JAMES B. KELLEHER and ANNE C. MULKERN The Orange County Register

Electricity-industry leaders meeting at an emergency summit Wednesday warned that the state's deregulated electricity market faces collapse without swift changes to protect consumers from skyrocketing bills.

"If we don't take care of the problem, it will be taken care of for us," said Wayne Sakarias, head of electricity purchasing for San Diego Gas & Electric Co. "We've been letting it run on automatic, hoping it would work, and that hasn't happened."

About 100 utility officials, power sellers, power generators and state regulators convened in San Diego to find ways to quiet screams from consumers who've been hit with monthly bills of $250 or more.

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-- Martin Thompson (, July 13, 2000

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