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Electricity rate cap is urged

July 28, 2000

By DANIEL M. WEINTRAUB The Orange County Register

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Gray Davis, in his first formal response to Southern California's energy crisis, called Tuesday for the "lowest reasonable" caps on the wholesale price of electricity in the state.

Davis also asked a federal energy commission to investigate what he termed an "unjust and totally unacceptable" situation and order immediate refunds to customers if an investigation determines that current rates are not reasonable.

Davis sent a flurry of letters to members of the Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the operators of California's electrical grid, calling on all of them to reduce and stabilize the price of power in the state.

While the governor has no direct control over any of these agencies, he has influence over some of them and is hoping others will heed his call as chief executive of the nation's largest state. Davis wants to dampen the crisis before the conditions that led electricity rates to double in south Orange County and San Diego County spread statewide.

Davis focused his ire not on the utilities that sell power to retail customers but on the companies that generate the power and sell it to the utilities. He said SDG&E has had no choice but to pass along to its customers the price spikes from its suppliers.

"He has hit the nail on the head," said Sen. Steve Peace, D-Chula Vista. "This puts us on the road to focusing on what we've got to do to correct this problem."

SDG&E officials also applauded Davis' action.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 28, 2000


This makes great news copy, but is not going to affect one damned thing.

Whhat a colossal waste of time.

-- Uncle Fred (, July 29, 2000.

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