CA Power - Assembly Democrats Prepare Alternative To Governor's Edison Plan : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Assembly Democrats Prepare Alternative To Governor's Edison Plan SACRAMENTO (AP) --

The state would help Southern California Edison avoid bankruptcy without necessarily spending billions to buy the utility's transmission lines, under a proposal pending before Assembly Democrats.

Edison and Gov. Gray Davis had agreed the state should buy the transmission system for $2.76 billion to help pay off the utility's debt.

An alternative Assembly Democrats are negotiating with administration and Edison officials would instead give the state a five-year option to buy the power lines for $1.2 billion to help pay off the utility's $3.5 billion debt.

The state would loan Edison $1 billion, but would get a conservation easement on 21,000 acres of Sierra Nevada watershed land. The utility also would agree to sell the state relatively low-cost electricity for 10 years from one of its power plants.

The utility would repay the state loan and $2 billion in long-term bonds with money it collects from ratepayers, under the proposal.

The plan also calls for power generators to accept 75 percent of what they are owed by Edison, and for Edison's parent corporation to contribute $400 million to help pay it's subsidiary's debt.

Davis spokesman Steve Maviglio said the administration is open to any reasonable plan to help Edison.

Assemblymen John Dutra, D-Fremont, Joe Nation, D-San Rafael, and Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittburg, hope to present their plan to the Assembly Democratic caucus as early as Wednesday.

"I think, quite frankly, this is only (plan) out there that has a chance to gather bipartisan and Senate support. If this doesn't happen, I don't think there's a deal out there to be done," said Canciamilla.

Assembly Republicans, however, want to add measures to the plan that Democrats so far find objectionable.

"The version we've seen is a shade better than the governor's plan, but we're still pretty far away (from agreement)," said Assembly GOP spokesman Jamie Fisfis. "We don't believe right now it has Republican caucus support."

-- PHO (, May 22, 2001

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